Fönstret mot öster : Rysk skönlitteratur i svensk översättning 1797–2010, med en fallstudie av Nikolaj Gogols svenska mottagande

Sammanfattning: The Window to the East. Russian Literature in Swedish Translation 1797-2010, with a Case Study of the Swedish Reception of Nikolay GogolThis thesis examines the translation of Russian literature into Swedish 1797-2010, focusing on the relationship between translations and target culture images of the source culture. The main attention is on the situation in Sweden proper, but the analysis also includes Swedish translations and comments about Russian literature in Finland. Swedish and Western images of Russia are discussed in relation to perspectives from translation studies (Even-Zohar, Lévy, Lindqvist, Toury and others) regarding translation norms. Postcolonial theory (Delanty, Malia, Pickering and others) is combined with dialogical perspectives (Bakhtin, Kleberg) which put the translated literature in relation to Swedish stereotypes of Russia and the Swedish self-image, but also to a more dynamic interest in the translated literature as a complement to source culture literature. Four major translation norms are suggested to have influenced the Swedish reception of Russian literature: cognitive norms (that stress the informative and representative aspects of the source literature), universalistic norms (that stress its universal values), target culture oriented norms (that are governed by internal factors in the target culture), and transnational literary norms.The analysis is carried out on three levels: selection, reception and text. The most extensive part of the thesis is a general history of Russian literature translated into Swedish with a discussion of social, economic, philosophical and political processes that have influenced the changing selections that have been made. In the next part, the subject is the Swedish reception of the works of Nikolay Gogol from the mid-19th century until today. Here, Gogol’s Swedish paratext is analyzed and related341to the question of realism in his works and to images of Russianness and Russian literature in Sweden. In a concluding part, the five Swedish translations of Gogol’s Dead Souls are examined.Especially before 1917, but also later, a cognitive approach to the source literature and negative, politicized ideas of Russia have influenced the selections of Russian literature, the reception of Gogol and the translations of his works. During the 20th century there is a gradual shift from the cognitive norms to a more universalistic interest in the source literature in Sweden, especially thanks to the dominant position of the Russian classics.