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Article

Восприятие образа России в переводах русской художественной литературы в Британии первой половины XX века

This article analyzes the perceptions of Russia, Russians, and Russian art existing in Britain, namely, those demonstrated by the country’s literary community of the first half of the 20th century. The article shows that this period saw a plethora of publications of translations of Russian fiction that were accomplished by professional translators, Slavonic scholars, and writers and appeared in periodicals and other print formats. The article provides a general overview of the British literary community’s reactions to Russia, Russians, and Russian literature. It is hard to overestimate the importance of these materials since many of the translations have never been comprehensively analyzed in conjunction with the originals, and Russia’s images in Britain were often formed on the basis of the translations. Paradoxically, the characterizations of Russia produced within the British society were more indicative of problems and domestic issues of Britain itself rather than of Russia because images of Russia provided an occasion to discuss problems of Great Britain. Contributors to the discussions, meanwhile, were asserting the superiority of Britain, less frequently – Russia, with only a handful of them advocating acceptance of the other. Usually, periods of positive perceptions of Russia have coincided with periods of improvement in political and economic relations between the nations. But all the complexities of the relations notwithstanding, mutual influence of the two national literatures is obvious.