Translation as a Factor Promoting the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine | April 2016 | Translation Journal

Join Translation Journal

To receive regular updates,
fill in your details below.
You will also receive a PDF listing
8 Ways to Ignite your Translation Career.
Join now. 

Translation as a Factor Promoting the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

The article deals with ideologically motivated changes made in Russian translations of modern American and British literature and the consequences of such intrusion for readers’ interpretation and mindset. Due to Russification conducted both by the Russian Empire and the Soviet state, the Russian is prevalent in Eastern Ukraine and dominates in media, education and literature. World literature is read, taught and learned mainly in Russian translations made within the Soviet period and thus ideologically twisted: numerous changes in translated texts (excisions, omissions, substitutions, and insertions) were made in order to omit everything contradicting Soviet ideology and to highlight everything that corresponds with it. Such alterations made during Soviet times are preserved in modern editions of translated literature; these changes support positive stereotypes of the USSR and influence pro-Russian conflict as a way of returning to the Soviet Union.


Key-words: translation, ideology, censorship, adaptation, Soviet discourse


According to the results of the public opinion poll conducted in April 2014, 60% of the population of Eastern Ukraine supported restoring the Soviet Union, in contrast to 82% of Western Ukrainians strongly opposed to the idea (Antipovich, 2014). This situation was predetermined by a variety of factors, including linguistic ones.

In the Eastern part of Ukraine the Russian language is used by the vast majority of the population, even by people who are not ethnically Russian. The Russification policy was conducted by the Imperial Russian and later Soviet authorities to strengthen Russian national, political and linguistic positions in Ukraine. It lasted for almost two centuries when the Eastern Ukraine was a part of the Russian Empire and in the Soviet Ukraine since 1930-s till demise of the USSR[1]. Today Russian is widely used for communication and still dominates in media, education and literature. The aim of this article is to show a connection between the traditions of literary translation into Russian in post-Soviet cultures and the promotion of Soviet ideology among readers of the translated texts.

Researching ideological aspects in general and censorship in particular has become an integral part of translation studies, and many works dealing with ideology and translation in the West have been published during the last three decades (B. Hatim and I. Mason (1997), A. Lefevere (1992), L. Venuti (2008) and others). At the same time as N. Pokorn points out “the Socialist and Communist impact on translation is very rarely discussed in translation studies” (2012: 1). The impact of Soviet ideology on translation into Russian has been studied by S. Sherry (2012), S. Witt (in Baer 2011). Analyzing peculiarities of translation in former socialist states of Eastern Europe, researchers reveal typical features in “socialist translation” and underscore the Soviet ideological influence (Pokorn (2012), Vimr (2009, 2011)). Nevertheless, little attention has been paid to consequences of the Soviet ideological pressure on translation for the present-day post-Soviet societies.

An analysis of the consequences of Soviet ideological intrusion has been presented in the article Soviet Censorship and Translation in Contemporary Ukraine and Russia. Among these consequences are the reservations Russian readers have towards new translations:

…translated literature became a part of Russian literature and was perceived as native – translated and censored according to the ideological norms of the Soviet Union.  As a rule, only one variant of translation was allowable. This way it was easier to control the situation: before publishing, a translation had to pass censors’ control, but a once-published translation tended to become the only, generally acknowledged, “canonical” version; no one was allowed to criticize it. Such policy resulted in the particular stance of common readers to translations. This attitude remains in contemporary Russia, as old translations tend to be considered high-quality, classic. People do not feel any need to have new translations, and it was also prompted by the fact that censorship abolition resulted in publishing not only uncensored adequate translations, but also inadequate dilettantish ones (Rudnytska 2013).

The same attitude is typical of Russian-speaking citizens of Eastern Ukraine. They prefer to read world literature in Soviet translations, unaware of ideologically motivated asymmetry of these translations, which will be analyzed further. Examination of empirical data is based on works of modern American and British authors (J. Galsworthy, E. Hemingway, J. Reed, H. Wells, M.A. Wilson).


