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Imagery in Translation. • Pick out the key-words of the text and analyse their s> bolic value

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  1. Compare the sonnet with its Russian translation version and discuss the questions, given below.
  2. Imagery in Translation
  3. Imagery in Translation
  4. Imagery in Translation
  5. Imagery in Translation
  6. Imagery in Translation
  7. Imagery in Translation

Pick out the key-words of the text and analyse their s>
bolic value. Which of them may be difficult to reconstruct in tra
lation and why?

• Study the possibilities of Russian vocabulary to prov
equivalents to the source text.

• Translate the poem word for word paying special att
tion to the key-words and those intended for rhyme.

• Reconstruct the rhyming scheme and choose the rh>
ing words for the whole text.

• Fill in the lines within the rhyming frame with due we
to retain the metric pattern of the poem in Russian.

• Look through the choice of words and stylistic device
ensure they meet the requirements of sense and style in Russi

• Read the text aloud to see if it is compatible the sou
rhythm in Russian.

• Compare your version with the other translations.

• Discuss the results.

Task for translation:

Stanzas in a Drear-nighted December

I

In a drear-nighted December,

Too happy, happy tree, Thy branches ne'er remember

Their green felicity: The north cannot undo them With a sleety whistle through them, Nor frozen thawings glue them

From budding at the prime.

II

In a drear-nighted December, Too happy, happy brook,


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Практикум по художественному переводу

Thy bubblings ne'er remember

Apollo's summer look; But with a sweet forgetting They stay their crystal fretting, Never, never petting

About the frozen time.

Ill

Ah! would 'twere so with many

A gentle girl and boy! But were there ever any

Writh'd not at passed joy? To know the change and feel it, When there is none to heal it, Nor numbered sense to steel it,

Was never said in rhyme.


Imagery in Translation

How will you cope with the metric difference between
the line of words too happy, happy tree and its Russian counter­
parts like такое счастливое (беспечное, беззаботное) дерево!

• What other translation problems can you detect in the
text?

• Complete the draft of your Russian text and read it aloud
to hear how it sounds.

• Complete the translation and compare its imagery, logic
and emotive values with the source text.

• Discuss the results and compare different versions of the
translation.


 


EXERCISES FOR TRANSLATION

• Study the logic and emotive features of the poem to dis­
cover down the key words of the text.

• Study the imagery and stylistic devices used to create it.

• Study the metre and rhyming scheme of the poem and
their functions.

• Reconstruct the intrastanza based on the rhyming last lines
of all three stanzas and think of its associative force.

• Play with the source text changing its metric or rhyming
features to see how it influences the perception of the stanzas.

• Reconstruct the rhyme scheme of the text in Russian with
words as close in meaning to the source rhyming words as possi­
ble.

• Complete the lines with Russian words following the met­
ric pattern of the source text.

— ; ___



Практикум по художественному переводу


Imagery in Translation


 


POETRYUNIT3:

TRANSLATING PERCYBYSSHE SHELLEY INTO R USSIAN

Introductory Notes

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) was bom into a noble family in Sussex and went to University College, Oxford. From his early youth and througout his life, his behaviour was marked by extreme eccentricity. He was a rebel by nature and in his poet­ic vision of life. He was expelled from Oxford for circulating his own pamphlet, The Necessity of Atheism, in 1811. Then he eloped to Scotland with 16-year-old Harriet Westbrook and they married in Edinburgh in August 1811. Three years of nomadic existence followed, and in 1814 the marriage broke down despite the birth of two children. Later, he married Mary Godwin who would also become a famous writer and with whom he lived to the end of his life. In 1818 they went abroad and spent most of their time in Italy where they made friends with Byron. That period was both the most productive and unhappy in Shelley's life; his little daughter died at Venice; then his favourite son William died at Rome, and Mary Shelley suffered a nervous breakdown.

Yet the period of time from the summer of 1819 saw the peak of Shelley's creative activity. He completed his long poem Prometheus Unbound and wrote The Mask of Anarchy, Ode to the West Wind, such lyric pieces as To a Skylark, The Cloud; he also completed his drama The Cenci. In 1821 he wrote Adonais in memory of John Keats and his untimely death.

In August 1822 Shelley drowned, together with his friend Edward Williams and a boatboy, under very strange circumstanc­es, on a return trip from visiting Byron and Leigh Hunt in Livor-no in his small Ariel. In keeping with Italian law, his body was

48


burned on the shore, but his heart was returned to England later buried in Poets' Corner Westminster Abbey.

Apart from being an outstanding poet and dramatist, SI ley was also a gifted translator. He translated prominent autr from Greek (Plato and Homer), Latin (Spinoza), Spanish (( deron), German (Goethe), Italian (Dante) and some other langu es. He was also considered one of the most profound writer: his age; his Defence of Poetry is recognised as one of the gi documents in the history of English criticism. In this book SI ley makes a distinction between imaginative and mechanical thi ing and underlies that only imaginative thinking, that is, a con nation of reason with imagination, is truly creative, while mecr ical thinking is prosaically analytical. From his paradoxical pi of view, Plato and Bacon are creative thinkers and, thus, poets



Among the English Romantics, Shelley had the reputai of being an undoubtedly major figure, a poet of volcanic anc ery aspirations and hope for a better world.

His lyric poetry was always very melodical and full off sion, though sometimes rather sad. The piece in the task for c< parison, To (One word is too often profaned.!.), is a free sta form, written in 1821, supposedly to Emilia Viviani, daughte the Governor of Pisa, a very talented girl with whom Shelley' in Platonic love. Emilia inspired Shelley to a series of poems, finest of them and the greatest of his personal lyrics was Ерц chidion ("soul within the soul," in Greek), a torrent of roma love poetry unmatched in English, where he describes the i( love as everburning "inconsumable" flame in which bodies spirits blend in one. One word, a much smaller piece, opens other side of ideal love, its cosmic character that ranges fi human beings to planets and space.

Shelley's poetry was not often translated into Russia the 19th century. Konstantin Balmont was the first Russian po< translate the complete poems of Shelley; his views on poetic tn lation were very idiosyncratic. He proclaimed Russian "a s tongue", in comparison with English, and, translating, enlar

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Практикум по художественному переводу_____

original text, adding feet, lines, or even stanzs. In any event, version of this poem was very melodical and unusual, though ler far from the source metre and melody. Boris Pasternak chose poem for translation, evidently attracted by the particular com-ation of diction and imagery in it, both wrapped in the master-erse. Perhaps, like Keats, Shelley is hyper-English in his mode ;xpression, which makes his poetry quite a challenge for a lslator.

The task for translation features Shelley's masterpiece of a met, Ozymandias, written in 1817. The image of the poem is ed on a famous description of the statue of Ramses II by Di->rus Siculus: "... It is not merely for its size that this statue rits approbation, but it is also marvellous by reason of its artis-quality and excellent because of the nature of the stone... The cription upon it runs: 'King of Kings am I, Osymandyas. If /one would know how great I am and where I lie, let him sur-;s one of my works.' " The poem has been translated into ssian many times. Famous, though not quite perfect were trans-ions by Balmont, Minsky, Chemena, and others. The statue is t directly named by a word in Shelley's poem, but only through ;h metonymic features as legs of stone, visage, pedestal, wreck, lich sound clumsy in the Russian syntax; so in translation this named object is interpreted as статуя, исполин, истукан, мятник, руина, мавзолей — all the words being rather long d too exact for the poetic image in Shelley's world.

sk for comparison:


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