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Crime and Punishment
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message 1: by Cindy (last edited May 04, 2014 07:54AM) (new)

Cindy Brown (beautygoodbook) This section is to discuss the various translations of the book. Thank You Lisa for being our discussion leader for this book.


message 2: by MK (last edited Jun 02, 2014 12:23PM) (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment was chosen from monthly nominations as our June 2014 Old School Classic Group Read. I hope you will join the conversation! Please take care to limit SPOILERS to appropriate threads, so so as to not to give away any plot points prematurely! :)

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message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

To date there are at least eight known English translations of Crime and Punishment, the earliest completed by Fredrick Whishaw in 1885 and Constance Garnett in 1914. More current translations that still remain popular include those by Sidney Monas (1968), David McDuff (1991) and Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky (1992). The following provides a link to a New York Times critique of the McDuff and the Pevear/Volokhonsky renditions. Warning: There are some spoilers in the article regarding certain plot points. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/04/26/boo...

I am reading the translation by Sidney Monas. It was the first Kindle sample that I downloaded and seems to be worded in a way that is easy to understand. I have since discovered it may be missing some of the subtle nuances of the original wording but that is okay, as I have never tackled Crime and Punishment before! :-)

What translation are you going to read? Any particular reason for your choice? Maybe reputation of the translator, price, you already own a specific copy?


Kelly B (kellybey) | 266 comments I'll be reading the one copy my library has;-). I'm not sure who translated it. I believe the publisher is Absco ?? or something similiar. From the looks of things, it's an older book. I'm just hoping it's unabridged!


Philina | 1558 comments I bought the Penguin Classics version for its great price and the visual coherence of my bookshelf, as nearly all my classics are Penguin.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments I'm going to read a library copy of this book published by Duke Classics as an eBook. I'm not sure who who the translator is.

Strangely GR doesn't seem to include Duke Classics titles in its database. This is the second time that I entered an isbn for a Duke book in GR and nothing turned up. I prefer to have the edition of a book that I am reading on my book shelves. This is very annoying that I can't include the edition that I am reading!


message 7: by MK (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Andrea, you can add a new edition. I've done it a few times.

We have a few librarian members. Maybe Melanti or Tytti will stop by, or another librarian member, and they can walk you through it :).

Or, you can wing it :D. Click on the 'add new edition' on the book page, then join the Goodreads Librarians group and post a link there to the newly created edition, and ask one of the librarians there to combine it (or merge it, I always mix those up, which is which ... ) with the main book entry.

I've done it a few times, b/c, like you, I prefer to have the edition I read on my shelves. It makes the page numbering progress bar accurate, which I like, while I'm reading, to see my progress on :p.


Philina | 1558 comments I didn't even know that you could change the edition!!! This would be really helpful! For one of my books the difference between my edition and the one shown on GR is about 300 pages...


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments @MK

Thanks for the advice! It is really appreciated. It may sound silly, but I was really upset about not having the correct edition on my shelves. Yes, I'm anal that way >:)!


message 10: by MK (last edited May 23, 2014 11:23AM) (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Phil wrote: "I didn't even know that you could change the edition!!! This would be really helpful! For one of my books the difference between my edition and the one shown on GR is about 300 pages..."


yep, you can change editions, Phil :)

On the book page, you can click on 'other editions' by hovering your mouse over the picture, or 'all editions' in the tiny letters under the book info in the middle of the page.

Choose 'expand details', then your choose type of book (paperback, hardcover, etc) from the dropdown menu, to narrow the choices and make finding your edition easier.

But, for books that might have LOTS of editions, I usually try entering the ISBN number in the search bar first, to help locate my exact edition. Doesn't always work, but it's a good place to start :)


message 11: by MK (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) wrote: "@MK

Thanks for the advice! It is really appreciated. It may sound silly, but I was really upset about not having the correct edition on my shelves. Yes, I'm anal that way >:)!"



Not silly at all !! :)
The only reason I know is because ... I agree with you, and plucked my way through links trying to find out how the heck I could get the edition right! Too bad I didn't figure it out until AFTER Doctor Zhivago. I read two editions of that book, and I can't figure out how to change just one of the editions without affecting the other, and it's annoyed me endlessly. Finally I had to just let it go :p


Philina | 1558 comments Thank you so much - again (!!!) -, MK!
I will try on my mobile app know and if this function isn't available I'll try later on the PC.


message 13: by MK (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments ahhh ... might not be on app! Good point. I used to come to GR almost exclusively on the app. Now I'm here more on PC. If it's not there on app, it'll be there in browser environment on PC :)


Philina | 1558 comments It works!!! Only on the PC, though...
THANKS again!!!


message 15: by MK (new) - added it

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments yay! (good to know, on the app)

welcs :)


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for the information MK. (I recently removed the app from my Kindle because there are too many features missing.)


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments Well, I've just downloaded from Project Gutenberg a Constance Garnett translation (1914) of this book. I'm going to return the library eBook bec I may not complete the book by its due date. The lending period for my local library is 21 days.

I wanted to read the NYT article that someone linked earlier in this thread that discusses various translations. I didn't read bec the article incl spoilers that I did not want to read. That's a shame that the writer incl spoilers in the article.


message 18: by [deleted user] (last edited May 23, 2014 04:21PM) (new)

@ Andrea

It seems each translation has merits and drawbacks. Being able to keep the book (or ebook) during the entire reading period is most helpful though!!

Yes, I agree it is too bad that the NYT article gave away some aspects of the plot to compare different translations. After you read Parts/Sections 1 and 2 of the novel, it is probably safe to read the article, however most people likely will not want to change translations at that point--

Thanks for everyone's input and interest so far!! :-)


Janice (j_nee) I read the Jessie Coulson version because I already had the book in my collection, a book I picked up at my Library's book store for $3. I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not I'd like it because this is my first English-Translated Russian book, but surprisingly I really enjoyed it and a pretty quick read as well. I'm always surprised when I read a classic novel and it's a quick read because I usually feel like I have to trudged through classics.


Melanti | 2386 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) wrote: "I'm going to read a library copy of this book published by Duke Classics as an eBook. I'm not sure who who the translator is.

Strangely GR doesn't seem to include Duke Classics titles in its data..."


Did you ever get this added? If not if you send me the ISBN or the link to the book on Amazon, I can get it added for you.

I always shelve whatever edition I'm reading too!


Melanti | 2386 comments I'm reading the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation as well. Their translation of Notes from the Underground came highly recommended to me last December but I went with a generic translation instead. It was a bit dull (even though it was VERY important in terms of literary influence) and I think the translation might have been part of the problem.

So I'm going to splurge on a good translation this time!


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