Feats of Agreeable Usefulness:
Translations by Russian Women 1763-1825
Aus dem Vorwort: The work of Russian women translators in the eighteenth century is important to Russian literary and social history for two reasons. Firstly, it represents a particular aspect of the cultural transfer which played a major role in social, intellectual, and literary life. Peter I’s programme for modernising Russia by opening it to the West gave unprecedented importance to the dissemination of knowledge and ideas through the printing of books, the learning and use of foreign languages, and the translation of Western texts. Upper-class Russians became increasingly bilingual, and foreign texts became familiar in the original, in translation, and as the basis of Russian imitations. Translations familiarised Russians with the science, thought, arts, morals, and lifestyle of other parts of Europe, both past and present, compensating for the long period of cultural separation.