I went to the Donnell again and this time found fewer pickings—but I was glad to discover A.V. Fedorov’s Vvedenie v teoriyu perevoda [Introduction to the theory of translation] (Moskva, 1953) for 25 cents. As soon as I saw the date I knew what I would find, and sure enough, the Foreword begins: “Questions of translation, linked in the closest fashion on the one hand with the disciplines of scientific linguistics—general linguistics, lexicology, grammar, and the stylistics of separate languages, and on the other with the history and theory of literature and the wide field of historical and philosophical sciences, can be fruitfully decided only in the light and on the basis of the works of I.V. Stalin on linguistics.” Chapter One, after a quick couple of paragraphs of groundwork, gets down to business: a quote from Marx and Engels (“Language is as old as consciousness”), a quote from Lenin (“Language is the most valuable means of human intercourse [obshchenie]”), and an entire paragraph by the Great Leader and Teacher (language as tool—I can’t bring myself to translate the whole gobbet of verbiage). But the book isn’t valuable only as a curiosity; it’s got lots of bilingual passages, with detailed discussion of the problems involved. I just wonder how quickly a revised edition came out after Stalin died that very year.


  1. Wow! What a find!

  2. Now you should point out to me directly where to look. I did went on Tues to that back room and didn’t find even one, but one book in Russian in the foreign languages corner. Although in hardcopy category found great translations of Russian folk tales (a whooping $1.00)with beautiful illustrations (Renee, you’d love it!) and other oddities, but in translation to English.

  3. As you get off the elevator on the third floor, there’s a cart right in front and to the right that usually has Russian books; the shelves are also sale books, and there are often Russian books in there as well. The mix varies, there’s always a lot of popular crap (shoot-em-up and romance novels), but there’s usually something worth buying.

  4. Ah, my impatience again! Didn’t occur to me to come UP to the 3rd.
    Тысяча благодарностей, LH.
    As a small token, &c, here’s an interesting link for very contemporary writings in Russian in LJ

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