READING DOSTOEVSKY IN ENGLISH AND SHAKESPEARE IN RUSSIAN: A WARNING FROM HAMLET’S FATHER’S GHOST
Associate Professor Chris Thurman, School of Literature, Language and Media, Wits University
How much Shakespeare is there in Dostoevsky – lots, right? But perhaps not as much as English readers would like to think. This lecture is a reminder that translators are not ‘invisible’ and that we should be sceptical about the effects of Shakespeare’s much-touted universality. The focus is on Dostoevsky’s novella Notes from the Underground and on Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. We will explore Shakespearean enthusiasm in Europe and Russia, consider the curious phenomenon of ‘Hamletism’ and do some textual detective work.
Dostoevsky, F. 2001. The Best Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Translated by David Magarshack (1968). New York: Random House. [Or any edition that includes ‘Notes from the Underground’]
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet [Any edition]