Friday, May 16, 2008

fixing a date and recording source on a Russian Translation of Whitman

Nina posted news of our new Russian editions going live, and by doing so someone caught an error. We had dated Pionery as 1912; I have now changed it on the site to 1918.

Kelly Miller, in an email to Nina, asks what the source text of Pionery is. In effect, she wants to know where we are getting the page images with the striking illustrations. As Nina notes, it is from my personal copy. This info is, I think, in the TEI header, but it doesn't display by the text anywhere right? And the same is true for the American editions of Leaves. The 1855 we have on the site is the Iowa copy, but unless someone goes into the header that infomation isn't readily available. Would you agree that we should start making more visible a note indicating the source text for the etext and page images? Also, I might point out that our notes on the poetry manuscripts all come at the bottom of the documents. This hasn't been a problem so far because we have mostly been dealing short poetry manuscripts. But when we deal with a Leaves of Grass text, especially the later editions, if the note on the text appears at the end it may never be noticed. It would seem like this information perhaps out to appear on the public site as a headnote rather than a footnote. Again let me know your thoughts, and of course set me right if I've blanked out on something obvious.


----- Forwarded by Kenneth M Price/English/UNL/UNEBR on 05/16/2008 09:34 AM -----
Nina Shevchuk <>
05/16/2008 09:20 AM
To Kelly Elizabeth Miller <> cc Kenneth Price <>
Subject Re: Fwd: [SEELANGS] Russian Translations of Whitman now on the web at Walt Whitman Archive

Dear Kelly --
it's great to hear from you! Thank you so much for getting in touch with us. I would love to get a copy of the catalogue of your exhibit -- I know Dr. Price at the archive, whom I'm copying on this message, would like to see it, too. You can send it to Nina Murray, 1833 Van Dorn, Lincoln, NE 68502.
You are also absolutely right about the date -- I don't know how we ended up with 1912 on the website, it should be 1918. My research indicates the same. I am not on my regular computer right now, but I will send you a link to a great article about one of the artists who worked with Segodnia -- I assume you read Russian?
The images of the book have a bit of a back story. MOMA in New York owns a hand-colored copy, but they were hesitant to release it for imaging, so Dr. Price purchased a copy and that is the book that we imaged. I'll leave it to Dr. Price to volunteer the information about the source. I have also seen this particular book on various antique books auctions in Germany, England, and Russia itself, but I have not seen other Segodnia books. They are certainly great pieces of art! If you are interested, I could send you a copy of my essay on Whitman's reception in Russia that includes a section on Segodnia.



----- Original Message ----
From: Kelly Elizabeth Miller <>
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:02:38 AM
Subject: Fwd: [SEELANGS] Russian Translations of Whitman now on the web at Walt Whitman Archive

Dear Nina,

I read your recent message posted to SEELANGS, and I was very glad to
see that you have obtained digital images of the Russian edition of
Whitman's "Pionery." I had talked with Wesley Raabe a bit about the
fact that we included the book in our recent UVa Library exhibition of
Russian children's books on loan from the private collection of Sasha
Lurye. I could send you a copy of the catalog if you're interested.
"Pionery" was one of the titles included in the exhibition and
catalog. Our research, however, shows that this book was printed no
earlier than 1918. The artel "Segodnia" was formed in that year and
was responsible for the publication of a series of books. Could you
let me know how you arrived at the date of 1912? I would also like to
know how to discover on the archive what the source of the images was.
Who owns the copy of the book that you imaged?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts! This is fascinating stuff.


p.s. I'm copying Wesley on this message.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nina Shevchuk <>
Date: Mon, May 5, 2008 at 10:19 AM
Subject: [SEELANGS] Russian Translations of Whitman now on the web at
Walt Whitman Archive

Dear SEELANGers:

The Walt Whitman Archive is presenting a growing number of
translations of Leaves of Grass and other works of Walt Whitman. We
recently made available two early Russian translations of Whitman,
Konstantin Bal?mont's Pobiegi Travy (1911), and a translation of
Whitman's "Pioneers! O Pioneers!" (1912). Bal?mont's work was
initially contributed to the literary journal Vesy; he later published
Pobiegi Travy as the first book-length translation of Whitman's poems
into Russian. The rare chapbook edition of "Pioneers! O
Pioneers!"—translated by an individual known only by the initials "S.
M."—illustrates the avant-garde mixed-media experimentation that was a
hallmark of post-revolutionary Russian culture. An introduction to
these and other Russian translations is forthcoming. For now, the
Archive makes available Martin Bidney's article "Leviathan,
Yggdrasil, Earth Titan, Eagle: Bal?mont's Reimagining of Walt Whitman"
(reproduced with permission).

The Archive's web format provides easy search through the text as well
as ready connection to the original text. We hope you will explore
this new resource and spread the word to anyone who might be
interested. Other translations are forthcoming.

best wishes,
Nina Shevchuk-Murray and
Walt Whitman Archive staff

Kelly Miller
Assistant to the Deputy University Librarian
Lecturer, Slavic and Art History
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400114
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4114
Phone: 434.243.2184

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