St. Petersburg: V tip. F. Stellovskogo, 1860. Item #1044
52 pp. 24x15,5 cm. In modern half-leather binding with marbled covers; gilt lettering on the spine. Title page repared, some soiling, otherwise very good. Facsimile of the translator's signature mounted on the front endpaper.
First edition. Very rare.
One of the earliest translations of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ to Russian. The play first appeared in 1833 in translation by V. Iakimov. After him, N. Pavlov translated this work in prose in 1839.
Later the stage adaptation of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ was undertaken by Apollon Grigoriev (1822-1864) who was writer and ideologist of the Pochvennichestvo movement. Although his poems and articles were unsuccessful, Grigoriev was warmly supported by Fyodor Dostoevsky. In particular, the magazines of Dostoevsky brothers, ‘Time’ and ‘Epoch’ included publications of Grigoriev. The ideas of Pochvennichestvo became a core of these magazines, as well as ‘Demons’ later.
Apart from ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Grigor’ev translated ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Verbatim translation of the title in Russian is “Shylock, the Jew of Venice” which reflects in a way a debate that lives one till this day whether Shakespeare’s work was anti-semitic or exploring anti-semitism. “Four hundred years after his death, and we’re still confused by the ethical ambiguities of Shakespeare’s plays” (SMITHSONIANMAG.COM)
Worldcat doesn’t track this edition.