Discovering Russian Literature discussion

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GENERAL TOPICS > Translation Recommendations

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message 1: by Robyn (new)

Robyn (robynpat) | 2 comments I am new to Russian literature and our book club has decided to read Anna Karenina. I am completely excited but want to make sure that I get the best translation.
Any recommendations?


message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) I really liked the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation.

www.goodreads.com/book/show/5685.Anna...


message 3: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
I've not read P/V translation of Anna K. I read Anna Karenina Constance Garnett translation and the authorial voice is lost in hers so I would also say P/V.

But I have to say Garnett is not bad. I think till Pevear and Volokhonsky came, she was the best translater of Russian works.


message 4: by Terry (new)

Terry Robyn wrote: "I am new to Russian literature and our book club has decided to read Anna Karenina. I am completely excited but want to make sure that I get the best translation.
Any recommendations?"


Without a doubt, the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation (also has a great cover if you can get one without the "Oprah's Bookclub" seal on it LOL). A bad translation of Anna Karenina can completely ruin the pleasure of reading this novel.


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry Amalie wrote: "I've not read P/V translation of Anna K. I read Anna Karenina Constance Garnett translation and the authorial voice is lost in hers so I would also say P/V.

But I have to say Garnett is..."


I have strong anti-Garnett feelings. Although, to her credit, we probably wouldn't be reading as much Russian lit today as we do without her, her translations were frequently inaccurate and stodgy, and she tended to insert her own rigid cultural bias. Her translations can also be very stilted and transform a lively original into something moribund.


message 6: by Robyn (new)

Robyn (robynpat) | 2 comments Thank you for the recommendations. I believe I will try Pevear and Volokhonsky.


message 7: by Amalie (new)

Amalie  | 650 comments Mod
Terry wrote: "her translations were frequently inaccurate and stodgy, and she tended to insert her own rigid cultural bias...."

I'm not anti-Garnett :) she's not very readable I agree but I can't really judge, as I only have read a few of her translations. I remember trying The Brothers Karamazov and stopped reading and I agree P/V is the best but ... what do you mean Garnett is cultural biased?

One major problem with her is there's no distinctions between peasant and normal speech. She always use proper English to colloquialisms.


message 8: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Jul 23, 2011 11:02AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Coming to you with a translation question regarding our upcoming group read of Gogol's Dead Souls. The below is a discussion of various translations. Is there a translation that most of you will be using? I have two copies, one of Magarshack's translation in the Penguin Classics edition, and Hogarth's translation on a Kindle version. I think I can get other translations on the Kindle.


http://books.google.com/books?id=myLD...


Elizabeth (Alaska) I see there is a newer translation published since the above document was written. It is: Dead Souls, which is available also for the Kindle. One reviewer says this is the best translation, and, indeed, Maguire is mentioned in the document above as one who writes the introduction for the perceived best translation for the Oxford World Classics edition.


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