When the Physicists are Lyricists: Translating the Strugatskys' Science Fiction

Yvonne Howell, University of Richmond


By way of this preamble, I want to introduce a specific case study in the problem of literary translation; namely, the translation from Russian into English of the Strugatskys' 1965 science fiction tale Ponedel'nik nachinaetsia v subbotu (Monday Begins on Saturday). I have chosen this work because it lies at the intersection of two interests: a linguistic interest in the challenges of translating cultural realia, and an anthropological interest in the relationship between language, cultural realia, and the process of scientific inquiry.