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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Wed Dec 26th, 2007 11:14am Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
The Daily Telegraph has finally noticed how immensely popular P.G. Wodehouse has become in Russia. Particularly the Fry&Laurie portayal of Jeeves&Wooster on Russian TV seems to have been responsible for Wodehouse's ever increasing popularity. When asked about the reasons, 79-year-old Natalya Trauberg, a former dissident, responded:
"Russians need freedom and laughter very much," she said. "They had none for so long. Wodehouse encapsulates this spirit of freedom.

"He also saves souls. His books are all about innocence and joy and purity.

"The reader is lifted into an English paradise, which many Russians believe is the best paradise of all."

All in all nothing really new but a nice article all the same. I only wish Wodehouse was as popular here in Germany as in Russia.

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Maren


Member

Posted Wed Dec 26th, 2007 6:26pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
That's right - we could do with laughter here!
But I'm confident: one of my christmas presents was the complete collection "Jeeves and Wooster" .
That should help to get away from it all...

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Gertrude Susanne


Member

Posted Thu Dec 27th, 2007 3:55pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls

All in all nothing really new but a nice article all the same. I only wish Wodehouse was as popular here in Germany as in Russia.

Same here, Soupy!
Stephen Fry is equally unknown here as is P.G. Wodehouse... :'(

Something MUST be done to change this *sighs*
Perhaps we should get together one day and think up some cunning plan X-D

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Thu Dec 27th, 2007 7:43pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
There is currently a deep conviction in Russia that the last time things were going well was around 1913. There is another, no less deep conviction that those things were going well someplace decidedly other than Russia.

Hence Wodehouse.

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Cherubino


Member

Posted Tue Jan 1st, 2008 12:02pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
What's your favourite Jeeves and Wooster tale? Mine is from My Man Jeeves, 'Rallying round old George' and it doesn' t include Jeeves, which at first was a slight disappointment, but the story, like Helping Freddie, is strong enough that I surprisingly don't miss Jeeves when I read it.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Tue Jan 1st, 2008 1:04pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
I love all Jeeves stories, but none as much as "Right ho, Jeeves". The prize giving at Market Snodsbury Grammar School is, pardon the pun, priceless.

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jamax


Member

Posted Fri Jan 4th, 2008 8:15pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
People, please!

Jeeves&Wooster as well as other PGW stories were translated into Russian just about kazillion years ago!..

Although the series are solidly made and do a justice to the great work (or almost do justice - I, personally, did not enjoy the choice of some secondary actors in several seasons) by no means could they be solely responsible for Jeeves&Wooster popularity in Russia - these stories were popular long before that, in fact even long before Soviet Union fell apart.

I, for one, practically grew up with these stories (among others)..

Also, (since this is quickly becoming an angry rant and I won't make things much worse if I add one more point here) I take issue with the notion that russians have (or had) lack of laughs or the ability to laugh during any part of our history. If anything it's the ability to find lighter side in about any possible situation that got us through it all (IMO).

There! Eat this, capitalist scum!

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Sat Jan 5th, 2008 7:46am Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
The article doesn't say at all that the J&W series are, as you put it, "solely responsible" for Wodehouse's huge popularity, neither did I in my short summary. Reread the article, more thoroughly this time, and you'll find that your rant is, at least partly, pointless.

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jamax


Member

Posted Sat Jan 5th, 2008 4:47pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
Err...

I did and it doesn't.

Sorry

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AxmxZ


Moderator

Posted Sat Jan 5th, 2008 5:39pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
Incidentally, jamax - just how old are you? Translations of Wodehouse were made, to put it broadly, in the 20s and in the 90s in USSR/Russia. So either you're really bloody old, to have grown up with the ones from the 20s, or your family has been blessed with an unusually well-stocked library, or - and this is my theory - you are a relatively young person who only started reading Wodehouse in Russian in the mid-90s, since that's when the translations began to be made again. Consider the following bibliographical material:

----------------------------------------

Название: Серебряный кубок Перевод: N/A
Оригинал: At Geisenheimer's Источник: Огонекъ №41, 1915, Петроград

Название: Приключение натурщика Перевод: Е.Толкачева
Оригинал: Strange Experience of an Artist's Model Источник: Тридцать дней №12, 1926, Москва

Название: Борода Лорда Эмсворта Перевод: Е.Толкачева
Оригинал: Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best Источник: Тридцать дней №6, 1927, Москва

Название: Синдикат несчастных случаев Перевод: N/A
Оригинал: Ukridge's Accident Syndicate Источник: Тридцать дней №10, 1927, Москва

Название: Роман молодого фотографа Перевод: N/A
Оригинал: The Romance of a Bulb-Squeezer Источник: Красная панорама №16, 1927, Ленинград

Название: Случай с Джорджем Перевод: Е.Толкачева
Оригинал: The Truth About George Источник: О плавающих и путешествующих. Сборник рассказов, 1928 Издательство: Молодая гвардия, Москва

Название: Собачий университет Перевод: N/A
Оригинал: Ukridge's Dog College Источник: За рубежом №9, 1935, Москва


