The French influence in the early Dutch reception of F.M. Dostoevskys Bratja KaramazovyThe French influence in the early Dutch reception of F.M. Dostoevskys Bratja Karamazovy
Faculty of Arts. Translators and Interpreters
Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies (TriCs)
Babel : revue internationale de la traduction. - Avignon
55(2009):3, p. 264-284
The present article focuses on De gebroeders Karamazow (1913), the first Dutch translation of F. M. Dostoevsky's novel Brat'ja Karamazovy (The Brothers Karamazov). More specifically, it deals with the French influence in the early Dutch reception of this novel. The introduction consists of a brief comparison of the German, French and Dutch early reception of Dostoevsky, which shows that before the First World War the Dutch and the Flemish were marked by a lack of enthusiasm toward the Russian writer. Further, De gebroeders Karamazow is analyzed as an amalgam of two polemical French translations. The most remarkable narrative shifts of the Dutch translation vis-à-vis the Russian source text are illustratively discussed. These shifts are mainly situated in its epilogue, more than half of which was invented by the first French translators of Brat'ja Karamazovy. In the third part, the focus moves to the motives underlying the translation strategy adopted by the first French translators of the Russian text. Finally, an attempt is made to explain the particular nature of De gebroeders Karamazow by shedding a light on the early French reception of Brat'ja Karamazovy, which substantially contributed to the Dutch reticence toward Dostoevsky in general and his last masterpiece in particular.