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You are currently reading a thread in /lit/ - Literature

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I read McDuff's translation of C&P some months ago and I really enjoyed it.

>The Brothers Karamazov
Should I stick with McDuff?

>War and Peace
>Anna Karenina
Recommended translations?
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>>7604787
>mfw I'm russian
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>>7604787
>translations
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>>7604793
Lucky you

>>7604795
Bad meme my friend
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>>7604787
Avsey for the Karamazov brothers

Briggs for war and peace

For Anna Karenina I would urge you to be brave and read one if the new translations by Bartlett or Schwartz and report back to us. Bartlett seems kind the better choice of the two based on reviews thigh. I read the p&v version.
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>>7604873
Got it. Any reason why McDuff doesn't get a lot of mention here? I found his C&P to be excellent.
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>>7605194
He gets recommended quite a bit. He's the most common recommendation for Dosto, Maudes are most common for Tolstoy.
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>>7605198
I might go with Avsey for TBK. I like what I saw.
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>reading a translation
>a translation
>reading

nice plebbing itt

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEl59biItfY
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>>7605226
He's well respected on here -- Enjoy it.
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>>7604787

>>The Brothers Karamazov
>Should I stick with McDuff?
* David McDuff is a good choice; other good ones are
* Ralph Matlaw's revision of Constance Garnett,
* David Magarshack,
* Andrew MacAndrew, and
* Ignat Avsey >>7604873

>>War and Peace
* Aylmer and Louise Maude (always a first consideration for Tolstoy);
* Ann Dunnigan's translation is also well regarded
(Anthony Briggs would be my third recommendation, but I don't know much about his work, and I have some reservations, so I would personally stick with the two above. Also, I don't have a positive view of Pevear and Volokhonsky, but I will acknowledge with their work on Tolstoy in general and W&P in particular that they don't smooth over Tolstoy's repetition of words but instead recognize it as deliberate and render it as such in translation. I'm still on the fence about how they [and others] treat the French in W&P.)

>>Anna Karenina
* Maudes
* Magarshack (although I think of him as more of a Dostoyevsky specialist)
* Modern Library's revision of Garnett
(There are issues with this title, such as different versions of the Russian text, that make the issue complicated.)
>>
Who's best for Chekhov? I may buy the Oxford selection translated by Bartlett
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>>7605279
You seem to know your way around. What about Notes from Underground and The Gambler?

Also, maybe you have read The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession translations by Peter Carson? I found them to be incredible and I'd like a second opinion but being relatively a relatively recent work that's not easy.

> In the last two days of his own life, Peter Carson completed these new translations of The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession before he succumbed to cancer in January 2013. Carson, the eminent British publisher, editor, and translator who, in the words of his author Mary Beard, "had probably more influence on the literary landscape of [England] over the past fifty years than any other single person," must have seen the irony of translating Ilyich, Tolstoy's profound meditation on death and loss, "but he pressed on regardless, apparently refusing to be distracted by the parallel of literature and life." In Carson's shimmering prose, these two transcendent works are presented in their most faithful rendering in English. Unlike so many previous translations that have tried to smooth out Tolstoy's rough edges, Carson presents a translation that captures the verisimilitude and psychological realism of the original Russian text.
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>>7605308

With Notes from Underground, there's a significant translation choice that comes up right away in the first line and that determines how the Underground Man and his pathology are to be considered. The line is 'I am a sick man ... I am a _____ man'. A translation that gets it right fills in the blank with something related to a psychological or sociological reading, like 'spiteful' or 'nasty'. I believe that Garnett, Magarshack, and MacAndrew all translate it like this. (The alternative is to put the discussion in moral/ethical terms, which is incorrect, by using the word 'wicked'; this is what P&V do.)

For The Gambler (which I like very much), I'm not really up on issues from one translation to another. In fact I'm not totally sure which translation I have read; it was in the public domain, so likely Garnett (although it could've been C.J. Hogarth or Frederick Whishaw).

