The translation and reception of Russian literature in the island of Ireland up to 1921 and in the Irish Free State, in both Irish and English.
Microhistory: Russian-Irish translator Daisy Mackin (1899-1983)
This case study, conducted by Muireann Maguire, aims to explore the influence of 19th-century Russian literature (which was newly available to Irish readers in English and French translations by Constance Garnett and others in the early 20th century), upon the formation of Irish nationalism and, later, on the aesthetic of Irish prose realism. Not only did individual writers (like Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Pádraic Ó Conaire, and Máirtín Ó Cadhain) evoke and emulate Russian realist style and subjects, Irish politicians drew on the Russian model in their plans to reconstruct an independent, Irish-language culture. One of the mainstays of this cultural ambition was the institutionalization of a professional organization which would translate global literature into the Irish language for a literate Irish audience. This was An Gúm (The Project, 1925 – present day), a state-funded body which aimed both to subsidize Irish writers through translation work, and to render the Western canon of classical literature into Irish for a native audience. At the heart of this case study is the life of Daisy Mackin, the first and most significant Russian-Irish translator.