Greek Compounds in Russian Translation of Aeschylus’ Tragedies by Vyacheslav Ivanov

Vyacheslav Ivanov, well-known as a Russian Symbolist poet, in the first quarter of the 20th century, translated six Aeschylus’ tragedies (four of them in full and two partially). Ivanov’s contemporaries and scholars who are studying his poetical works repeatedly highlight the large number of compound words — often daring and sophisticated — as one of the main characteristics of his individual poetical style. The same characteristic can be found in his translations of Aeschylus: unlike other Russian translators of Aeschylus (both his predecessors and those who did it later), Ivanov generously filled the text with the large number of compound adjectives, nouns and adverbs. This may reflect his translation strategies and his conception of Aeschylean style which he tried to render in the Russian translation. The majority of compounds in his translation reflects somehow the Greek text: first, he tried to render Greek compounds by using already existing Russian compounds (including loan translations from Greek), by making new words or by picking up the most suitable one for a particular Greek compound. Second, in some cases he used Russian compounds to translate phrases and oneroot adjectives. Of particular interest are such compounds which were added into the Russian text by Ivanov himself. The article analyzes some compounds in the Russian translation in comparison to their Greek equivalents and word-formation models in two languages. The Appendix contains a list of compounds which may become a useful material for further studies.

 Ermakova L. Greek Compounds in Russian Translation of Aeschylus’ Tragedies by Vyacheslav Ivanov