I'm not familiar with Carson's work with Tolstoy, but thanks for putting it on my list of things to look into.
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>>7605365
>The Gambler

I think the one I read was Hogarth:
https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/d/dostoyevsky/d72g/complete.html
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>>7605365
I'll check those and keep your suggestion about that defining line in mind.

>>7605367
I find that use of caps rather odd, although I'm it isn't something that would keep me away from a text.
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>>7605306
I second this request
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>>7604787

What translation of The Idiot is most highly regarded on /lit/?
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>>7606423
* David Magarshack
* David McDuff
* Ignat Avsey
(Also Anna Brailovsky has revised Garnett's translation, but I don't know anything about her or her work myself.)
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P&V has the best cover for TBK so go with that
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Something I've noticed that really irks me is that people who really like Dostoevsky tend to also like Tolstoy, whereas people who really like Tolstoy tend to dislike Dostoevsky. Anyone else notice this?
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>>7608017
No, not really. Most of my friends are avid readers and all of them like both. Sure they have some critics to specific works from each side, but I didn't came across that patter you mention.
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>>7608017
Dostoyevsky isn't as good as Tolstoy, so some people like Tolstoy but not him. That doesn't mean they hate Dostoyevsky -- and it certainly doesn't mean everyone who really likes Tolstoy doesn't like Dostoyevsky.
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Just a heads up for those considering Crime and Punishment translations, get the Oliver Ready one (2014). I abandoned P&V halfway for this edition and it is just so much more readable the second time around: vivid imagery and detail that were awkwardly phrased in PV have came to life in this version that really makes this a much more pleasurable experience.

It's that much better.

TBK:
>On David McDuff's Penguin translation he continues: "McDuff carries this literalism the furthest of any of the translators. In his Brothers Karamazov the odd, fussy tone of the narrator is well rendered in the preface....At times, indeed, the convoluted style might make the reader unfamiliar with Dostoevsky's Russian question the translator's command of English. More seriously, this literalism means that the dialogue is sometimes impossibly odd—and as a result rather dead....Such 'foreignizing' fidelity makes for difficult reading."

I will probably be going with Avsey's version:
> "His not entirely unprecedented choice of a more natural-sounding English formulation is symptomatic of his general desire to make his text English....His is an enjoyable version in the domesticating tradition."
>>
I go with P&V. Orthodox Christians likes those translations because the wife translates theology for the Church (and has long before she did Dostoevsky), and so she can catch all the terms and nuances.
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>>7608017
Haven't read much of these two but so far:

I hate and love both of them depending on their work. Dosto's short stuff is pretty hit and miss and Tolstoy's peasants-and-farmers-are-the-meek-that-shall-inherit-the-earth phase is below average.
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>>7608687

Thanks for the insight. I'm curious: whom are you quoting? Looks interesting. Also it's interesting that the person would consider McDuff the most literalist of translators, even moreso than P&V. (I'm currently reading McDuff's Karamazov, and I'm not finding any of the problems mentioned in that quote, but then I do have a familiarity with Dostoyevsky and with the book.)
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>>7608687
I read McDuff's C&P and really enjoyed it and I was going to read his translation of TBK too, but now I'm thinking about Avsey after seeing how much praise he gets.
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A year back I bought some books without giving much thought to the translation.

I recently realized the importance of the translator and have this dreadful feeling of having screwed up.
Here's what I bought.

1. Notes from Underground (Bantam Classic): Finished it.
Translator: Mirra Ginsburg
Introduction: Donald Fanger

2. The Idiot (Penguin Classics): Yet to read
Translator: David McDuff (seems good from what everyone is saying)
Introduction: William Mills Todd III

3. The Brothers Karamazov (Bantam Classic): Yet to read
Translator: Andrew R McAndrew <----- Really doubt this one.
Introduction: Konstantin Mochulsky

Since The brothers karamzov is considered his best, I want to be sure that I read the best translation there is.

