Re: [xmca] Paulhan, Volosinov, Mandelstam

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Sat Jun 02 2007 - 08:07:02 PDT

Thanks for the reference to the Willis article, David. It helps a lot to
provide context for recurrent discussions about the sociocultural context in
which the ideas of LSV-ARL-ANL
developed, fractionated (to the extent they did), etc. I will for sure use
it in teaching in the future.

When added to the translations of the Mandelshtam fragment from different
sources provided by various knowledgeable colleagues, the variations are
really striking. A whole
essay could be written just on those few lines. My own favorite is "I
forgot to the word I wanted to say,

and thought, unembodied,

returned to the hall of shadows"

But each translation carries different interpretive potentials to get me to
think again.


PS. Couldn't the "mistranslation" you mention be a typo? As when Gumilov
becomes Gulilov?
PPS-- Does anyone have an english version of the Mandelshtam essay on the
word? Seems more than a little relevant.

On 6/1/07, David Kellogg <> wrote:
> Thanks (again), Anton! I need to use this...I'll put you (very gratefully)
> in the footnotes (I also need to use the tidbit that you gave me on
> Belyayev).
> It's very curious, though; MY edition of the Collected Works (Minick
> translation) clearly DOES have a reference to Mandelstam, by name, in the
> text, under the epigraph, p. 243. When I looked at the website you included,
> yours did too.
> Gumilov is in the notes (p. 384), but you are quite right to point out
> that they are NOT Minick's notes; they are the notes to the Russian edition,
> which is presumably the Russian collected of 1982-1983. So not clear when
> the ref was identified or how.
> Rene van der Veer and Jan Valsiner express mild annoyance at Minick's
> (mis)translation of the Gulilov "Dead words stink" as "dead words sink" (see
> p. 361 of "Understanding Vygotsky: A quest for synthesis", 1991, London:
> Blackwell). But there are two other explanations (besides mistranslation)
> that occur to me, now that you've pointed out how different the RUSSIAN
> rendition of Mandelstam's lines is:
> a) We know that Vygotsky was very fond of remembering and reciting
> poetry for hours on end, and that he employed an elaborate system of
> mnemonics in order to do this. His mnemonic system might not have been
> altogether foolproof!
> This would be consistent with a discovery we made last summer when Ana
> and others found out that it was Vygotsky and not his translators who got
> "latitude" and "longitude" switched around. As we say in Korea, even monkeys
> sometimes fall out of trees.
> b) We know that Mandelstam was an acquaintance, perhaps even a close
> friend, of Vygotsky's, and that many of his poems (including "The Kremlin
> Mountaineer") were never committed to paper, and constantly revised. So
> Vygotsky might have HEARD different versions from Mandelstam himself.
> There's a very interesting piece on Mandelstam-Vygotsky by Mark Willis
> at:
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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Received on Sat Jun 2 09:08 PDT 2007

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