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Burns, Robert

Selected Lyrics. Galley Proof of Robert Burns’s first Soviet translation

Selected Lyrics. Galley Proof of Robert Burns’s first Soviet translation

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Illustrated books / Robert Burns / Scottish literature / Translations
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Burns, Robert [Selected Lyrics]. Izbrannaia Lirika.

Translated from English by T. Shchepkina-Kupernik.
Editing, preface, and comments by S. Babukh.
Vignettes by G. Berendgof.

Moskva, Gosudarstvennoe izdatelstvo "Khudozhestvennaia literatura", 1936.
12mo, 159, [1] pp.

In owner’s hardback. Technical editor’s marks and stamps (dated on 23 March 1936).
In good condition, lightly rubbed, small tears and losses around the edges of some pages, margins close cut with occasional loss of catch-letters and words (mostly affecting preface text), spotting to pages, some text cut out from p. 51-52 and p. 69–70. Vignettes were cut from a leaves with proof illustrations and were pasted onto pages (several vignettes are now missing). Leaf with Hieronymus Lorm’s verses is attached to the book.

This copy was signed by a “technical editor” (Soviet term for a proofreader) A. Tcyppo. According to proofreader’s stamps, it is dated on March 23rd and the book of poems was signed for print on April 5th, 1936.
Robert Burns (1759–1796) is widely regarded as one of the most renowned foreign poets in Russia. His poems have been republished numerous times and have sold millions of copies. In addition, Russian versions of his songs can be heard in popular films, on television, and on the radio. The first Russian translations of Burns’ poems were published at the beginning of the 19th century and had an influence on Alexander Pushkin, Russia’s greatest poet. Pushkin even had a copy of "The Poetical Works of Robert Burns" (2 vol., 1829) in his personal library.
After the Russian Revolution, Burns, considered a “peasant poet,” was intended to be translated and published by Maxim Gorky’s publishing house "Vsemirnaia literatura"(World Literature). However, the first Russian translation of Burns’ poems in the USSR only appeared in 1936.
This collection of 74 poems by Robert Burns was prepared by Tatiana Shchepkina-Kupernik (1874–1952), a prominent translator of Byron, Shakespeare, Carroll, and Lope de Vega. It was issued 11 years prior to the most famous Soviet translator and “Russian father” of Burns, Samuil Marshak, releasing his own versions of Burns’ poems and epigrams. Shchepkina-Kupernik’s book became the largest collection of Burns’ poems translated by a single author in Russia. The translator included various genres of Burns’ poetry, such as political satire, love lyrics, songs, and ballads. She also translated poems that had never been introduced to Russian readers before, including Burns’ famous satire "Holy Willie’s Prayer" and "A Poet’s Welcome to his Love-begotten Daughter."
However, only a few of these translations have been reprinted, and this happened in 2003 only as part of the anthology Scottish Poetry.

OCLC locates three copies of 1936 edition: in the National Library of Scotland, the University of South Carolina and the New York Public Library.

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