Unit 7 Assignment 1 – Kade McCulloch

My group came to the unanimous conclusion that translation of Akhmatova’s Requiem done by Anderson was a better overall translation than the one constructed by Thomas. These two translations were strikingly different and oftentimes conveyed different meaning of particular sections of the poem. While Thomas’s translation is more straightforward and to the point, Anderson’s is much more poetic in nature, as it conforms to the conventions of poetry by rhyming and conveying strong emotions through words. These conventions of poetry made Anderson’s translation much more powerful in relaying the meaning of the poem. We inferred that the Thomas translation was more of a direct translation of the original poem. However, as we learned during the translation panel during Robb’s unit on conceptual schemes, we can never truly decipher which translation is more “correct.” One argument against both of these translations is that there are many colloquial phrases and expressions in Russian that do not have an explicit meaning in English. Thus, this illuminates the limitations of the reproduction of a foreign work in conveying the original intended meaning.

!: It is interesting that poets continued to produce work that put them in a dangerous position due to the communist government’s tough crackdown on political dissent.

?: What purpose did writing serve when it could not be published or shared with a larger audience during the time of Stalin’s terror? Did it serve a “revolutionary” means or was it simply a manner for coping with an individual’s struggles?

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