Dostoevsky in the Hispanic World: From Spain to Latin America From Books to the Moving Image / Towards a Descriptive Metadata

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is not only a Colossus of Russian literature, but remains one of the most influential and enduring personalities of the literary world. Crime & Punishment, first published in 1866 , was his undoubted masterpiece.

This Metadata project is our personal contribution to a transatlantic celebration – at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver October 20-22, 2016 – of Crime and Punishment as the novel turns 150. My eternal gratitude to Dr Katherine Bowers and Dr Kate Holland for inviting me to take part of this international experience to explore the significance of Dostoevsky’s works today, a conference that looks at Crime and Punishment and examine its story, context and extraordinary presence.

Until now we have lacked “the data of data” basis which could help us to fully understand Fyodor Dostoevsky’s great contribution to world culture. Certainly, our knowledge is still fragmented even in this digital era. Even in these very specific topics such as Dostoevsky, we still do not know each other. The present paper works towards the best knowledge and understanding of Dostoevsky’s life and literary work. In a multilingual – Russian, Spanish and English – audiovisual project of this type, due to the magnitude of the undertaking a guide of the books, a bibliography, cannot help us. I believe that metadata is the answer. So why metadata?

The rise in interest in metadata is part of the effort to organize a rather messy world of digital resources and to provide access and services where none existed before. I am very aware of this fact. For more than 20 years, I have been working in libraries and information cultural centres. Currently, I work as the cataloguer of the Russian collections for UCL SSEES Library. This helps me to understand Metadata. Metadata is developed by specialists for a specific purpose or a precise function. In our case, the Metadata would be dedicated to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment, in order to celebrate its 150 anniversary. The aim is to identify when the diffusion of his literary works started, when they were translated, where this first occurred, how this novel by Dostoevsky reached the Hispanic world and who were his translators and interpreters. This multilingual – Russian, Spanish, English – audiovisual project will be a pioneering experience in order to increase interest in studying Russian language and literature. It can be used as a template for future similar projects on Slavonic languages, and in our particular case, by those interested and dedicated to studying the life and works of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.

Dostoevsky according to José Martí

https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/145293432/
On Dostoevsky in “Pushkin: a memorial to the man who blazed the pathway leading to Russian liberty” by José Martí (The Sun New York, 28 August 1880). In 1880, shortly before he died, Dostoevsky gave his famous“Pushkin Speech”at the unveiling of the Pushkin monument in Moscow. Dostoevsky’s famous text provoked his audience to something resembling mass hysteria, momentarily reconciling the feuding intellectual factions of Slavophiles and Westernizers. On that unique literary moment, José Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature, wrote a historical review entitled:
dostoevsky-according-to-jose-marti-1
On Dostoevsky in “Pushkin: a memorial to the man who blazed the pathway leading to Russian liberty” by José Martí (The Sun New York, 28 August 1880).
dostoevsky-according-to-jose-marti-2
In 1880, shortly before he died, Dostoevsky gave his famous “Pushkin Speech” at the unveiling of the Pushkin monument in Moscow. Dostoevsky’s famous text provoked his audience to something resembling mass hysteria, momentarily reconciling the feuding intellectual factions of Slavophiles and Westernizers. On that unique literary moment, José Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature, wrote a historical review entitled, where the Cuban poet – emphasized Dostoevsky’s speech- and also pays homage to Pushkin as: “A man of all times and all countries, the universe in one breast … )”. Pushkin: a memorial to the man who blazed the pathway leading to Russian liberty (The Sun New York, 28 August 1880).

Russian literature – and Dostoevsky’s works – entered Spain and they passed on to Spanish America almost immediately. The first translations came from French translations of the Russian works. Before 1961, the geographical centres for the dissemination of Dostoevsky’s literary production were Barcelona and Santiago de Chile. The popularity of Russian short stories and theatre demonstrate that Russian literary presence was not only seen in the novel. One notices immediately the large number of editions, versions of Crime & Punishment, which were published in Spain and Hispanic America, more than thirty-six times.

Dostoevsky and His First Spanish Translators

Emilia Pardo Bazán, Rafael Cansinos Assens, Julián Alemany Zaragoza, Mariano Rodríguez Tudela, Montserrat Oromí, Augusto Vidal, Sergio Hernández-Ranera, Isabel Vicente, Fernando Mata Saez, J. Zambrano Barragan, José Laín Entralgo et al., F. Ramón G. Vázquez, Vinicio León Mancheno, José Fernández, Rodolfo Arias, Esperanza Cairó, Juan López Morillas, Juan Alarcón Benito y Eusebio Heras.

From 1961-91, Havana, the Cuban capital city became the main distribution centre of Slavonic artistic productions, not only in the Americas, but also in the so-called Third World.  Using as a test-case, Dostoevsky’s presence in the Hispanic World, from Spain to Latin America – from the first Spanish translations of his books to the multiple adaptations of his literary works in the Arts:

In Spanish translations & studies

In Theatre

dostoievski_teatro
¿QUÉ ES RÉPLIKA TEATRO? Réplika Teatro es un centro de producción, exhibición, formación e investigación teatral madrileño fundado por Socorro Anadón y Jaroslaw Bielski. Su línea de investigación teatral se plasma en los montajes de su propia compañía, Cía. Réplika Teatro, en marcha desde 1989. En 1996 crean la Academia del Actor, centro de formación de actores donde se imparten diversas técnicas de interpretación y otras disciplinas relacionadas directamente con el arte de la actuación. La necesidad de tener una sede estable donde poder trabajar y mostrar sus trabajos, lleva a Réplika Teatro a abrir su propia sala de teatro en el año 2003. Situada en la calle Justo Dorado 8 es también, desde entonces, la sede de la compañía y la Academia del Actor. http://replikateatro.com/quienes-somos/

In Dance

Sonia

Danced  & Choreographed by Arielle Alexandra

sonia-a-solo-danced-7-choreographed-by-arielle-smith
Sonia (a dance choreography inspired by Dostoevsky’s anti-heroine in Crime and Punishment. Sonia, which mean wisdom. Danced and choreographed by Arielle Alexandra, Music by Adrian Johnston (from his soundtrack for the 2002 BBC TV series of Crime & Punishment )

In Photography

In the Footsteps of Raskolnikov

Photos by Vladimir Smith-Mesa

In Cinema

The first film adaptation of Crime & Punishment was made in Mexico in 1951 and the last one in Peru in 1994

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First Latin American film adaptation of Crime & Punishment. Crimen y Castigo is a 1951 Mexican film directed by Fernando de Fuentes and starring Roberto Cañedo, Lilia Prado and Carlos López Moctezuma. http://crimen-y-castigo.deserial.com/ver-pelicula/dHQwMDQyMzUx/

and

The Moving Image in general

estudio-1-tve-crimen-y-castigo-de-fiodor-m-dostoyevscky-con-julian-mateos
Estudio 1-TVE. Crimen y Castigo, de Fiodor M. Dostoyevscky, con Julián Mateos, Tomás Blanco, María José Alfonso, Alfonso del Real, Valentín Tornos, Carola Fernández Gómez, Rosa Palomar, Rosario García Ortega, Lola Lemos, Aparicio Rivero, Mari González, Manuel Manzaneque, Vicente Haro, José Luis Lespe, Tomás Blanco y María José Alonso.

Dr Vladimir Alexander Smith-Mesa

Curator