Julian Lowenfeld calls his translations of Pushkin "not work but prayer"

Julian Lowenfeld calls his translations of Pushkin “not work but prayer”

Without Russian poetry, it is impossible to understand the mysterious Russian soul, American translator Julian Lowenfeld believes. Lowenfeld contributed to the popularization of Russian classics, primarily Alexander Pushkin, throughout the world. According to him, the translator must convey not only the words, but also the music of the verse and Pushkin’s volubility, Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reports.

Lowenfeld will probably meet the 220th birthday of the beloved Russian poet in Russia. A week before the anniversary of the classic, he gave several lectures in Kaliningrad. Lowenfeld began his experiments as a translator about a decade ago with the works of Pushkin and still addresses the work of the Russian classic — recently he completed translations of The Bronze Horseman poem and fairy tales.

In addition to Pushkin, the American translated works of Vladimir Mayakovsky, whose poetry he is very fond of, as well as the works of Marina Tsvetaeva, Anna Akhmatova, Mikhail Lermontov and other Russian classics. According to Lowenfeld, the translator is obliged to treat his work not as a job, but “as a prayer,” and the reader should feel the ease of poetry, and not the work of a translator.

Julian Lowenfeld received a number of awards for his translations in Russia. Russkiy Mir reported that Lowenfeld was the first foreigner to receive the St. Petersburg Petropol Prize for My Talisman: Poetry and the Life of A.S. Pushkin book. He was also awarded the medal For Friendship and Cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.

Credit to: Russkiy Mir Foundation