Daniil Aronson

Duration of fellowship
01. March 2018 bis 30. June 2018

Daniil Aronson


German Translations of Russian Poetry in the GDR and Elsewhere: A Comparative Study


In recent decades a number of studies have analyzed the political dimension of literary translation. However, it remains unclear what political relations or hierarchies a given work of literary translation might imply or constitute. According to some studies, a translation of a literary work might reinforce the hegemony of the source language culture over the target language culture, while others claim exactly the opposite. Moreover, there are studies that see translation as capable of establishing intercultural solidarity and communication rather than asymmetrical power relations.

The aim of the research project is to test such theories by comparing German translations of Russian poetry in the GDR to those in other German-speaking countries not subject to the Soviet Union’s political influence. The latter translations will be treated as a sort of control group and the former as an experimental group to investigate the relevance of Soviet political influence for Russian-to-German translation practice in the GDR.


Daniil Aronson studied Philosophy at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and wrote his dissertation on Kant’s philosophy of law. Since 2015 he has been a research fellow at the RAS, Institute of Philosophy. His areas of interest lie in the theories of Kant and Hannah Arendt, the history of the modern rule of law, and the history of theories of translation.


Publikationen (u. a.:): „Filosofiya bez umozreniya: kantovskij otvet Enesidemu“, in: Istoriko-filosofskij ezhegodnik 2016, Moskau 2016, S. 118‒144; „Svoboda i prinuzhdenie: kantovskoe obosnovanie ponyatiya prava“, in: Vestnik RGGU 132 (2014), Heft 10, S. 17‒25; „Sposobnost' suzhdeniya i ee svyaz' s politicheskoj otvetstvennost'yu“, in: Hannah Arendt, Otvetstvennost'i suzhdenie, Moskau 2013, S. 7‒24.

  • Lecture
Daniil Aronson

Modern understanding of translation as a sort of mediation between cultures is coeval with nation-state politics. The Soviet Union, however, never conceived of itself as a nation-state, which led to interesting peculiarities in the theory and practice of literary translation.