Название: Случай с Джорджем Перевод: Е.Толкачева
Оригинал: The Truth About George Источник: Наука и жизнь №7, 1969, Москва (перепечатка)

Название: Приезжает дядя Фред Перевод: Р.Зусевoй
Оригинал: Uncle Fred Flits By Источник: Нева №10, 1978, Ленинград

Название: Правда о Джордже Перевод: М.Корнеевой
Оригинал: The Truth About George Источник: Дом англичанина, 1989, Московский рабочий, Москва IBSN: 5-239-00409-9

Название: После семидесяти Перевод: А.Ливерганта
Оригинал: Over Seventy (отрывки) Источник: Вопросы литературы №6, 1991, Москва

Название: О героинях в криминальных романах Перевод: А.Ливерганта
Оригинал: Thrillers (from Louder and Funnier) Источник: Иностранная Литература (ISSN 0130-6545) №7, 1992, Москва

---------------------

Notice the predominance of magazine articles in this list. Notice also the lull between 1928 and 1989. Now, the first Russian-dubbed version of the series "Jeeves and Wooster" appeared in 1993 - i.e. concurrently with the appearance of the new wave of his book translations.

I'm not saying there weren't any Russians who clutched the 1920s translations close to their breast, but I would say the vast majority of the populace who is into Wodehouse today found out about him only in the 90s or 00s, when both the series and the books were already available.

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jamax


Member

Posted Sun Jan 6th, 2008 7:13pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
Well, I suppose there are libraries available if you want to access some book / magazine that's been published before and which you don't have in your own library.

I, in fact, has always been reading Wodehouse novels in English, though person who has first recommended it to me has been referring to a Russian translation (can't remember which story it has been - but definetely a Jeeves&Wooster ).

More than that - I think we were talking about a book at that time, not an piece in a magazine, although it could have been a compilation of some sort.

Now, to answer your question - I was born in 1973, which makes me 34.

Not too young and not a creaking mummy - more like half-way there.

And yes, I think my familiy had/has library of considerable size, in several languages, though only a few books are older than those that were easily available to public in my grandafther's time.

P.S. After re-reading my previous ultra-short "sorry" post I think I'd better express myself more clearly, to avoid any possible misunderstaning...

So, here goes:

1. I re-read both the article and the original post and indeed found nothing to warrant angry rants of any caliber (precisely as Soupy Twist said in his earlier post).

2. Immediately after establishing these facts I started to feel sorry for allowing a short dip in my general mood to spill onto this forum and this thread in particular (especially since it discusses such light and pleasant things as Woodehouse's works in general, Jeeves&Wooster novels in particular and wonderful rendering of the latter by Mrr. Fry&Laurie).

So there! Me - no angry, me - all friendly and fluffy.

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Soupy Twist


Member

Posted Sun Jan 6th, 2008 7:30pm Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls

Now, to answer your question - I was born in 1973, which makes me 34.
Not too young and not a creaking mummy - more like half-way there.

waah, now I'm depressed. We're the same age and I'm in no way near "half-way there". So I hope, anyway.

So there! Me - no angry, me - all friendly and fluffy.

Same here

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AuntieMe


Member

Posted Fri Feb 8th, 2008 10:38am Post subject: Wodehouse saves souls
As far as I know the Telegraph (a conservative Tory paper) article is not very accurate. Wodehouse books and stories have been published in 1931 and 1935 in Russia.
But I don't believe there ever was a prohibition by Stalin. It sounds well, and it fits in a conservative propaganda campaign, but I don't think many countries in the 1930s bothered about writers like Wodehouse. Can you buy here an English translation of all modern Russian writers or Scandinavian ones even in present times? You won't see much. Same situation in the Soviet Union. It is preposterous to demand that Wodehouse must be translated anywhere. And anyway Wodehouse got much more translations in the SU after the Russian Revolution than anywhere else.
The Russian society is said to have 3000 members, well I only know two of them, and the founder and president of the Russian society has very extremist political ideas and is a big shot in the 'Democratic Union' (corporate fascism would suit their principles - capitalism of the Pinochet kind).
If you subscribe to their newsletter you're considered a member. So what you have is a small club of a few extreme right-wing people who see Wodehouse only as a conservative who wrote about the aristocrats. Forget about The Girl on the Boat in which the show girls went on strike for better work conditions, they wouldn't like that book now (it was published in Leningrad in 1931).
So what you have is a bunch of rabid anti-communists nostalgic of the tsarist times, when people died of poverty and the intelligentsia was exiled in Siberia, that is in short the current Russian Wodehouse society, who's few real members have regular candle-light dinners in restaurant Kleopatra where they wallow in the aristocratic mud like the Empress of Blandings. One of the Russian translators said she didn't read any modern Russian writers at all, probably no modern literature in all.
Of course, in view of the present cold war between Britain and Russia, all sails are made to link Stalin to a so-called Wodehouse prohibition. It's a bit thick.
The webpage of the president of the Russian Wodehouse society:
Quote "Fuck you all and God bless America!" Unquote
http://www.math.msu.su/~gmk/
Doesn't that say enough?
The Russian Wodehouse society has a biased appreciation of Wodehouse.
The Telegraph article was, to use the modern lingo, 'sexed up'.

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