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Looking for a quotation about translations by Gogol
Thread poster: Stephanie Wloch

Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:53
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Dec 30, 2004

Hi everybody,
don't know if this is the right place.
I am searching for a quotation by Gogol.
I've heard it lately during a congress on quality assurance.
Something with a glass plate.
It was very striking, so I thought it to be famous and easily find on the web.
But yet I didn't find it.

Anyone who knows it or got an idea how to find it?

Happy New Year to all Prozians!!

Stephanie Wloch


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evgeniya
English to Russian
Gogol Dec 30, 2004

Stephanie, try to remember what esle was there in the quotation. I study Russian literature and I will try to help you. Are these the Gogol's words?

Best, Evgeniya


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David Brown  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 18:53
Spanish to English
Gogol Dec 30, 2004

Tuliparola wrote:

I am searching for a quotation by Gogol.
I've heard it lately during a congress on quality assurance.
Something with a glass plate.
Stephanie Wloch

Provincial Dinner with Nikolay Gogol (Death Souls). ... in refilling his brother-in-law's glass, to contrive to upset his (Chichikov's) glass over his plate. ...
www.russianfoods.com/cuisine/_citation00007/default.asp - 35k - 28 Dec 2004
This might help...but quality assurance...


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Bruno Piatti  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:53
English to Italian
My 5 cents... Dec 30, 2004

I don't know if this is the sentence:

It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry

anyway, these are a couple of Web sites with many Quotations:
http://en.thinkexist.com/

http://www.quotationspage.com

Ciao
Bruno


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Joeri Van Liefferinge  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 18:53
Member (2002)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Is this what you are looking for? Dec 30, 2004

It is no use to blame the looking glass if your face is awry.
Nikolai Gogol (1809 - 1852), 1836

HTH

Joeri


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:53
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
TOPIC STARTER
Specific quote about translators Dec 30, 2004

Lovely surprise, so many answers already!

As far as I remember its a quote about translators.
Are there any quotations by Gogol which contain
the word "translator"?
More specific something about visibility.

I don't hope that I've mixed up something,
cause I couldnt keep up the speedy speaker.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:53
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
I think I know which quote is meant Dec 30, 2004

Tuliparola wrote:
As far as I remember its a quote about translators.


The quote was not from his books, but from his correspondence.
I can't remember the exact wording, but the meaning was the following:

"Despite the common belief that a good translation has to be like a perfectly transparent windowpane, a truly great translation is always like a real window, with its small specks and defects"

In other words, truly great translators are always felt in their translations, and they are never like a perfectly clean and transparent glass.

Hope it helps a bit -- and Happy New Year, everybody!

[Edited at 2004-12-30 12:18]


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:53
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
I remembered where I've read it Dec 30, 2004

A couple of years ago I've read the quote in Abram Terts' essay "In the Shadow of Gogol".

Abram Terts was the pseudonym of Andrei Siniavskii (Sinyavsky), a famous Russian literary critic, author and dissident who lived in France after 7 year political imprisonment in the USSR.


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:53
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
TOPIC STARTER
truly great translators are always felt in their translations, Dec 30, 2004

Yes, Kirill, thank you very much.
The quintessence is definitely the one which I
was looking for. So maybe the quote is not
from Gogol himself, but Andrei Siniavskii (Sinyavsky)alias Abram Terts (Tertz)?

Seems to be quite an interesting essay, but if google with the
title, I cannot find it as/in a publication available nowadays.

Very Happy New Year for you Kirill and
all the Ukrainian People and let's hope
that there will be no more political prisoners in 2005!

Stephanie

P.S. Recently on German telly there a lots of documentaries
about former Russian states and there is a liveley interest in how people live in the Ukraine.


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Kirill Semenov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 19:53
Member (2004)
English to Russian
+ ...
Dear Stephanie :) Dec 30, 2004

Tuliparola wrote:
So maybe the quote is not
from Gogol himself, but Andrei Siniavskii (Sinyavsky)alias Abram Terts (Tertz)?


No, I'm sure that the words are Gogol's, he wrote it in some of his personal letters to a friend, and Siniavsky just quoted them.

After my browsing through Google I found some reference on the essay, but not on the translated text itself, unfortunately. Two years ago I borrowed Abram Terts' book from someone to read and then I gave it back to the person, so I do not have it at hand anymore. Moreover, I can't even remember who was that person.

Thank you very much -- and kind regards from Ukraine!


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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:53
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
not like a crystal... Dec 30, 2004

That sounds uncannily like the quote I choose for the home page of my website (www.europeantranslation.net):
"A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in colour and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used..." by Oliver Wendell Holmes.


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