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Translation from Oxonian: Dorothy Sayers in Russia
Fri 8th Feb '19 - 19:00 - 21:00
Dorothy Sayers has not been very lucky in Russia: during the Soviet period her works were almost never published (with the exception of a couple of short stories), and her name was practically unknown to the Russian reader. After the Perestroyka she was treated as another crime story writer, and her translators did not pay any attention to her intellectual games. Meanwhile, her books are full of quotations, allusions, hints, accents, University slang and other elements which can drive even the most attentive translator to despair.
Probably her most difficult book is “Gaudy Night”, her “Oxford novel”, which makes it necessary to master the complicated historical and cultural context: the life on the threshold of the Second World war, manners and customs of the oldest British University, changes in women’s education, rules of the Detective Club etc.
So what does the translator and the reader need to know to appreciate this novel and other novels about Peter Wimsey? What can be transferred into another culture and what would be irretrievably lost?
Alexandra Borisenko, who has compiled a four-volume edition of Dorothy Sayers’ novels in Russian and translated “Gaudy Night” (jointly with Ekaterina Kuznetsova), will speak about her research and discoveries, about the lucky findings and failures.
Alexandra Borisenko has been teaching literary translation at Moscow State University for many years. Jointly with Victor Sonkin and their students, they have published two anthologies of British and American crime fiction: “Not Just Holmes”, and “Not the Butler!” Jointly with Viictor and separately, she has translated works by Patricia Duncker, Dorothy L. Sayers, Pamela Travers, Nassim N. Taleb, Julian Barnes, Hanya Yanagihara and other authors.