Objectives of Soviet Censorship in Literary Translation

Soviet censorship appeared soon after the October revolution of 1917 and was imposed through special state organs – The Central Authority on Literature and Publishing (Holovlit) and The Central Repertoire Committee (Holovrepertkom), as well as through the Soviet party structures. This system existed till the 1990s[2]. According to the Statute on The Central Authority on Literature and Publishing, the major tasks of Holovlit included prohibiting literary works that agitated against Soviet power and disturbed public opinion (Goriaeva 2002, 134).

Fortunately, prohibition of all famous literary works that contradicted the dominating ideology could not be hidden and would later bring strong critique from the West. This factor was taken into consideration both by the Communist ideologists and publishers, and major works of world literature were published after being censored. All fragments contradicting the Soviet ideology were either substituted or omitted (it could be a word, a word combination, a stylistic device, a sentence or a bigger text fragment). Besides, some genres were forbidden, e.g. erotic literature or detective stories (the latter were condemned by Maxim Gorky in 1920s and started being translated and published in the USSR mainly after 1960).

Thematic Types of Ideologically Motivated Text Distortions

Analysis of annual lists of literary translations in the Book Yearly of the USSR (Ezhegodnik Knigi SSSR)[3]shows that the Soviet ideologues formed a special canon of world literature for their compatriots. The criteria for including literary works in the canon were not only their artistic values but (first of all) ideological motivated propriety of the texts. To make the literary works serve the Soviet ideology, censorship was widely used – political and puritanical. Political censoring of translated literature provided the “right interpretation” and was aimed at excision of 1) criticism of the Soviet ideology, current policy, economy and all spheres of life in the USSR and 2) positive information about the so-called “bourgeois society” and “class enemies”.

Criticism of the Soviet ideology by Western authors was unacceptable; fragments of literary texts containing such criticism were either excised or manipulated. For example, in E. Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls General Golz tells Robert Jordan:

“You never think about only girls. I never think at all. Why should I? I am a real Sovietique. I never think. Do not try to trap me into thinking” (Hemingway 1995, 10).

Translators N. Volzhina and E. Kalashnikova introduced numerous alterations to hide the critique of Soviet people unable (not allowed) to think; the meaning is completely altered:

Вы думаете не только о девушках, а и о многом другом. А я вообще ни о чем таком не думаю. На что мне?[4] (Hemingway 2006, 23). Instead, there appears a positive image of the Soviet general, concentrated on performing his duty.

Political repressions – an integral part of the Soviet totalitarian policy – were a forbidden theme in the USSR. Excisions were widely employed in translations of works by foreign authors, who dared to mention repressions in the Soviet Union. E. Hemingway in his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls emphasizes the mass character of political repressions:

“I thought that you did not believe in political assassination”.

“It is practiced very extensively,” Karkov said. “Very, very extensively» (Hemingway 1995, 244).

This part of the dialogue is omitted in the Russian translation. In the next fragment the author hints at the same processes and mentions that Kashkin was working something during the Spanish civil war:

“There was something wrong with Kashkin evidently and he was working it out in Spain. They would not tell him what it was but maybe they would now that he was dead” (Hemingway 1995, 232). The sentences were omitted in the translation.

Ideologically motivated adaption can be seen not only in translated works, criticizing the communist ideology and life in the USSR, but also in works by authors who supported the Soviets. For example, J. Reed’s Ten Days That Shook the World (1919) is written with great sympathy to the young state, but the translation is adapted ideologically to romanticize the October revolution. The following fragment depicts actions of peasants who killed landowners and famine in cities:

“The peasants of Tambov and Tver Governments, tired of waiting for the land, exasperated by the repressive measures of the Government, were burning manor-houses and massacring land-owners.  in the big cities there was no bread[5](Reed 2011, 25).

