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

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at>
Date: Thu May 29 2008 - 16:09:59 PDT

All good points, David. Lets bring in Levitin
Karl: Karl-- I will forward issues under discussion.

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:05 PM, David Kellogg <>

> Peter--
> I think what the review says about the Italian translation is simply
> wrong. Kozulin's (re-)translation into English is based on the 1934 edition,
> not the later editions.
> It's also quite contradictory and unconvincing in other ways. For example,
> it claims that Piaget was probably familiar with Vygotsky's work simply
> because Vygotsky had written a preface to his work. By that logic,
> Thorndike, Kohler, Koffka and a host of other psychologists must have been
> familiar with Vygotsky too.
> There's a language barrier here that we are still up against; as far as we
> know, Piaget did not read Russian well (I read somewhere that Piaget's copy
> of the 1934 edition of "Thinking and Speech" was apparently unread when he
> died). Yes, he corresponded with Luria and even received letters from
> Vygotsky, but they were probably in French. No English or French translation
> of "Thinking and Speech" existed.
> What is written about the Russian editor is very contradictory. On the one
> hand, we are told he was responsible for distortions of the text. How could
> we know, unless we had access to some ur-text BEFORE the 1934 edition? As
> far as I know, no such text exists.
> According to Levitin, he played a heroic role. Kolbanovsky was at first
> dispatched to dispatch Vygotsky and on meeting the man realized his genius
> and ensured publication of the work after his death, even though he probably
> knew the risks better than anyone else. After publication (which as we know
> contained some much more dangerous passages than simply references to
> pedology and testing) Kobalovsky disappeared. So how is it that he is now
> responsible for distortions?
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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Received on Thu May 29 16:10 PDT 2008

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