Ways To Preserve Linguocultural Heritage Of W. Faulkner's Works In Russian Translations


The article studies linguocultural features of the idiostyle of the American writer W. Faulkner, as well as the translation of stylistic figures of speech. The abundance of means of language expressiveness makes the text especially attractive to translators and researchers in the translations. In this paper, the object of study is the original text of W. Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury, and its literary translations made by Soroka and Gurova. The subject of the study is the linguostylistic and translation peculiarities of the novel translation. 192 units of linguistic expressiveness were analyzed, which comprised metaphors, personifications, metonymy, and comparative constructions. It was also found that in most cases when transforming stylistic devices, translators used such techniques as word-based translation, image replacement, image neutralization, and structural transformation. When translating W. Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury, it was important for translators to preserve the concept of the work to achieve a high level of adequacy. Achieving the highest level of adequacy depends on the exact transfer of the author's intention and style since the culture and mentality of the source and target languages are different.

Keywords: Figure of speech, idiostyle, novel, translation, transformation


Faulkner (1897–1962) is an American prose writer of the 20th century and a prominent representative of literary modernism. His work echoes the cultural phenomena of various eras, from antiquity to postmodernism. The artistic mentality of Faulkner was concentrated on understanding the psychological factor of human life. The writer received his first great recognition after the publication of the novel The Sound and the Fury (1929). Over the entire period since the novel publication, a significant amount of literary and linguistic research has been devoted to it. This interest in the writer arises because of his method of writing, known as the “stream of consciousness,” which makes it difficult, at first glance, to read works. Not only the structure of the text but also the themes touched upon by the author (in particular, the American South) make it especially attractive for the study of the writer's work, both from the linguocultural and translation points of view.

The novel depicts the history and tragic fate of the Compson family of southern aristocrats, which personifies the death of the traditional American South (Ho Thi Van Anh, 2021). The work consists of four parts, each of them is a kind of monologue of one of the characters: the first part is the story of an idiot who senses objects but cannot understand anything; the second one is the story of his insane student brother on the eve of his suicide; the third monologue belongs to the third brother, the unscrupulous and selfish Jason; in the last part, the voice of the author appears. Written in the form of “inner monologue” and “stream of consciousness” parts form one whole work filled with sound and fury (César et al., 2022).

Problem Statement

This paper discusses the features of translations of the novel The Sound and the Fury by the American writer William Faulkner. There are three novel translations into Russian: Soroka 1985, Palievskaya 1985, and Gurova 2001. The relevance of the article topic lies in the fact that the translations of Faulkner's novel differ not only from the original but also among themselves because the author introduces his features into the translation, which makes his translation original and unique. Each text allows finding out the individual characteristics of the translator, his style, the strength of his talent, and the specifics of the era. The article considers the translations of Soroka and Gurova. These translations of the novel were published with a difference of almost thirty years, which also allows tracing the translations in a diachronic aspect.

Research Questions

The objectives of the study are to get acquainted with the main expressive means in the novel The Sound and the Fury; on specific material to consider ways of their transmission when translating from English into Russian; determine the degree of accuracy of translations and outline general trends and differences in the transfer of linguistic units into another language.

Purpose of the Study

The paper aims to identify the linguo-stylistic and translation features of the translation of W. Faulkner's (1989) novel The Sound and the Fury from English into Russian and analyze the translated texts, taking into account the preservation of the linguistic features of the original literary text in the translation.

Research Methods

The objectives of the study determined the use of a comprehensive methodology, which, along with the main descriptive-analytical method, includes such methods of scientific knowledge as linguo-stylistic, comparative, linguo-culturological, semantic-stylistic, and continuous sampling methods.


All means of expression are individually authorial, hence the phenomenon of idiostyle. Tropes simultaneously realize two meanings: dictionary and contextual, i. e., situational and stylistically marked. From this follows a particular interest in the problem of translating tropes, since due to national characteristics and differences in the stylistic systems of different languages, the translation of such lexemes often causes difficulties for translators. But no matter how ambiguous the image created by the author is, it is important to preserve it when transforming the text into a translated language. When translating the means of expressiveness, it is necessary to identify its semantics and then analyze the volume and content of the information behind this linguistic unit.