Intranslationthelexeme‘massacrеisreplacedwithгромили (raided), substituting the meaning of cruel bloodshed by mentioning peasants’ aggression against land-owners. Nobreadisreplacedwithне хватало хлеба’ (notenoughbread)В Тамбовской и Тверской губерниях крестьяне, уставшие ждать земли, доведенные до отчаяния репрессивными мерами правительства, жгли усадьбы и громили помещиков. ()...вкрупныхгородскихцентрахнехваталохлеба[6](Reed 1957, 40)


“On the platform the presidium rose and made place for the Peasants’ presidium, the two embracing; behind them the two banners were intertwined against the white wall, over the empty frame from which the Tsar’s picture had been torn” (Reed 2011, 225).

“Президиум встал, дал место крестьянскому президиуму и встретил его объятиями. За возвышением, на белой стене, над пустой рамой, из которой был вырезан царский портрет, красовалось два знамени”[7](Reed 1957, 302). Theauthordescribesleftpoliticalforcesunitingwithpeasantsonthebackgroundofanemptyframe; inthetranslation‘torn’isreplacedby neutral ‘вырезан (cut out). This verb is also moved from a strong (final) position, which is given to the noun ‘знамя (banner). Besides, the translator substitutes ‘the two embracing’ with ‘(президиум) встретилегообъятиями ((the presidium) met it with open arms) thus emphasizing the communists’ leading position.

The novel Meeting at a Far Meridian by Mitchell A. Wilson also reflects the author’s positive attitude towards the USSR, where he was considered one of the most prominent American writers despite his modest literary reputation in the USA. Wilson’s only three novels were full of sympathy for the Soviet people (he calls them Russians), and the novels were popularized in the USSR and published regularly, but after censors’ altering all fragments that characterized the Soviet state in a negative light. For example, Wilson’s protagonist says about a delegation Soviet scientists:

“Maybe they’ve been ordered home’, said London. ‘Too much America” (Wilson 1961, 29).

The Russian translation seems to be very close to the original:

Может быть, им велено возвращаться домой, – сказал Лондон. – Довольно с них Америки[8] (Wilson 1961, 44). However, translation of ‘they’ve been ordered’ as ‘им велено (they’ve been told) allows to soften the impression and to omit the implication of the Soviet state’s military character.

The American scientist’s neutral statement “Anyone at home who thinks these people are simply dying for the chance to live as we do – within our framework – is out of his mind” (Wilson 1961, 86) has been modified in the translation: У нас многие думают, что все эти люди мечтают жить, как живем мы, по нашей системе, но это нелепое заблуждение[9] (Vilson 1961, 84). Replacing ‘аnyone’ with ‘многие (many) and adding ‘все (all) creates a wrong impression that many US citizens believe that all Soviets are eager to live in the capitalist state. This adaptation of the translation enhances the impression that, unlike the Soviet people, Americans have no access to adequate information and their image of the USSR is heavily distorted by anti-Soviet propaganda.

Actually, all texts by Western authors, describing westerners’ attitude to the Soviets have attracted Soviet censors’ attention. J. Reed in his Ten Days That Shook the World comments on communist ideas and actions very positively and writes of proletariat’s great anticipation: “A great idea has triumphed. The West, and America, expected from Russia, from the Russian proletariat, something tremendous…. The proletariat of the world is waiting for the Russian Revolution, waiting for the great things that it is accomplishing….” (Reed 2011, 196).

In the Russian translation A. Romm enhances the importance of the Bolshevik revolution: Великая идея восторжествовала. Запад и Америка давно ожидали от России, от русского пролетариата, чего-то необычайного и потрясающего… Мировой пролетариат давно ждал русской революции, давно ждал великих дел, ныне осуществляемых ею…[10] (Reed 1957, 301).

This translation contains a grammatical change: the present tense (‘is waiting’) has been substituted with the past (ждал); the word ‘давно’ has been introduced thrice; ‘something tremendous’has been broadened into ‘чего-тонеобычайногоипотрясающего. Asaresult, theimportanceoftheanticipatedchangeshasbeenenhanced.

