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Censorship and translated children’s literature in the Soviet Union: The example of the Wizards Oz and Goodwin

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The study of translation and censorship is of particular interest in the context of Russia and the Soviet Union. With the aim of stimulating further discussion, particularly in relation to recent developments in the sociology of translation, this article takes the example of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz (1900) and its adaptation by Alexander Volkov as The Wizard of the Emerald City (Volshebnik izumrudnogo goroda) (1939) in order to explore the relationship between the multiple forces at work in the translation of children’s literature under conditions of censorship. By means of an analysis of the differences between the two texts I conclude that censorship is a complex phenomenon which provides fertile ground for the creative manipulation and appropriation of texts and can be considered as an active participant in the creation of an image of a foreign body of literature and its location in a particular literary field.
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Keywords: Bourdieu; Soviet literature; censorship; children’s literature; sociology of translation; translation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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