Russian Language Journal


literary traditions, technique, translation, Russian


Two years before his death, Mikhail Gasparov (1935-2005) published his “Ėksperimental’nye perevody” (2003, “Experimental Translations,” or ETs), an anthology of translated works by authors from different time periods and literary traditions. The ETs are experimental in many ways: in some of his condensed translations, Gasparov shortens the originals drastically, in some cases by 80 percent. However, the ETs are not only experimental due to Gasparov’s new “technique of translation,” but also thanks to the choice of the originals to be translated. In addition to Hölderlin and Kavafis, Gasparov translates Pushkin and Lermontov from Russian to Russian, shortening and paraphrasing them beyond recognition.