As noted, expressive means are used to make work more vivid. The translator always has a task: to try to copy the original technique or, if this is not possible, to create his means of expression in the translation, which will retain the expressive potential of the original. Certain semantic losses in achieving an equivalent and adequate translation are inevitable, and translators use transformations to prevent them. This paper discusses the most frequent tropes used by Faulkner (2014) in The Sound and the Fury, namely metaphor, metonymy, comparison, personification, and transformations the translators used to convey stylistic devices.

Ways to translate metaphor

She broke the top of the water (W. Faulkner)

She broke off the top of the water [Ona otlomila verkhushku vody] (I. Gurova)

She broke the water from above [Ona razbila vodu sverkhu] (O. Soroka)

In the translation by I. Gurova, the image is preserved, while in the version proposed by O. Soroka, a partial transformation of the image is applied, which does not lead to the loss of the original connotation, since the noun top [verkhushka] and the adverb from above [sverkhu] are interchangeable.

I could smell the clothes flapping, and the smoke blowing across the branch (W. Faulkner)

I smelled linen that clapped and smoke that swayed across the stream [Ya chuyal bel'ye, kotoroye khlopalo, i dym, kotoryy kachalsya cherez ruchey] (I. Gurova)

I sit down by the water, where they rinse and breathe blue smoke [Ya sazhus' u vody, gde poloshchut i veyet sinim dymom] (O. Soroka)

In these examples, there is a structural transformation of metaphorical lexical units. Gurova introduces the image through the attributive clause, expressed in English through the Complex Object, which corresponds to the traditional rules for translating this construction. The translator also chooses to convey the participle blowing, which contains in its semantics the image of the wind, less marked [kachat'sya], thereby moving away from the original image.

In contrast to the first version of the translation, Soroka retains the image of the wind that sets the smoke in motion, using the lexemeveyat'], which traditionally describes the movement of this element. The author does not retain the original structure of the metaphor: he swaps the images expressed by the subject and the predicate, namely, the smoke becomes not the main subject of the action, but an addition.

You was bad enough before you got that bullfrog voice (W. Faulkner)

And before it was hard to endure, but now you have a voice like a bull [I ran'she-to terpet' trudno bylo, a ved' teper' u tebya golosina, kak u byka] (I. Gurova)

Previously, at least you didn’t have this toad bass [Ran'she khot' etogo basa zhab'yego u tebya ne bylo] (O. Soroka)

In both examples, a partial image replacement occurs. The definition of contains two images in its semantics, while translators choose only one of the images that make up this metaphor for transformation.

To preserve the expression inherent in this trope, both I. Gurova and O. Soroka transform the stylistically neutral voice into emotionally chargedgolosina] andbas, which compensates for the reproduction of an incomplete definitive. There is also a structural transformation of the metaphor in the first translation into a comparative construction with a similar connotation.

Ways to translate personification

The chimes did begin and I went on while the notes came up like ripples on a pool and passed me and went on, saying Quarter to what (W. Faulkner)

The chimes really began to beat ... the sounds ran like ripples in a pond, overtook me and carried on, saying Quarter to what [Kuranty deystvitel'no nachali bit'...zvuki nabegali, kak ryab' v prudu, obgonyali menya i unosilis' dal'she, govorya: bez chetverti – chto] (I. Gurova)

There was a beat of the tower clock and, diverging like circles on the water, overtook me, calling a quarter what [Razdalsya boy bashennykh chasov i, raskhodyas', kak krugi na vode, obognal menya, vyzvanivaya chetvert' – chego] (O. Soroka)

In both cases, the semantics of the image was preserved during translation. I. Gurova uses direct translation with amplification of stylistically neutral verbs. O. Soroka partially refuses to use verbs that endow the image with personalization: instead of went on and saying, which are traditionally used to animated subjects, the author uses the verb tovyzvanivat'], which is quite naturally associated with the image of chimes. The translator combines some of the images that form this trope. Thus, the chimes and the notes are combined into the lexemeboy], which contains both meanings in its semantics.

