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Chukovsky was a school student, teaching himself English from dictionaries, old newspapers, and whatever he could buy from sailors.What were the chances that on that particular day, for that particular school-kid, the sailor would bring He was surprised to learn from his friends abroad that in Europe his own work was often compared to Whitman’s, and conceded to give the book a second chance. ” but that single sheet remained the full extent of his interest in Whitman.
In October of the same year, Tolstoy noted, “There is much that is blown-up, empty, but I did find some good things this time.” too, and penned down a draft translation of “Beat! Whitman needed not a mere celebrity endorsement, not just an appreciative aesthete, but a lover in Russia; a passionate, devoted reader who would accept him without judgment.
Before Chukovsky could have the luxury of spending years on his eleven editions of Whitman’s poetry, somebody else had to discover Whitman.
They feel for many people, blend their souls with all creatures, make their minds present in the past, present and future.
If they are sensitive at all, the great epochs of change and reformation especially attract their imagination and having charmed them magnetically, such times send omens into the poets’ work, throw upon their writing flashes of their coming fires, the first blazes of their pearly and scarlet, tender and ferocious dawn.
How does Whitman incorporate current events into his poetry? What, in Whitman’s view, is the function of poetry? Describe Whitman’s account of his development as a poet.
Walt Whitman’s influence on the creative output of 20th-century Russia — particularly in the years surrounding the 1917 Revolution — was enormous.This symbolist treatment was supported by Balmont’s main venue at the time — the influential literary almanac Balmont’s own position as an important symbolist poet and translator had long been secure.His apologia for Whitman as a cosmic, universal prophet of new order could not have reached a more grateful audience than that of Russian students and intellectuals who were being wooed by the ideas of a universal, sweeping revolution that would propel their country into the front ranks of the new century’s democracies.Chukovsky’s own poetic sensibilities can best be characterized as avant-gardist; this is considered by biographers one of the reasons for which Chukovsky’s talent as a poet was conscribed to children’s verse in the Soviet era.Unlike Balmont, who had an intuitive — and brilliant — affinity for complexly metered, if not necessarily rhymed, verse, Chukovsky’s ear was more rhythmically tuned.For the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, Nina Murray looks at the translators through which Russians experienced his work, not only in a literary sense — through the efforts of Konstantin Balmont and Kornei Chukovsky — but also artistic, in the avant-garde printmaking of Vera Ermolaeva.t the core of any translation venture, at the nucleus that shapes all its qualities, lies an often random and routine event — an individual’s encounter with a text.As if determined to make his words a self-fulfilling prophecy, Balmont enslaved himself to the original text, like a desperate lover.He crafted translations that were so accurate in their mimicry of Whitman’s sentence and line structure that they were faithful to a fault (the clumsiest examples include “The Bravest Soldiers” turned into [shared], the first meaning of “common” in Russian). Balmont’s reinterpretation of Whitman in his translations and criticism involved a full-scale reimagining of Whitman and his work in visionary terms, the terms of poetic myth.As desperate lovers are wont to do, Balmont also projected his own glorified vision of Whitman as an icon of a new world onto Whitman’s work. For Whitman to sound as a prophet, however, his had to be the language of revelation: biblically self-referential, intentionally vague yet containing enough clues to suggest a hidden grand scheme.As Martin Bidney noted in his excellent essay “Leviathan, Yggdrasil, Earth Titan, Eagle: Balmont’s Reimagining of Walt Whitman”, [I]n presenting the American sage to the Russian public Balmont shaped both the Whitman persona and the form of its utterances according to his own style of writing, his own mode of vision, both in verse and prose. Thus, Balmont felt compelled to infuse the language of his translations with coded significance, over-using repetition, narrowing synonymic rows to one or two “key” words — as if beyond Whitman’s catalogues there lay another reality, to be summoned by rites and incantations, by repeating lines until meaning peeled away and only the ritual remained.