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Durham University

Chinese Studies

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Publication details for Dr Sergey Tyulenev

2016 'Vsemirnaia Literatura: intersections between translating and original literary writing', Slavic & East European Journal 60, pp. 8-21

Author(s) from Durham


In this article, the early Soviet translation project Vsemirnaia Literatura (1918–1924) will be analyzed from the point of view of the sociology of professions as applied to translation studies. The Vsemirnaia-Literatura project was initiated as a measure to secure one interest group’s control over literary translation in Soviet Russia. The group was structured and acted in a fashion that allows considering it an important step in forming translation as a profession. The project secured a niche for literary translation as a social activity, which, although closely related to original literary writing, started to emancipate from the latter. A governing structure (an editorial board and administrators), which made sure that a high professional standard in literary translation was observed, was formed. The group also took care of raising new generations of literary translators. In short, Vsemirnaia Literatura significantly contributed to laying the foundation for the Soviet school of literary translation.