Translation and the Cold War

Authored by: Emily Lygo

The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Politics

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138657564
eBook ISBN: 9781315621289
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315621289-29

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Abstract

The chief battle of the Cold War was fought over the hearts and minds of citizens on both sides of the Iron Curtain. While the Cold War is generally characterised as a conflict between capitalist and communist powers, the cultural Cold War was a battle fought not only between these opposing sides, but also, even primarily, on the home front: governments in the USSR and the West were preoccupied with persuading their own citizens of both the merits of their own political systems and the evils of the opposing side’s. Translation, a key way in which a foreign ‘other’ can be represented to a domestic audience, was intimately bound up with cultural policies and propaganda in the West and East. This chapter will consider how translation was used by the authorities in both the USSR and the West to shape the image of the ‘other’ in various aspects of the cultural Cold War, in projects largely funded by or at least connected to government. It will examine how translation and translators played a role in both cooperation and competition between East and West, while at the same time engaging with translation on their own terms and with their own agendas.

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