Another theme always censored in Soviet translations was criticism of ideological and party leaders of the USSR. Neither direct criticism nor satirical description or irony was permitted. H. Wells in his Russia in the Shadows (1919) treats Soviet idols – Marx and Lenin – without any awe, typical for the Soviet discourse. The writer calls the former “a Bore of the extremest sort” (Wells 2012, 67) and the latter “the dreamer in the Kremlin” (Wells 2012, 135). Wells emphasizes the negative attitude to Karl Marx with the help of capitalization and the superlative degree. This grammatical form is preserved in the translation but the noun ‘bore’ is replaced with ‘личность (personality) that neutralizes the negative connotation: “Я всегда считал его скучнейшей личностью[11] (Wells 1964, 87).

Unlike Marx, Lenin’s image is rather positive in the original. Calling Lenin a dreamer, Wells at the same time mentions his cleverness, good education, energy and persistence. In translation numerous details have been omitted or replaced, e.g.:

a little figure at a great desk in a well-lit room that looked out upon palatial spaces. I thought his desk was rather in a litter” (Wells 2012, 137)

Ленин сидел за огромным письменным столом, заваленным книгами и бумагами”[12] (Wells 1964, 127) (‘littlefigurehasbeenomitted, ‘alitterbecomesзаваленный книгами и бумагами’ (coveredwithbooksandpapers)).

IcannotseeanythingofthesorthappeninginthisdarkcrystalofRussia, butthislittlemanattheKremlincan” (Wells 2012, 139) – “В какое бы волшебное зеркало я ни глядел, я не могу увидеть эту Россию будущего, но невысокий человек в Кремле обладает таким даром[13](Wells 1964, 137).  Lenin – a great man, according to the Soviet ideology, – could not be called ‘little’ so he becomes ‘not tall’; Lenin’s status accounts also for the above mentioned substitution of ‘litter’ (on his desk).

Wells questions the relevance of the proletariat’s dictatorship. Accordingly, analyzing effectiveness of Lenin’s leadership, he uses the word ‘dictatorship’:

This may be necessary for the personal security of Lenin, but it puts him out of reach of Russia, and, what perhaps is more serious, if there is to be an effectual dictatorship, it puts Russia out of his reach” (Wells 2012, 144).

‘Dictatorship’ has been translated as ‘руководство (leadership), and the fragment falls out from the broader context. This change has been caused not only by language asymmetry (difference in word combinability in the two languages), but also ideological motivation: despite the broad use of the term ‘диктатура пролетариата’, ‘диктатор is a Soviet ideologeme with a negative connotation. Its use for denoting Lenin’s status was unacceptable:

 “Возможно, что это и необходимо для личной безопасности Ленина, но это затрудняет живую связь России с ним и что еще важнее с точки зрения эффективности руководства  затрудняет его живую связь с Россией”[14] (Wells 1964, 142).

As Wells gave a true-to-life picture of life in the Soviet Republic, the book was banned in the 1940-s and all copies of the 1922 Russian edition were removed from bookshops and libraries until 1964 (Blium 2008). 

Ideological adaptation was always employed when dealing with positive images of ‘class enemies’ and everything that could be referred to as an ‘apology of bourgeois system, propaganda of capitalistic way of development’ [Yakovlev 2014]. Literary works approving of capitalism and any political system beside the Soviet ‘people’s democracy’ were not published in the USSR. Signs of ideologically motivated asymmetry are present even in translations of works that in the whole criticized the capitalist society. For example, J. Galsworthy in his novel The Man of Property criticizes the upper circles of the British Edwardian society, but in the Russian translation by N. Volzhina all details that can be interpreted positively are either omitted or changed. The following fragment characterizes Soames Forsyte as a typical representative of his society:

“Like the enlightened thousands of his class and generation in this great city of London, who no longer believe in red velvet chairs, and know that groups of modern Italian marble are 'vieux jeu,' Soames Forsyte inhabited a house which did what it could” (Galsworthy 2011, 17). 

Inthetranslationthelexeme‘thousands’hasbeenreplacedwith‘верхушка’ (theupperten): “Как и вся просвещённая верхушка лондонцев одного с ним класса и поколения, уже утратившая веру в красную плюшевую мебель и понимавшая, что итальянские мраморные группы современной работы — просто vieux jeu, Сомс Форсайт жил в таком доме, который мог сам постоять за себя”[15](Galsworthy 1958, 22).

