Cathy McAteer on Translating Great Russian Literature: The Penguin Russian Classics

The Society for Co-operation in Russian and Soviet Studies (SCRSS) presents Dr Cathy McAteer who will talk about her new, freely downloadable book Translating Great Russian Literature. It draws on her doctoral research of the Penguin archive to reveal key publishing and translation practices behind Penguin’s relaunch of the Russian Classics during the mid-20th century. She will explore the ways in which Penguin’s founder Allen Lane, the series editor EV Rieu, copy editor ASB Glover, and a new cohort of commissioned translators (Gilbert Gardiner, Elisaveta Fen, David Magarshack, and Rosemary Edmonds) brought classic Russian authors – Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Pushkin, Goncharov, Turgenev, Lermontov and more – to a self-improving, inquisitive, post-war British reader, and subsequently paved the way for Soviet literature in translation.

Cathy McAteer @SCRSS

The lecture will be held using the Zoom online conferencing tool.

Dr Cathy McAteer is Postdoctoral Fellow on the ‘Dark Side of Translation’ project ( at the University of Exeter. Her main research interests lie in the field of classic Russian literature in English translation during the 20th century, using archival material to shed light on the people and processes behind historical commissions, specifically Penguin’s Russian Classics. Her academic monograph, Translating Great Russian Literature: The Penguin Russian Classics, was published by Routledge as Open Access in 2021. Dr McAteer is currently researching the private, archived papers of 20th-century female translators of Russian literature as the basis for her next publication.


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