Skip to main content

From Les Mystères de Paris to Les Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg: Transfers, Translations and Reconstructions

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature ((PMEL))

  • 310 Accesses

Abstract

This essay analyses the serialised novel The Mysteries of St Petersburg, published in Paris in 1877–1878, and presented as an adaptation of a Russian novel by a certain Ivan Doff, ‘reworked and reconstructed’ by two French writers, yet with no mention of their names or the original title. The genesis of the serial is plain to see in its similarity to Vsevolod Krestovsky’s novel The Slums of St Petersburg, published in Russia between 1864 and 1866. Les Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg appears to be a kind of ‘hypertextual’ translation attempting to create a new urban mystery à la française by building on the ‘Mysteries of Paris’ effect. It is illustrative of the different processes at work in French literature of the time, with regard to both the literary transfers and the evolution of the urban novel [roman urbain] genre. This article considers each of these aspects. It also discusses the problematical nature of hypertextual translations, which produce works which fall ambiguously between translation and rewriting.

Translated from the French by Georgia Newman.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Work Cited

  • Albrecht, Jörn. 2012. Métamorphoses du panthéon littéraire. In Histoire des traductions en langue française, ed. Yves Chevrel, Lieven d’Hulst, and Christine Lombez, 800. Lagrasse: Verdier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Amossy, Ruth. 1991. Les idées reçues. Paris: Nathan, Sémiologie du stéréotype.

    Google Scholar 

  • Amossy, Ruth, and Anne Herschberg Pierrot. 2005. Stéréotype et clichés. Langues, discours, société. Paris: Nathan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Anon. 1877. Le Petit Parisien, 13 December, no. 423.

    Google Scholar 

  • Beliakov, Vladimir. 2010. Les représentations de l’Occident dans la société russe. In La Russie et les modèles étrangers, ed. Serge Rolet, 155–167. Lille: Editions du conseil scientifique de l’Université Lille 3.

    Google Scholar 

  • Benjamin, Walter. 2000 [1923]. La tâche du traducteur. In Œuvres, vol. I, trans. M. de Gandillac, R. Rochlitz and P. Rusch, presentation by R. Rochlitz, 244–262. Paris: Gallimard.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berman, Antoine. 2008. L’Age de la traduction. ‘La tâche du traducteur’ de Walter Benjamin, un commentaire. Paris: Presses Universitaires de Vincennes.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bernard, Claudie. 2007. Les formes de la justice dans les Mystères de Paris. Poétique 4 (152): 403–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Derrida, Jacques. 1998. Des tours de Babel [1985]. In Psyché. Inventions de l’autre [1987], new edition, 2 volumes, vol. I. Paris: Galilée.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doff, Ivan [pseud.]. 1878. Les Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg. In Le Petit roman-feuilleton, no. 191, 30 June; no. 195, 21 July; no. 197, 4 August; no. 199, 25 August; no. 202, 8 September; no. 209, 20 October; no. 213, 24 November; no. 218, 29 December.

    Google Scholar 

  • ________. 1879. Les Mystéres de Saint-Pétersbourg. In Le Petit roman-feuilleton, no. 222, 26 January.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2013. Les Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg. Histoire de tous les repus et de tous les affamés. Edited and introduced by Michel Niqueux. Amiens: AARP—Centre Rocambole/Encrage Édition.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gauthier, Cécile. 2008. Traduire l’Autre, comprendre l’Autre? Les premières traductions françaises des romans russes au XIXe siècle. In Atti del convegno. Journées internationales d’études sur la traduction, Cefalu (Sicily), 30–31 October and 1 November 2008, 2 vols, vol. I, ed. Antonino Velez, 133–144. Palermo: Herbita Editrice.

    Google Scholar 

  • Genevray, Françoise. 2014. Vsevolod V. Krestovsky, Les Bas-fonds de Pétersbourg. In Anthologie des Mystères urbains, Médias 19, ed. Filippos Katsanos, Marie-Ève Thérenty, and Helle Waahlberg [online]. http://www.medias19.org/index.php?id=630.

  • Gide, André. 1949. Preface to Alexander Pushkin, La Dame de Pique [The Queen of Spades], trans. André Gide and Jacques Schiffrin. Paris: Livre de Poche.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hermetet, Anne-Rachel, and Frédéric Weinsmann. 2012. Prose narrative.  In Histoire des traductions en langue française, ed. Yves Chevrel, Lieven d’Hulst, and Christine Lombez, 537–663. Lagrasse: Verdier.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kalifa, Dominique. 2012. Les Bas-fonds, Histoire d’un imaginaire. Paris: Seuil.

    Google Scholar 

  • Krestovsky, Vsevolod. 2011. Peterburgskie trushchoby: Kniga o sytykh i golodnykh. Moscow: Alfa-Kniga.

    Google Scholar 

  • Letourneux, Matthieu. 2007. ‘Paris, terre d’aventures’, in Le voyage à Paris. RITM 37: 147–161.

    Google Scholar 

  • Martens, David. 2010. De la mystification à la fiction. La poétique suicidaire de la fausse traduction. In Translatio in Fabula. Enjeux d’une rencontre entre fictions et traductions, ed. S. Klimis, I. Ost, and S. Vanasten, 63–81. Brussels: Presses des Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Niqueux, Michel. 2007. Les bas-fonds de Pétersbourg de Vsevolod Krestovsky, un Eugène Sue russe. In Les imaginaires de la ville: Entre littérature et arts, ed. H. and G. Menegaldo, 133–146. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes.

    Google Scholar 

  • ———. 2013. Les mystères des Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg. La Revue Russe, no. 40, 51–65. Paris: Institut d’études slaves.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ozhegov, Sergei, and Natal’ia Shvedova. 1994. Tolkovyi slovar’ russkogo iazyka: 80000 slov i vyrazhenii/Rossiiskaia Akademiia Nauk; Rossiiskii fond kul’tury, 803. Moscow: AZ.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rolet, Serge. 2010. Le complexe de Potemkine (Introduction). In La Russie et les modèles étrangers, ed. Serge Rolet, 10. Lille: Editions du conseil scientifique de l’Université Lille 3.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seleznev, Fedor. 2004. Trushchoby Vsevoloda Krestovskogo. Moskva, no. 6: 215–216.

    Google Scholar 

  • Terras, Victor (ed.). 1985. Handbook of Russian Literature. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Thérenty, Marie-Ève. 2013. Mysterymania. Essor et limites de la globalisation culturelle au XIXe siècle. Romantisme 2 (160): 53–64.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tseitlin, A.G. 1965. Stanovlenie realizma v russkoi literature. Russkii fiziologicheskii ocherk. Moscow: Academiia nauk SSSR, Institut mirovoi literatury imeni M. Gor’kogo.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anna Lushenkova Foscolo .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Copyright information

© 2017 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Lushenkova Foscolo, A. (2017). From Les Mystères de Paris to Les Mystères de Saint-Pétersbourg: Transfers, Translations and Reconstructions. In: Hibbitt, R. (eds) Other Capitals of the Nineteenth Century. Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-57085-7_8

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics