Danubius International Conferences, 2nd International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Aleksandr Pushkin’s Poetry in French: Untranslated or Untranslatable?

Olga Kudinova
Last modified: 2012-05-02


The major part of Pushkin’s poetical masterpieces was frequently translated from Russian into French. But although Pushkin is widely regarded among his own compatriots as Russia's greatest and finest poet, French readers can not still see the light of the concentrated expressiveness and restrained power of his poetry. This article traces the difficulties of translating of the sparkling ebullience of his poems related to the transfer of the spoken vernacular, the Church Slavonic and the Western European borrowings. It also argues that alongside literary translation, music played a big role in the reception of Pushkin by French readers.