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ArribaAbajoA soviet introduction to Doña Perfecta (1964)


Vernon A. Chamberfin

A lively discussion was stimulated at the Primer Congreso Internacional Galdosiano (Las Palmas, August 29 - September 5, 1973) by the presence of Romanian congresistas, several Slavic-language translations of Galdós' works on display. Doña Palmira Arnáiz Amigo's ponencia «Galdós en los países del centro y este de Europa», and my own «El interés soviético por los Episodios y novelas de Galdós (1935-1940)». Soon mention was made of a Soviet edition of Doña Perfecta known to be in Las Palmas (Moscow: Editorial «Enseñanza Superior», 1964; prologue in Russian by K. V. Tsurinov; text and comentaries in Spanish by M. L. González; and illustrations by L. M. Chernischev). It was also suggested that the introduction might be of interest to readers of Anales Galdosianos. Consequently, Rodolfo Cardona and I called on the eminent bibliographer Don Manuel Hernández Suárez who graciously received us and provided xerox copies cf the introduction, as did El Museo Canario to whose library Don Manuel had donated the book.

I am also indebted to my former Russian teacher Professor Sam F. Anderson (University of Kansas) for much time and unlimited patience in helping me with this project. Without his many corrections, as well as innumerable suggestions concerning choice of words and shades of meaning, this translation would not have been possible.

The task of the translator is, of course, a complex one. My aim has been to remain as close to the original Russian as possible (even leaving spontaneous changes to the present tense for vividness), while making only those changes indispensable for a readable English-language text.

In spite of strong tempation, I have resisted all impulses to correct, interpret, and gloss the facts and ideas of the Russian commentator in order that the readers of Anales Galdosianos may have the clearest understanding possible of how Galdós is viewed by an official government commentator and, more importantly, how the Soviet youth of today is introduced to Don Benito.

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