Acculturating Shakespeare: the tactics of translating his works under Stalin in the light of recent theoretical advances in translation studies

Warren, Jill (2015) Acculturating Shakespeare: the tactics of translating his works under Stalin in the light of recent theoretical advances in translation studies. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (4MB) | Preview


This thesis employs translation theory in order to analyse a translation of William Shakespeare’s Othello by Anna Radlova, which was written and performed in Stalinist Russia. Radlova was the wife of Sergei Radlov, a respected theatre producer and director, who staged several productions of Othello in his wife’s translation. Their partnership therefore provides a fascinating example for theatre translation research of a close working relationship between translator and director.

The thesis begins by discussing the elements of translation theory appropriate to such a task. Drawing on the theory identified, the next two chapters then set Radlova’s work in context. Chapter 2 offers new perspective on the history of Shakespeare, and specifically Othello, in Russia by analysing how his assimilation into Russian culture was affected by developments and trends in the practice of translation, while Chapter 3 provides the social background to the Radlovs’ work, assessing how their approach to Shakespeare was shaped by the tense political environment in which they were working. The close analysis of Radlova’s translation choices in Chapter 4, alongside comparison with the translations of Pëtr Veinberg, Boris Pasternak and Mikhail Lozinskii which preceded and followed her work, allows an assessment of the methods she employed to bring a newly Soviet Shakespeare to her audiences. The incorporation of archival material and contemporary reviews in the final chapter enables an examination of the effects Radlova’s translation tactics had on the play in performance.

The thesis thus makes a contribution to the knowledge and understanding of the work of the Radlovs, while the focus on translations of Othello and the reconstruction of Radlov’s productions aims to add to the understanding of the Russian performance tradition of the play. The exploration of the reasons behind the popularity of Othello in the Stalinist period also provides insight into the potential for accommodation to the constraints of cultural politics under Stalin.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Marsh, C.E.A.
Hellebust, R.E.
Keywords: Shakespeare, Russia, translation, Radlova, Radlov, Othello
Subjects: P Language and literature > PR English literature
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Item ID: 28646
Depositing User: Warren, Jill
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 09:42
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 19:28

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View