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Письмо N 8

Дата: 2001 February 11
От: Mark Hooker <mthooker@indiana.edu>
Кому: Владимир Свиридов <selim@freemail.ru>
Тема: You're Welcome

Good morning!

> Fairly spoken! But who are the audience of Tolkien's books in Russia -
> that is the question.

Yes, a very good question indeed. I think that there is more than one audience. There would probably be an audience for what we called a "pony", a coherent gloss for those who want to read the original, but whose English is too weak. Gruzberg had the potential to become that in the CD-ROM, but did not make it. I like each of the other translations for different reasons.

My book is for an American/British audience and concentrates on questions of form (literalness) and not on questions of style (literariness). If I was writing for a Russian audience, I would take a different approach. I suspect that there will be an audience for my book in Russia, but that it will not be a broad audience of fans. I will, of course, report that Gruzberg's translation is not well received in Russia because of its style, and will go on to say that I like it because of its literalness, a native English speaker's prejudice. I heard (second hand) that someone commented about Gruzberg's translation: "Если это русский язык -- то я кофейник!" Not very quotable, but the thought is clear enough.

VS> Some half year ago a movement for translation LoTR movie in Russian
VS> was formed itself. Now it shows almost no activity, but they have
VS> carried out a poll, what one of the existing translations of LoTR should
VS> be basic for LoTR movie russification. I don't remember exact figures,
VS> but probably more than half of people answered this question have
VS> preferred M&K.

I would be very interested in the poll data for the movie. Is it on the Web or can you make it available? The data would be very illustrative for my book. Right now I am basing my popularity rating on тираж and G&G appear to be ahead on that.

VS> х while "Northmen" is a geographical notion

Yes, I understand. What about Западники? My problem with северяне is that the real English word for that is "Northerners" and Tolkien made up a new name, so I would expect to do the same in Russian. Oh, well. It was a nice try.

VS> Those who fight fires, "пожарные", very dislike be called
VS> "пожарниками".

I did not know that. Thanks.

VS> As to me, "южаки" seems better to fit for an alien tribe from South.

Let's go with that then.

VS> "Обозлены" is a bit better, but not good as well. "Рассержены"? VS> Too soft...

We could go to the very much more literal огорчены, but that does not feel right either.

VS> I'd not like to say that I was underwent to some force action.

My experience was different. With that wide a range, it is obvious that the metaphor will not work , so back to a hot knife through butter, which still seems too prosaic for Tolkien.

VS> but this doesn't mean that he's bad guy - this rather means that Frodo
VS> is a saint.

I still think that Tolkien would have wanted to avoid this, but we are getting onto pretty shaky, subjective ground here.

VS> "Югиптяне" are no more than a play of mind, so I don't insist on this
VS> word. Repeating once more, I prefer южаки of yours. Besides all,
VS> this is tightly associated with чужаки.

I liked the ideal behind Югиптяне, and I see the good association with "чужак".

VS> Mark, thank you for the enormous intellectual delight that our
VS> discussion has given to me.

You are quite welcome. It has been fun for me too.

Cheers, Mark

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