Constance Garnett, Alymer Maude, S.S. Koteliansky : Russian literature in England 1900-1930
This thesis is concerned with the lives and works of three translators who made Russian literature available for the British public. It is an attempt to account for the role these translators played in arousing interest in the classics of Russia. The translations of Constance Garnett, Aylmer Maude and S. S. Koteliansky were responsible for making Russian literature feature in the intellectual life of the British culture during the first decades of this century. The relation of my work to these initiatives is described in the Introduction. Chapter One deals with England's discovery of the Russian novel through translations and its consequences that led to the spread of the "Russian cult. " This took place during the first two decades of the twentieth century which witnessed great interest in Russian literature. The British public was introduced to the major treasures of the Russian classics, and what is more, to a handful of the new generation of Russian authors. In registering the response of the literary figures of the day on reading these translations and a survey of serious periodicals, evidence is established for the cult status of Russian writing. Chapter Two throws light on the life and work of one of the most eminent of translators, Constance Garnett. The chapter surveys the wide range of Russian authors she presented, with particular emphasis on her translation of Chekhov, and the impact of her translations in the establishment of the writer's reputation in England. Chapter Three focuses on Maude's career as a translator and accounts for his greatest achievement, the accomplishment of the Centenary Edition of Tolstoy's works. Other aspects of Maude's activities are drawn upon, particularly, the fact that he was a disciple of Tolstoy. Attention is also paid to his status as an authority on Tolstoy. Chapter Four is devoted to S. S. Koteliansky and his achievements. Koteliansky's prestigious position in the English literary life, in addition to his being a supplier of new material in the field of Russian translations are stressed. The collaboration of a handful of the literary figures in the production of his translations is looked upon as further proof to the presence of the Russian cult. The thesis concludes with an account of archive materials relevant to its field.