Found in Translation: Vasyl Stus and Rudyard Kipling’s “If”

Roman Veretelnyk

Abstract


Despite a not very complete body of foreign literary texts translated into Ukrainian, and a corresponding lacuna of Ukrainian literary texts translated into foreign languages, some unique Ukrainian translation successes do exist. One example concerns Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” which has enjoyed an exceptionallн varied translation history into Ukrainian. This paper provides a background to the emergence of these translations and investigates how the text has been incorporated into a Ukrainian linguistic and cultural setting through Vasyl Stus’ translation of it. Attention is also paid to long-standing ideological and aesthetic controversies surrounding both Kipling and his poem, as commented on by T.S. Eliot, George Orwell, and Edward Said. Another focus of the paper is on new views on the poem and its translation afforded by approaches of reader-reception theory expressed by Paul de Man and Stanley E. Fish.

Keywords


Rudyard Kipling; “If”; Vasyl Stus; translation; reader-reception theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18523/kmhj73950.2016-3.161-186

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