She brought my bowl. The steam from it came and tickled my face (W. Faulkner)

She brought my bowl. She let off steam and it came and tickled my face [Ona prinesla moyu misku. Ona puskala par, i on prishel i shchekotal moye litso] (I. Gurova)

She put down my bowl. Steam rises from her and tickles my face [Postavila moyu misochku. Ot neye par idet i shchekochet litso] (O. Soroka)

O. Sokora in this example retains the original personification, changing only the tense form of the verbs. In I. Gurova's translation, the expansion of the image can be traced, namely, another inanimate subject of action appears.

Where the flowers rasped and rattled against us. (W. Faulkner)

Where the flowers creaked and knocked about us [Gde tsvety skripeli i stuchali ob nas] (I. Gurova)

They rustle, rustle about us [Oni shelestyat, shurshat ob nas] (O. Soroka)

Despite the fact that, in both translations, an inaccurate translation of the verbs is presented, the translators managed to preserve the effect of personification. The presence of the preposition against turns the inanimate subject flowers into a subject that performs actions in relation to the characters.

Thus, when translating personification, translators preserve the images created by W. Faulkner. No significant transformations were observed.

Ways to translate comparison

They went on like the bright tops of wheels (W. Faulkner)

They walked like bright tops of wheels [Oni shli, kak yarkiye verkhushki koles] (I. Gurova)

They float all the time, like bright tops of wheels [Vse vremya plyvut, kak yarkiye verkhushki koles] (O. Soroka)

In this case, in both versions of the translation, the comparative construction is preserved, since it does not cause difficulties in the perception of a Russian-speaking person.

His shirt was like a white blur (W. Faulkner)

His shirt was a white spot [Yego rubashka byla beloye pyatno] (I. Gurova)

The shirt like a white spot [Rubashka pyatnom belym] (O. Soroka)

In the first version of the translation, the author retains the original form of the trope. In the second translation, the comparison is conveyed using the instrumental case. The absence of a linking verb in O. Soroka's translation does not distort the emotional perception of the text, since in the original work W. Faulkner (2018) often deliberately omits auxiliary verbs, and link-verbs, which affect the overall style of the text.

Some looked at him as they passed, at the man sitting quietly behind the wheel of a small car, with his invisible life ravelled out about him like a wornout sock (W. Faulkner)

Some, passing by, looked at him, at a man sitting motionless at the wheel of a small car among the threads of his invisible life, spread out like a worn sock [Nekotoryye, prokhodya, smotreli na nego, na cheloveka, nepodvizhno sidyashchego za rulem malen'kogo avtomobilya sredi nitey svoyey nevidimoy zhizni, raspolzsheysya, kak iznoshennyy nosok] (I. Gurova)

Others, passing by, cast a glance at the man driving a small car– and he was sitting, and the invisible yarn of his life was torn, tangled, hung in torn terrycloths [Inyye, prokhodya, brosali vzglyad na cheloveka za rulem nebol'shoy mashiny, – a on sidel, i nevidimaya pryazha yego zhizni byla rastereblena, sputana, visela rvanymi makhrami] (O. Soroka)

In the first variant, the comparative construction is preserved and translated into Russian with equivalent vocabulary. O. Soroka applies image substitution. He introduces a comparative construction in the instrumental case, using a semantically equivalent image, which also contains the meaning of “wear and tear”, but carries a stylistically different image. The phrase a wornout sock is endowed with a lower connotation compared to the image proposed by O. Soroka.

The day like a pane of glass struck a light, sharp blow (W. Faulkner)

And the day rang with glass easily and briefly [I den' zvenel steklom legko i korotko] (I. Gurova)

And the day is like a sheet of glass, ringing after a light and sharp blow [A den' – kak list stekla, zvenyashchiy posle legkogo i rezkogo udara] (O. Soroka)

O. Soroka retains the form of a comparative construction: it introduces it with a conjunction. The translator also selects an equivalent for the pane of glass image. Since a direct translation sounds unnatural within the framework of the Russian language, the author chooses the lexemelist], which contains in its meaning the seme “element of a flat form” and is also traditionally combined in Russian with the wordsteklo]. In the second translation, a structural transformation takes place: the comparison is introduced with the help of a noun in the instrumental case and the verbzvenet'], which contains the image of glass.

