Странный Романъ, или Абеляр и Элоиза в России XVIII в.
The article gives an analysis of the first Russian translation of Abelard and Héloïse’s letters (“The Collection of Abelard and Héloïse’s letters with attachment of life description of these miserable lovers”) made by A. I. Dmitriev in 1783 from count Bussy-Raboutin’s retelling. A comparative analysis of Dmitriev’s translation with the original text shows the conventional character of their connection. Following Bussy, Dmitriev not always sticks to original letters even in the main points. If he retains the canvas of the original medieval text, he supplements it with countless details: a portrait of a lover, a tear-drenched letter, mad passion. A similar transformation takes place with the “Historia Calamitatum” in the retelling of Augustus von Kotzebue. Both authors in the preface designate their works as “female” reading. The interest in the story of the two lovers is probably caused by the recent release of J.-J. Rousseau’s “Julie, or the New Heloise”. The choice of material, the nature of its processing, the appeal to women and the circumstances of the printing of Dmitriev’s translation and Kotzebue’s retelling demonstrate the commitment of these authors to sentimentalism, which explains their desire to cause tears in the eyes of their readers.