Keywords: George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, E.G. Beketova, English literature, Victorian novel, translation, female publishing team
Abstract: Although the Russian reception of George Eliot’s novels has already been the subject of research, one aspect of this reception, translation, has hardly been studied. On the one hand, this is not surprising, because there is very little data on translators of specific works by this writer; on the other hand, this should not be an obstacle to the analysis of translation as an aspect of the formation of the Russian image of George Eliot. The article discusses three translations of the novel Daniel Deronda. First, a translation-retelling published in the magazine Vestnik Evropy (1877) which was subjected to abridgments dictated by the magazine format: the result is not a philosophical novel of upbringing but a tearfully romantic story about good people. Second, there are two complete translations of the novel, one of which was done by E. G. Beketova. Beketova’s translation (1877) follows the original as closely as possible, preserving the author’s irony, and reflection, and the ambiguity of characters. The other translation, published in the journal Jewish Family Library (1902), demonstrates such techniques as replacement of neutral vocabulary with emotionally colored vocabulary, avoidance of authorial irony, abridgments, frequent simplifications of the characters in the novel; all this ultimately leads to a text that is stylistically smooth but quite distant from the original. Probably, in the latter case the translator perceived George Eliot’s novel primarily as female prose written by a follower of George Sand. As a result, the text of the novel partially lost its originality and became yet another example of “georges-sandism”; in contrast, Beketova’s literal translation, despite all the rough spots typical of a beginner, turns out to be closer to Eliot’s poetics, which is not reducible to any ideological or artistic paradigm.