Duetotheabovementionedreplacementthesentenceimpliesthatworthydwellings, aswellaseducation (просвещённая верхушка) are accessible only for London’s upper ten. Substitution of ‘velvet’with ‘плюш (‘plush’or‘velveteen’), typical of cheap Russian interiors, along with use of word combination ‘утратившая веру, are typical Soviet discourse.

Describing a Forsyte’s life, Galsworthy mentions: “Coming upon London twenty years later, he could not have failed to have become a stockbroker, but at the time when he was obliged to select, this great profession had not as yet became the chief glory of the upper-middle class” (Galsworthy 2011, 89).

Thewordchiefisomittedinthetranslation; thusthechiefglorybecomestheonlyone: “Появись он в Лондоне двадцатью годами позже, его не миновала бы профессия маклера, но в то время, когда Суизин должен был сделать окончательный выбор, эта великая профессия ещё не успела увенчать славой класс крупной буржуазии[16](Galsworthy 1958, 96).

This fragment also contains an example of typical for the Soviet translation manipulation of the ideologeme “буржуазия” (‘bourgeoisie’). This ideologeme was widely used in the Soviet discourse and had a very strong negative connotation. Used by Galsworthy neutral ‘middle-class’ is replaced in the translation with the negative for the Soviet readers “буржуазия”, “буржуазный” (‘bourgeoisie’/ ‘bourgeois’) in the descriptions of the British society.   

If a foreign text developed ideas contradicting Soviet ideology, the text could be manipulated by replacing original ideas with contrary ones. Adaptation, aimed at revamping the translation with Soviet ideological maxims, results in total change of meaning of the following fragment of E. Caldwell’s essay from his collection Some American People. Caldwell thinks that large land plots should be cultivated either collectively or individually:

“A far greater step would be the discarding of the landowner, and the cultivation of the large farm on a collective basis, or else the breaking up of larger fertile land into small parcels of intensive cultivation by one or two persons” (Caldwell 1935, 266).

The idea of individual farming contradicted to the policy of collectivization conducted by the communist party, so the translator G. Prokunina introduces a number of changes, and the word combination ‘большим шагом’ (a greater step) is supplemented with the word ‘назад’ (back). The sentence acquires quite the opposite meaning:

“Большим шагом назад была бы разбивка больших плодородных участков для интенсивной обработки двумя или тремя лицами; а еще лучше – отстранить крупных землевладельцев и обрабатывать землю на коллективных началах”[17] (Caldwell 1936, 109).

Translatedtextsalsowereadaptedtodifferentiateclearlybetweentheadvocates of the Soviet regime and class enemies. In the following fragment of Ten Days That Changes the World J. Reed describes the opinion of a foreign professor about the state of the revolution:

“HehadbeeninformedbybusinessmenandintellectualsthattheRevolutionwasslowingdown”(Reed 2011, 23) –В деловых и интеллигентских кругах он наслышался о том, что революция пошла на убыль(Reed 2011, 16).

InA. Rommstranslationtheneutral‘intellectuals’isreplacedwithobviouslynegativein Russian ‘интеллигентские круги, astheirevaluationofthestateoftherevolutiondiffersfromtheBolsheviksopinion; due to the same reason‘hadbeeninformed’is translated asнаслышался, the word that also has a negativeconnotation.

Such adaptation, aimed to create a clear differentiation between ideological allies and enemies, was typical of Soviet discourse. Translators also introduced Soviet clichés into translated texts. When scientists from opposing countries speak amidst the Cold War in Meeting at a Far Meridian M.A. Wilson writes: “… and now it was fairly easy for a man to say, in the rare instance when he had been asked a question that came a little too close to some restricted information, ‘I’m afraid that I can’t discuss that’… All of them, at some point of their careers, had walked arm in arm with the harsh political realities of their time, and so each respected the other’s islands of reticence and responsibility” (Wilson 1961, 146).