After analyzing the ways of transferring the comparative constructions of the novel The Sound and the Fury into Russian, it can be concluded that the use of structural transformations and image replacement is more frequent. Comparative construction in translation can be introduced with conjunctions, nouns in the instrumental case, and linguistic units expressing the idea of comparison.

Ways to translate metonymy

I could hear Queenie’s feet (W. Faulkner)

I heard the hooves of the Queen [Ya slyshal kopyta Korolevy] (I. Gurova)

Hooves of Queenie are heard [Slyshny kopyta Kvini] (O. Soroka)

In this example, the semantics of metonymy is preserved. Nevertheless, both translators replace the image of the legs with a more specific one–hooves, which is justified in this context, since there is talking about the legs of a horse. Also, O. Soroka neutralizes the image of the narrator, putting forward the lexeme hooves to the role of the subject.

The slanting holes were full of spinning yellow (W. Faulkner)

Yellow was spinning in oblique holes [V kosykh dyrakh vertelos' zheltoye] (I. Gurova)

Yellow specks of dust jostle in oblique holes [V kosykh dyrakh tolkutsya zheltyye pylinki] (O. Soroka)

In the first case, only one component of metonymy is changed: the gerund is transformed into a semantically equivalent verb. In the second example, there is an expansion of the image, a semantic and structural transformation of one of the elements of this metonymic formation. The substantiated adjective yellow is translated by O. Soroka with a combination that clarifies the image hidden by the author of the novel. Also, the translator not only refuses the literal translation of the spinning lexeme and chooses a verb with similar semantic elements, but also resorts to the conversion technique.

I could hear Mother, and feet walking fast away (W. Faulkner)

I heard my mother and legs that quickly left [Ya slyshal mamu i nogi, kotoryye bystro ukhodili] (I. Gurova)

I heard my mother, and the steps leave quickly [Ya uslyshal mamu, i shagi ukhodyat bystro] (O. Soroka)

In the first translation, a structural transformation of metonymy takes place, which in this case is appropriate, since such constructions, when translated from English into Russian, are also transmitted by a subordinate clause. O. Soroka uses image substitution: the translator changes the feet lexeme to more specific–steps [shagi]. With the help of structural transformation, a part of speech is replaced. The verb to leave [uxodit'] is used instead of the participle walking.

I heard Shreve’s bed-springs and then his slippers on the floor hishing (W. Faulkner)

...and then his slippers rustled on the floor [i tut zhe yego shlepantsy zashurshali po polu] (I. Gurova)

...his slippers rustled on the floor […zashurshali yego shlepantsy po polu] (O. Soroka)

In both versions of the translation, metonymy is preserved, but the structure of the trope is changed. Translators abandon the classic translation of Complex Object: instead of introducing a subordinate clause, they transform the original version into a complex non-union sentence.

Thus, based on the analysis of the translation of metonymy, it can be concluded that the structural transformations that translators most often use do not change the style of the text.


An essential component of W. Faulkner's work is figurativeness. The images realize the ideas and themes of the work. The writer's idiostyle in the novel is characterized by the following expressive means: metaphors, comparisons, metonymy, and personifications. I. Gurova and O. Soroka apply several translation transformations to transform these tropes into the target language. Most frequently, translators either keep the original image or use a structural transformation. Tropes as elements of style play an important role in creating imagery and are the most difficult to translate. In the translations of W. Faulkner's novel The Sound and the Fury, various transformations of language units are used when they are transferred from English into Russian, namely: structural transformation, image replacement, and neutralization. Translation transformations help to maintain the adequacy and equivalence of the translated text. I. Gurova's translation is more adequate in comparison with the version made by O. Soroka. The translator performs a verbatim transformation of emotionally charged language units or selects matches that do not distort the emotional perception of the original text.


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23 December 2022

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Zholos, L. M., Sardalova, L. R., & Musaeva, A. A. (2022). Ways To Preserve Linguocultural Heritage Of W. Faulkner's Works In Russian Translations. In D. K. Bataev, S. A. Gapurov, A. D. Osmaev, V. K. Akaev, L. M. Idigova, M. R. Ovhadov, A. R. Salgiriev, & M. M. Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Knowledge, Man and Civilization- ISCKMC 2022, vol 129. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1308-1315). European Publisher. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2022.12.167