• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Article

Два Лесных царя? Литературные источники перевода В. Жуковского баллады «Erlkönig»

Вопросы литературы. 2020. № 4. С. 217-238.

Two Forest Kings? Literary sources of V. Zhukovsky’s translation of the ballad Erlkönig

The article contains a comparative analysis of early European interpretations of Goethe’s poem Erlkönig and hypothesizes that it was under their influence that Zhukovsky introduced significant innovations in his translation. Already in the first English translations by M. G. Lewis and W. Scott, translators dispense with the naturphilosophical implication of Goethe’s original and enhance its folkloric dimension; the plot is structured according
to the pre-romantic and romantic folk legends of evil and many-voiced forest ‘kings.’ The early French versions embark on a new tradition of ‘translating’ the title into the native language, revealing the semiotics of the image and making it more recognizable by a foreign culture. Zhukovsky’s idea of the Forest King is shaped by his contemporary culture; he integrates the German original not only into Russian demonology as described by Russian lexicons of the early 19th c., but also into the set of translation practices already established at the time when he was writing his ballad.