Fedor Sologub in English-Language Anthologies: 1915-1950

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The history of the reception of the Russian Symbolist movement in English begins in the 1890s. Readers in Great Britain and the United States could read about the Russian Symbolist Fedor Sologub long before any of his works were translated into English. During World War I and a parallel wave of interest in Russia, Sologub is one of the most popular Russian writers in the English-speaking world. Some of his poetry and prose works are translated into English and during the years 1915-1950 are included in no fewer than 28 Englishlanguage anthologies. During the first years of this period, almost all of his prose that is accessible to English readers is selected and translated by two translators, John Cournos and Stephen Graham. His poetry, on the other hand, is selected and translated by several translators over the course of this entire period. Anthologies with works by Sologub appear in two main waves: from 1915 until the middle of the 1920s, and in the 1940s after the outbreak of WWII. These anthologies demonstrate how Sologub was presented to English-speaking audiences during these years. This article examines English-language anthologies from this period, comparing what, if anything, is said about Sologub in their introductions to the works by Sologub they include. Some presented him as the quintessential decadent, while others tried to show the various sides of Sologub’s works. It is often the case in anthologies that the opinions of Sologub presented by editors are not supported by the works by Sologub these same editors selected for inclusion. The article ends with three bibliographical appendices listing Sologub’s anthologized poetry and prose and the anthologies that included them.

About the authors

Jason Merrill

Michigan State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: merril25@msu.edu
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0753-813X

Ph.D., Professor of Russian

619 Red Cedar Rd., East Lansing, Michigan, 48864, USA


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