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Russia in Britain, 1880-1940From Melodrama to Modernism$
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Rebecca Beasley and Philip Ross Bullock

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199660865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199660865.001.0001

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Reading Russian

Reading Russian

Russian Studies and the Literary Canon

(p.162) 9 Reading Russian
Russia in Britain, 1880-1940

Beasley Rebecca

Oxford University Press

The Russian literary canon for English readers is usually assumed to be the creation of a small number of amateur translators. But what was the role of the growing professional and academic Russian community? This chapter describes and analyses the teaching and learning of Russian language and literature in Britain, focusing primarily on the early years of the twentieth century when the subject was in an intense period of development. The chapter details and contextualises the resources available to those who wanted to learn Russian independently (Russian primers, dictionaries, grammars and parallel texts), and the variety of institutions that provided Russian lessons or other means of learning the language. Drawing on archives, memoirs, contemporary articles and debates, this chapter analyses the political, ideological and cultural forces that determined the mode of teaching devised, the curricula followed and, above all, the literary canons established.

Keywords:   Russian literature, translation, universities, pedagogy, canon formation

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