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Ilukirjanduse t lked 20. sajandi esimese poole Eesti ja Soome raamatutoodangus (1900–1940) / Translations of Belles-Lettres in the Book Production of Estonia and Finland during the First Half of the 20th Century (1900–1940)

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Abstract:

The article presents statistical data on the publications of belles-lettres in Estonia in 1900–1940 – a period when the country developed into a modern European society and gained independence. The topic is treated in the context of book history, which uses publishing statistics to provide a broader context for individual case studies. The research on the quantity and share of translated literature in book production comes close to the statisticalsociological approach in translation history, characterised by Peeter Torop as one of the aspects of the study of translation culture. The statistical indicators have been elaborated on the basis of retrospective bibliographies and on the data, obtained from National Library of Estonia. The analysis includes the share of belles-lettres in book production, the balance of original works and translations, the changes in the quantity of translations during different decades and the share of source literatures. The Estonian statistics have been presented in comparison with corresponding data from Finland, which has been published in the collective monograph on Finnish translation history, issued in 2007. As the Finnish data is organized by decades, the same principle is used for statistics on Estonia. This approach corresponds generally to the political history of the two countries – both belonged to the Russian Empire during the first two decades of the 20th century and existed as independent states during the following two decades. Both nations had passed through the first stage in the development of literary culture, characterised by extensive publication of adaptations and free translations by the beginning of the century. Thus the share of original works started to increase and slightly exceeded the share of translations in E stonia as well as in Finland. The selection of translated works in both countries was varied and their level was unstable. Despite the longstanding plans of developing translation culture in Finland, the choice of works was influenced by international acclaime and the activitiy of translators. The immaturity of Estonian publishing manifested itself, among other things, as inadeaquate paratexts of the translations. Due to the differences in historical development and cultural background, the structure of source literature s of translated belle s-let tre s in the two countrie s dif fered in many ways – translating from the English language increased considerably in Finland, fending the traditional German and Scandinavian domination. The importance of translations o

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