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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R39K4606D

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On Literary (Ab)normality: Lolita and Self-Translation Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
English
self-translation
translation
Soviet
literature
Russian
Lolita
screenplay
Nabokov
norms
post-Soviet
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Roscoff, Nadia
Supervisor and department
Malena, Anne (MLCS)
Siemens, Elena (MLCS)
Examining committee member and department
Cisneros, Odile (MLCS)
Rolland, Peter (MLCS)
Rampton, David (Department of English)
Department
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Specialization
Slavic Languages and Literatures
Date accepted
2015-01-12T14:16:45Z
Graduation date
2015-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
In this dissertation I consider a famous self-translation, the Russian version of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, through the prism of a descriptive approach in translation studies. Self-translations have been traditionally excluded from consideration in scholarly studies as unrepresentative of common practices, yet I am convinced that comprehensive consideration of such texts is very valuable for the field of translation studies at large. I argue that in this translation Nabokov intentionally violated norms of translation; I approach the text of the novel as a highly sophisticated literary game, a game that was taken by the author to the next level in the Russian version of the novel. Critical consideration of Nabokov‘s reflection on the process of translating Lolita reveals the ambiguity of his own statements and opens to debate his own famous assessment of the Russian version as ―correctly‖ translated into Russian (Nabokov "Postscript":192). The analysis of Nabokov‘s strategy of translation as evident in the English and Russian versions of the text confirms that Nabokov‘s version is very different from what would be a ―correctly‖ translated novel in the hands of a commissioned translator. As violation of norms in translation is likely to result in sanctions, I review the Russian reception of novel in order to get a better understanding of what constitutes sanctions in regard to this work. In the case of Nabokov‘s Lolita, this approach is particularly fruitful, as the Russian Lolita circulated widely in two drastically different cultural environments: first in the Soviet Union, then in post-Soviet Russia. My research examines a wide array of opinions about this text in the target culture in conjunction with culturally-specific emendations to the Russian text of the novel, as evident in common publishing practices in Russia. While the idea of norms only provisionally applies to Nabokov‘s own practice of translation (as there appears to be a pattern of emendations to the Roscoff iii Russian text in comparison with the original novel), the Russian reception of the novel was governed by norms that informed reception of translated literature in the target culture. Consequently, the text of the novel was systematically amended in common publishing practices of the novel. One could argue that the text of the Russian translation has been brought into compliance with the dominating norms of literature, and these norms were very different in various historical periods.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R39K4606D
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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