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The Idiot
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John Seymour 10. Which translation did you read? Or did you read the original? How was it?


John Seymour I read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation. I've read some harsh criticisms of their translation method in the past - which frankly caused me to skip their translation of The Brothers Karamazov. But I recently read a more detailed review of their process and thought it was interesting. Basically, Volokhonsky, a native Russian speaker, does an initial rough translation of the text. Pevear, whose Russian is limited but who has a literary background, re-writes the Volokhonsky's work for flow and sense. To this point they work separately. Then they go through together working to maintain faithfulness to the sense, style and meaning of the original.

Having just read the Constance Garnet translation of The Brothers Karamazov, I decided to read the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation of The Idiot. I was very happy with it. I have no way, of course, of telling how faithful it is to the original, but it was a very smooth reading experience and I never wondered if what I was reading was Dostoevsky or the translator.


Kristel (kristelh) | 3820 comments Mod
I listened to the audio by Blackstone Audio read by Robert Whitfield and pdf file from eBooks@Adelaide, translated by Eva Martin. The audio and the pdf were different translaters which made it a little difficult to sync my place at times.


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