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Tolkien Through Russian Eyes
ISBN 3952142476 / 9783952142479 / 3-9521424-7-6
Publisher Walking Tree Publishers
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Tolkien Through Russian Eyes examines the sociological impact of the translation and publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's works in post-Soviet Russia. After 70 years of obligatory State atheism, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Russian society began actively seeking new sets of spiritual values. The Christian-like doctrine of Tolkienism has attracted a substantial following. During the Soviet era, The Lord of the Rings was a banned book, which was translated independently by a number of underground translators. The result of this is that there are numerous contemporary published translations competing with each other for the reader's attention. There are 10 translations of The Lord of the Rings; 9 translations of The Hobbit and 6 translations of The Silmarillion. Each translator has a slightly different approach to the text. Each translation has a slightly different interpretation of Tolkien. Each translator has a different story to tell. Most of the existing translations are only Tolkienesque, they are not really Tolkienian. They have been adapted to the Russian mental climate. This book relates the history of the publication of Tolkien's works; examines the philosophical distortions introduced by the competing translations, attempts to explain their origins and how they will be perceived by the Russian reader. No knowledge of Russian is necessary. Mr. Hooker's articles on Tolkien have been published in the specialist periodical press in English, in Dutch and in Russian. The results of his research have been presented at a number of conferences, both in the United States and in Holland. [via]