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Re: [xmca] RE: the wacky world of indexing (Vygotsky's views on PLAY and development)
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- Subject: Re: [xmca] RE: the wacky world of indexing (Vygotsky's views on PLAY and development)
- From: Anton Yasnitsky <email@example.com>
- Date: Mon, 21 May 2012 08:11:09 -0700 (PDT)
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Right now, I can not comment on the contents of the two English texts relative to each other,
but would like to say a couple of words on other, related issues.
FIRST: meta-info on the paper and its translations. A brief comment: this is not a paper proper but rather a talk of 1933--albeit planned
(the notes that Vygotsky made BEFORE the talk preserved and where published), but still somewhat impromptu, repetitive, and
incoherent at some places, as it often happens with Vygotsky, especially in his oral presentations. The typewritten stenographic record
was kept, presumably, in archives of Herzen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute, until it was published in Russian in a special "Vygotskian" issue
of their leading psychological journal Voprosy Psikhologii in 1966 (the year is quite notable: Vygotsky's 70th anniversary and the
18th International Congress of Psychology in Moscow, the interrelations between the two events have not been well researched).
The next year, in 1967, the text was published in English in Soviet Psychology journal,--
then, later the text was republished on pp. 76-99 in 1977 in:
Soviet developmental psychology: an anthology. (Ed. Michael Cole). M. E. Sharpe, 1977 - Psychology - 621 pages
This text was translated by Catherine Mulholland.
Then, in 1978, this paper yet again came out as a chapter of the celebrated notorious-yet-famous Mind in Society.
Surprisingly enough, the previous translation from Soviet Psychology of 1967 virtually never used the former.
More precisely: the 1978 chapter 7 "The role of play in development" hardly qualifies as translation, which is pretty clear from the very first lines:
the text of 1978 begins on paragraph 6 of online text: "Thus, defining play on the basis of pleasure can certainly not be regarded as correct."
Thus, suspending the judgment on the content of 1978 English text at this point, we should understand that this is a somewhat shorter
(and somewhat rephrased) version of Russian publication of 1966. However, I would say that I am under the impression
that 1978 text, despite its frivolities related to the original, is generally a reasonably close rendition of the words Vygotsky actually said.
Yet again, one should keep it in mind that this text is, still, different from what actually was said, or, at least,
what actually made it to the stenographic record and subsequent Russian publication of 1966.
By the way, speaking of the marxists online text: this translation is almost identical with the translation of 1967,
although some occasional relatively minor differences in phrasing can be detected. E.g.:
1967: Is play the leading form of activity for a child of this age, or is it simply the predominant form?
Online: Is play the leading form of activity for a child of this age, or is it simply the most frequently encountered form?
In Russian: Является ли игра ведущей или просто преобладающей формой деятельности ребенка в этом возрасте?/
Iavliaetsia li igra vedushchei ili prosto preobladaiushchei formoi deiatel'nosti rebenka v etom vozraste?
This is a tricky place: "preobladaiushchii" can certainly be translated as "dominant", however, in this very context, the opposition is obvious
between "leading" (in terms of its importance and impact on development) and the temporal aspect of play, its length relative to other
daytime activities of the child. Therefore, "most frequently encountered" seems to more efficiently render the meaning of the original,
besides, it gets read of unnecessary ambiguity and vagueness of the opposition between "leading" and "predominant". Further analysis
of the differences between the two versions of "Catherine Mulholland's translation", but at this point we can say that the online version
looks like slightly corrected and, possibly, somewhat improved version of the printed text.
OOOps: bingo -- here it is: the corrections were made already in the 1977 republication of the text. So far, so good: know we know a little bit
more than we did about the world around us.
<THIS IS THE END OF THE FIRST REMARK>
SECOND. Vygotsky and Play. Just a brief note. I truly believe this presentation is possibly the most interesting text of Vygotsky that not only
presents his mature thought on the specific topic of play, but also gives as a clue as to what his theory of consciousness and human development
in its most mature form might look like. Unfortunately, the major transformation of his mechanistic theory of "instrumental period" of 1920s
that was taking place in 1930s towards truly holistic psychological theory never resulted in any book--a published one or a manuscript--
and in search of Vygotsky's holistic theory we have to rely on bits and pieces, such as this short yet very beautiful, deep, and insightful paper.
LAST REMARK. All texts discussed above are in principle available, although some of these in order to be shared might need scanning first.
From: Peter Smagorinsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 9:46:35 AM
Subject: [xmca] RE: the wacky world of indexing
So, on this topic, I found the following at Marxists.org:
Vygotsky. L. S. (1933/2002). Play and its role in the mental development of the child (C. Mulholland, Trans.). Sydney, AU: Psychology and Marxism Internet Archive. Retrieved May 21, 2012 from http://www.marxists.org/archive/vygotsky/works/1933/play.htm
It's a different translation of the one in Mind in Society (see http://books.google.com/books?id=RxjjUefze_oC&pg=PA92&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false) but apparently the same essay.
I know that it's a popular move these days to criticize Mind in Society for taking liberties in translation, although I think it's mainly in retrospect that the editorial decisions are questionable. What I'm wondering is, can anyone comment on the relative quality of these two translations? Thx,p
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Peter Smagorinsky
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 9:34
Subject: [xmca] the wacky world of indexing
I was trying to take a shortcut today by looking through the indexes of the 6 volumes of LSV's Collected Works to find sections on his notion of "play." I thought I'd hit the motherlode with Vol 3, whose index indicates a few dozen instances of "play" related topics; but when I checked them individually, it turned out that "play" was indexed any time the word "play" appeared on a page, as in "play a role" or other phrasing having nothing to do with what I was looking for. There are a couple of pages where he talks about play in the manner I was hoping to find something on (229-30), but otherwise it appears to be based entirely on an unvetted manuscript search. Crud.
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