Review of Brian J. Baer’s “Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature”


My review of Brian James Baer’s book Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature (2016) has just been published online in Target. International Journal of Translation Studies (John Benjamins Publishing Company).

Here is the opening thought:

“Don’t you think that approaching Russian literature from the perspective of a Translation Studies scholar poses the treat of cannibalizing Literary Studies?” This question was put to me earlier this year during an application interview for the post of professor of Russian literature at my university. Although the question was asked a bit tongue-in-cheek, perhaps for the sake of debate rather than to make a point, it is symptomatic of the lingering prejudices against literary translation studies. Sure, the institutionalization of Translation Studies has been achieved, but at the same time translation scholars still tend to be confined within frontiers in the scholarly landscape that they are not always allowed to transgress – quite ironically, since transgression is at the heart of their research topic.”

And here’s the conclusion:

“In addition to being a very well-written volume, Translation and the Making of Modern Russian Literature helps us to envisage new histories of Russian literature, in which translation is rehabilitated in its variety of productive roles.”

What is written in between the opening thought and the conclusion, is available to the current subscribers of Target at

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