The translation renders the meaning of the original fragment, though introduces Soviet clichés:

И теперь человек уже не испытывал чувства неловкости, когда ему вдруг задавали щекотливый вопрос, а спокойно говорил: “Простите, к сожалению, обсуждать эту тему я не уполномочен”… Всем им на протяжении своей научной карьеры не раз приходилось считаться с напряженной политической обстановкой, и каждый относился с уважением к тому, что для его коллеги было “запретной зоной[18] (Wilson 1957, 97). Introduction of the Soviet clichés ‘я не уполномочен (I am not authorized), ‘напряженная политическая обстановка’ (tense political situation), ‘запретная зона’ (prohibited area) typical of Soviet political discourse creates intertextuality between Soviet newspaper articles and the novel by an American writer. Such manipulations can be observed in other translated texts by Western authors (see Sherry 2012); they probably aimed to increase the plausibility of Soviet discourse.

Like political censorship, puritanical censorial intrusion distorted translations of texts containing materials that contradicted the “moral and aesthetic upbringing of a Soviet person; such materials included descriptions of sex, tabooed parts and functions of the human body, vulgarisms. (…) Similar moral or aesthetic defects were omitted in descriptions of characters, positive from the point of view of the Soviet ideology, but were preserved in descriptions of ideological enemies” (Rudnytska 2014c, 67). Thus, puritanical censorship helped create a positive image of the socialist society and enhance the negative image of the “class enemies”.


Totalitarian Heritage

Unlike other European countries having a totalitarian experience, post-Soviet states with a significant number of Russian speakers are still subject to the mediated influence of the totalitarian ideology – through translated literature. All literary works analyzed above still circulate in ideologically manipulated translations. The same can be said about many other popular texts. For example, N. Volzhina and E. Kalashnikova’s translation of E. Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls has over twenty fragments that were either omitted or totally changed on ideological grounds. According to I. Kohans’ka, this text cannot be qualified as a translation, it is only an adaptation: the changes introduced in the translated text to adapt it to the Soviet world-view “deformed not only the contents of some episodes but the artistic imagery of the novel as a whole” (Kohans’ka 2007, 14). Despite that, this translation, first published in 1968, remains the only Russian translation available both in present-day Russia and Ukraine. The censored translation of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (by R. Rait-Kovaliova, 1965) has been published at least thrice during the last decade. The list can be continued and each example proves that readers of Russian translations still have to read foreign literature through the lens of the Soviet ideology.



An examination of empirical data has revealed significant ideologically motivated asymmetry between original texts by Western authors and their Russian translations made within the Soviet period. Numerous changes in translated texts (excisions, omissions, substitutions, and insertions) were made in order to erase ideas contradicting the Soviet ideology and to highlight everything that corresponds with it. In some cases ideologically motivated manipulations resulted in substituting the original meaning of the text with the opposite one.

 Russian-speaking people both in Russia and eastern Ukraine read world literature in Soviet translations, considering them high-quality, classic, “canonical”, and unaware of ideologically motivated asymmetry of these translations. East-Ukrainian schools, colleges and universities also refer to above-mentioned Russian translations of texts within courses of World literature. Ideologically twisted translations help support positive stereotype of the USSR. This ideological influence constitutes one of the numerous factors that caused a pro-Soviet(Russian) position to form among part of the Russian-speaking population in Eastern Ukraine and thus promoted  the conflict in this region. In our opinion, Russian-speaking readers should be provided with new adequate Russian translations of Western literature; educators and cultural workers should be informed of the quality of Russian translations being used now in educational institutions and public libraries. 



Antipovich, Aleksei. 2014. Nostalgiya po SSSR i otdelnym lichnostiam. (Accessed online at:

Blium, Arlen. 2008. “Index librorum prohibitorum zarubezhnyh pisatelei [Index librorum prohibitorum of foregn writers].” Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie 92 (Accessed online at:

Caldwell, Erskine. 1935. Some American People. NY : McBride.

Caldwell, Erskine. 1936. “Amerikanskie liudi [American People].” Internatsional’naia literatura 8-9 : 92-95, 102-109.

