NEW BOOK: Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow
This month marks the publication of the first new English translation in over sixty years of a clandestine Russian classic, Alexander Radishchev’s Journey from St Petersburg to Russia (1790). The new translation with an Introduction is by Andrew Kahn and his collaborator, Professor Irina Reyfman of Columbia University.
The Journey, widely regarded as a linguistically difficult work, is one of the most important pieces of writing to come out of Enlightenment Russia. The fate of the book and the author also became one of the great causes célèbres of Russian imperial history when Catherine the Great banned the book and exiled the author.
Radishchev is perhaps the first in a long line of writer dissenters, including the likes of Herzen, Tertz, and even Solzhenitsyn, to create a special literary vehicle and idiom for their subversive message. The translation is currently a featured work in Columbia University Press’s Translation Month.
More about the message of the book and the challenge of translation can be found at this blog.