Re: [xmca] review of Italian translation of Thinking and Speech

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Thu May 29 2008 - 16:06:47 PDT

PS-- Re Pedology decree. This was a serious, life threatening and
direction-changing event in
soviet psychology. It is written about in R. Bauer's "New Man in Soviet
Psychology" and is probably discussed in Cole and Maltzman handbook of
soviet psych but I would have to go find all this.

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:04 PM, Mike Cole <> wrote:

> Hi Peter--
> I know that Jim Wertsch has (or had) a copy of the 1934 "original" of
> Thought and Language
> and that he worked closely with norris minnick who was the translator (on
> the one hand)
> and Volodya Zinchenko (whose copy of the 1934 book was given to Jim). I
> know that Jim
> and people at LCHC worked with Norris over the course of a year on the 1997
> translation
> giving what feedback we could.
> What I do not know, other than what is in the review, is what substantive
> changes were in the 1982 version. I know Luciano Maccaci well and perhaps
> can get him to send a list of what
> he considers the big changes. The ones you give do not seem to lead me to
> believe that
> Vygotsky was really Pavlov, but I am sure that there were many errors
> identifying citations. These are really hard to track down. Rene and Jaan
> Valsiner have been great at doing so.
> I also do not think speculation that Piaget was lying about not knowing the
> real content of
> Thought and Language is particularly convincing. Luria and he corresponded,
> but how much about this we do not know and it is doubtful that Luria would
> have been concerned to correct errors unless they were really large and he
> was in a safe place to do so.
> For big distortions, the cuts between the 1962 and 1987 English editions
> seem huge to me.
> The internal Soviet distortions were sometimes of significance but we need
> a full list.
> I'll cc Jim on this to see if he has anything to add.
> mike
> On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 3:10 PM, Peter Smagorinsky <> wrote:
>> I read a mention today of the Soviet Pedology Decree of 1936, and ran a
>> search to learn more. I found the attached book review (one of many in the
>> document), Rene van der Veer's review of an Italian translation of
>> Thinking
>> and Speech. It's pretty sobering in terms of the quality of the
>> translations
>> I've read in English-not so much because of bad translations, but rather
>> because the documents they were working from had been rewritten for
>> ideological purposes and distort a number of LSV's ideas. Rene, who knows
>> as
>> much about these things as anyone, says that this is the first authentic
>> translation of Thinking and Speech into another language.
>> Meanwhile, can anyone talk about the Pedology Decree beyond what's in the
>> review? Thanks,Peter
>> _______________________________________________
>> xmca mailing list
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Received on Thu May 29 16:07 PDT 2008

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