Chernetsky, Vitaly. 2011. Nation and Translation : Literary translation and the shaping of modern Ukrainian culture. In Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts : Literary Translation in Eastern Europe and Russia, edited by Brian James Baer.  Amsterdam, Philadelphia : John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Galsworthy, John. 1958. Saga o Forsaitah: Sobstvennik [The Forsyte Saga: The Man of Property]. Moskva : Izvestiya.

Galsworthy, John. 2011. The Forsyte Saga. The Man of Property. London : Headline Publishing Group.

Hatim B., Mason I. 1997. The Translator as Communicator. Lnd., NY : Routledge.

Hemingway, Ernest. 1995. For Whom the Bell Tolls. Scribner Books.

Hemingway, Ernest. 2006. Po kom zvonit kolokol [For Whom the Bell Tolls]. Moskva : Azbuka-Klassika.

Goriaeva T.M. 1997. Istoriya sovetskoi politicheskoi tsenzury. Dokumenty I kommentarii [History of the Soviet political censorship. Documents and commentaries]. Moskva: ROSSPEN.

Kohans’ka, Iryna. 2007. Literaturna reputatsiia romanu E. Heningewiia “Po komu podzvin” d amerykans’komu, rosiys’komu ta ukraiinskomu literaturoznavstvi [Literary reputation of E. Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls in the American, Russian and Ukrainian Literature Studies]. Thesis of Candidate of Sciences. Volodymyr Hnatiuk Pedagogical University of Ternopil.

Lefevere A. 1992. Translation, Rewriting and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. Lnd, NY : Routledge.

Pokorn N.K. 2012. Post-Socialist Translation Practices : ideological struggle in children’s literature. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Reed, John. 1957. Desiat’ dnei, kotorye potriasli mir [Ten Days That Shook the World]. Moscow : Gosudarstvennoe izd-vo politicheskoi literatury.

Reed, John. 2011. Ten Days That Shook the World. Create Space Independent Publishing Platform.

Rudnytska, Nataliia. 2014a. “Antyrelihiyna adaptatsiia rosiyskomovnyh perekladiv u SRSR [Antireligious Adaptation of Russian Translations in the USSR]”. Movni I kontseptual’ni kartyny svitu.

Rudnytska, Nataliia. 2014b. “Manipuliuvannia ideolohemamy u radians’komu perekladi [Ideologemes Manipulating in Soviet Translation]”. Movni I kontseptual’ni kartyny svitu.

Rudnytska, Nataliia. 2014c. “Seksa u nas net”: purytans’ka tsenzura u radianskomu hudozhniomu perekladi [“No sex in the USSR”: Puritanical Censorship in the Soviet Literary Translation]”. Visnyk HNU imeni V.N. Karazina.

Rudnytska, Nataliia. 2013. “Soviet Censorship and Translation in Contemporary Ukraine and Russia.”The Translation Journal17, №2. (Accessed online at:

Rudnytska, Nataliia. 2014d. “Zaboronenitemyradianskohoperekladu[ForbiddenThemesofSovietLiteraryTranslation]”.  Visnyk HNU imeni V.N. Karazina.

Santaemilia, Jose. 2008. “The Translation of Sex-Related Language: The Danger(s) of Self-Censorship(s)”. TTR : traduction, terminologie, redaction  21 (2) : 221-252.

Semenenko, Aleksei. 2011. “No text is an island”. Translating Hamlet in twenty-first-century Russia. In Contexts, Subtexts and Pretexts : Literary Translation in Eastern Europe and Russia, edited by Brian James Baer. Amsterdam, Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Sherry, Samanta. 2012. Censorship in Translation in the Soviet in the Stalin and Khrushchev Eras.  Doctor of Philosophy Thesis. University of Edinburg.

Striha, Maksym. 2006. Ukraiinskyi hudozhniy pereklad: mizh literaturoiu i natsietvorenniam [Ukrainian literary translation: between literature and nation-making]. Кyiv: Fakt.

