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Professor Jiezhi Wang to translate and study History of Russian Literature

“On the basis of summarizing Russia, western academic circles and China’s research experience on the history of Russian literature, we will make Chinese scholars’ voices heard and provide Chinese readers and students with a proper book to learn the general history of Russian literature.” Jiezhi Wang, professor of Comparative Literature and World Literature in the School of Chinese Language and Literature, Nanjing Normal University, said.

Recently, Professor Wang and his team convened a discussion meeting for the research proposal concerning the key program of the National philosophy and Social Science Foundation of China “the translation and study on the History of Russian Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR”. “ The four-volume book History of Russian Literature (1980—1983) was edited by N.Y.Prutskov (1910—1979), the director-general of the Institute of Russia Literature, the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Pushkin House)and a famous research expert on the history of Russian literature and published by the USSR Science Publishing House. This is a mature and authoritative work about the history of literature which clearly and comprehensively elaborates upon the developmental course of Russian literature from the tenth century to the year of 1917 and provides a commentary on the important writers, works, literature communities, trends of thought, schools and movements during this time period.”Professor Wang said.

“We are going to completely translate this set of work into Chinese (4 volumes) in a delicate manner. At the same time, in-depth research will be carried out to finish a high quality academic work based on the monographic study of the book. The final achievement of the research topic will be a series of five books on the translation and study of History of Russia Literature of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (3.6 million characters). This series of books will be published by Peking University Press". Professor Wang said.

Professor Wang has been engaging in the study of the relationship between Chinese literature and foreign literature, and the study of Russian literature for a long time, especially focusing on Gorky and Pasternak. “What reflects on the research field of Gorky is more a kind of determined protection for national literature and culture heritage. In spite of the flowing of time and the vicissitudes of history, instead of viewing Gorky and Gorky’s work as outdated like some up-to-date commentators do, people still feel that there is an irreplaceable cultural and artistic value embodied in Gorky’s work.”Professor Wang said in the general preface of his book Collected Works by Gorky published by the People's Literature Publishing House.

Later, he shifted to the study of Pasternak’s literature. He wrote in the book Poet's Prose: Study on Pasternak’s Novels which is listed into the National Library of Philosophy and Social Science Achievements: Pasternak’s pursuit and achievement in the realm of novel art reflect the confluence of Russian literature tradition and modern poetics and also represents the evolutionary trend of Russian literature in the twentieth century. There is no doubt whatsoever that Pasternak has been an image of symbolic significance in Russian literature throughout the past 100 years or that his works have been the artistic expression of the nation’s destiny and soul during this 100-year period.

During Professor Wang’s study in Pushkin State Russian Language Institute in 1994-1995, he majored in “Modern Russia” and “Russian Literature in the twentieth Century”. “Professor Y.V.Pankov, my tutor and director of the institute’s teaching-research office of Russian literature, provided elaborate guidance for me. Another teacher in the teaching-research office, T.K.Safqinko gave passionate lectures which led me to appreciate the excellent works of a series of writers and poets such as Bunin, Blok,Yesenin, and Ahematowa. Several Chinese friends of mine who came along with me to study in Moscow provided a lot of support and encouragement to me. We got along well with each other and it is these kinds of friendly relationships that have continuously driven me forward in my study and research. The book’s framework design and part of the contents of the History of Modern Russian Literature were finished at that time. My classmates and friends witnessed the whole creative process from literature collection to outlining. After returning to my homeland, numerous scenes about my study in Moscow often unfolded before my eyes. The teachers’ voice and expression, the grand beauty of the famous historical and cultural Moscow city has been eternally engraved into my memory.” He said.

As for the students majoring in comparative literature and world literature, “a solid professional foundation is a prerequisite of innovation.” Professor Wang suggested.