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Working paper

Soviet translator Alexander Romm: an experience of literary depersonalization

The article addresses a literary biography of Alexander Ilyich Romm (1893 – 1943), philologist, poet and translator, focusing on the last years of Romm’s life when he had been an active member of the Translators Section of the Union of Soviet Writers, involved in producing translations of politically committed poetry both from foreign languages and from national languages of the Soviet Union. Drawing upon Andre Lefevere’s idea of translation as rewriting and manipulation, the article takes a close look at the process of production and stylization of such translations. Surviving archival documents, including Romm’s diaries, offer a glimpse of how harrowing for him was an experience of depersonalization translators were subjected to in the Soviet literary system.