Venuti, Lawrence. 2008. The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation. 2nd ed. Lnd, NY : Routledge.

Vimr, Ondřej.  2009. “, in this world, I am utterly useless and redundant.” Roles of Translators in Scandinavian-Czech Literary Translation 1890-1950.  In Translation Research Projects 2, edited by Anthony Pym and Alexander Perekrestenko. Tarragona: Intercultural Studies Group.

Vimr, Ondřej. 2011.  “Prescriptive Polysystems, Struggle-free Fields and Burdensome Habitus : Translation paradigm shift in the wake of the February 1948 Communist overthrow in Czekoslovakia”. Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Philologica. № 2.

Wells, Gerbert. 1964. Rossia vo mgle [Russia in the Shadows]. Moskva: Progress.

Wells, Herbert . 2012. Russia in the Shadows. Forgotten Books.

Wilson, Mitchell. 1961. Meeting at a Far Meridian. London : Secker and Warburg.

Wilson, Mitchel. 1961. ‘‘Vstrecha na dalekom meridiane” [Meeting at a Far Meridian]. Inostrannaia literature  1-3 : 37-94, 47-85, 74-162.

Yakovlev, Aleksandr. 2014. Bol’shaia tsenzura [Great Censorship]. (Accessed online at:

[1]For more detailed information, see, for example, Striha (2006) in Ukrainian or the English rendering by Chernetsky (2011).

[2]More detailed analyses of the Soviet system for censoring translated literature are provided by S. Sherry (2012) and N. Rudnytska (2014a, 2014d).

[3]The yearly catalogue of all books published in the Soviet State (1927-1991).

[4][You think not only about girls, but about many other things. I don’t think of anything like that at all. Why should I?] (This and all following back-translations from Russian to English of citations from literary texts are my own).

[5]Here and in the following examples emphasis has been added.

[6][In Tambov and Tver Governments the peasants, tired of waiting for the land, exasperated by the repressive measures of the Government, were burning manor-houses and raiding land-owners. …  in the big cities there was not enough bread].

[7][The presidium rose, made place for the Peasants’ presidium and met it with open arms. Behind the platform on the white wall over the empty frame from which the Tsar’s picture had been cut out there were two banners].

[8] [‘Maybe they’vebeentold to go back home’, said London. ‘They’ve had enough America’].

[9] [Many people here think that all these people dream to live the way we do, according to our system, but it is a ridiculous wrong belief].

[10][A great idea has triumphed. The West, and America, has for a long time expected from Russia, from the Russian proletariat, something extraordinary and tremendous…. The proletariat of the world for a long time has been waiting for the Russian Revolution, for a long time has been waiting for the great things that it is accomplishing now].

[11][I have always considered him a most boring personality].

[12][Lenin was sitting at a great desk coveredwithbooksandpapers].

[13][No matter what magic mirror I would look into, I cannot see this future Russia, but this not tall man at the Kremlin possesses such a gift].

[14][It may be necessary for Lenin’s personal security, but it complicates Russia’s live connection with him and – what is even more important for his effectual leadership – complicates  his live connection with Russia].

[15][Like all upper ten of Londoners of the same class and generation, who no longer believed in red plush furniture, and know that groups of modern Italian marble are 'vieux jeu,' Soames Forsyte inhabited a house which did what it could].

[16][If he had appeared in London twenty years later he would not have escaped becoming a stockbroker, but at the time when Swithin was to make the final choice this great profession had not made the class of big bourgeoisie glorious yet].

[17][The breaking up of larger fertile land into small parcels of intensive cultivation by one or two persons would be a great step back; much better would be the discarding of the landowner, and the cultivation of the large farm on a collective basis]. The example is taken from S. Sherry (2012: 169-170).

[18][And now the man did not feel embarrassed when he had unexpectedly been asked a ticklish question, but calmly said, ‘Sorry I am not authorized to discuss this topic’… All of them, during all their careers, many times had to take into account the tense political situation, and so each respected the things which were a ‘prohibited area’ for his colleague].

Log in

Log in