How much did I mess up?
Should I sell these books and get better translations? I don't want to read a bad translation of such an acclaimed author. What translations would you recommend? Please help.
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>>7608860
>Andrew R McAndrew
This a decent translation, don't know about that Ginsburg though.
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>>7608882

Is it better than every other translation? Since The brothers karamzov is considered his best, I want to be sure that I read the best translation there is.
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>>7608915
Translations are subjective, that's why there is more than one and that's why there are always translation debates on lit.
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>>7608860
Avsey for the idiot. Trust me on this.
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>>7608986
>trust me on this
>trust

McDuff is an excellent translator and his work with The Idiot lives up to that. If you say he should read Avsey's translation instead, then at least present your argument.
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>>7605306
I'm reading this ediition at the moment and she goes to great effort not Rp be accurrate just in terms of individual words but also rhythm and lyricism
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>>7608694
>implying Dostoevsky wanted to go full-retard with Church terminology

sure, religion takes center stage in his works, but is technical religionspeak as important? I'd argue it isn't with Dostoevsky.
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>>7609027
>answers to constantine
>taking the bait
>2016
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>>7604793
so is my gf...kills me she hasn't read dostoevsky. I'd love to read it in mother russian...same for gogol and babel.

she does read me mayakovsky for shits and giggles though.

>not a total loss
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>>7609108
Is she a russian qt anon? Do you jerk off while she reads to you?
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>>7609118
yeah - she's circassian. Worth pursuing...i'll see what comes of it.
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>>7609130
M-maybe you could get her to read some pushkin and record it in vocaroo for us?
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>>7608915

I'll give you the rundown on the translations I mentioned in >>7605279:
* Matlaw's revision of Garnett is good for a reading that preserves the older style of Garnett's time, while correcting her omissions, insertions/editorializing, and mistakes;
* Magarshack is another good 'older'-style translation;
* MacAndrew is more modern and is also fairly free with his translation, but it's fine (his was the first translation of Karamazov that I read, btw, so I personally think you'd be fine with it, just heed what I told you here >>7608899 about the Introduction);
* McDuff and Avsey are also more modern readings and well regarded, with McDuff being maybe more literal than Avsey.
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>>7609130
Anon, you have to listen to >>7609148. Maybe ask her to read the epilepsy scene from The Idiot as you like Dosto?
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>>7609182
Not him but what are you referring to when saying 'older style translation'? What are its characteristics that are preserved in Matlaw's revision?
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>>7609148
eh too lazy but thanks. I'm sure you could find it elsewhere on the interwebs to suit your vicarious needs.
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>>7609221
At least post some feet photos with a russian book besides them anon. You turned me on.
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>>7609221
It's not the same.

At least do this >>7609264
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>>7609182
>>7608882
>>7609021

Thank you so much anons. I really like this board because I can always count on helpful advice from here :)
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>>7604787
A чтo ты caм peшил для ceбя: твapь ты дpoжaщaя или пpaвo имeeшь?
>>
The Russians fucking suck. I read that Brothers Karamazov. Boring and pointless. If I wanted to read a pointless story I could at least read one that was entertaining and not 800 pages long. Might as well read fuckin Neil Gaiman or some shit.
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>>7609365
Cool. This isn't the thread for you then, is it lad?
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>>7609359
I'm op man, and I want feet.
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>>7605308
>>7605365
Pic related is my favorite translation for those.

It passes >>7605308's test and reads extremely well.
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>>7609380
This is what I needed, and both in a single volume. Thanks anon.
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>>7609211

What I'm referring to has to do with phrasing etc. that sounds like it came from an earlier time vs. sounding more contemporary. Garnett's work is often labeled 'Victorian', if that helps; or think of Dickens' ornate style (not that Garnett is quite to that extent).

I'll type out a little comparison of Garnett's and MacAndrew's work for comparison. This is how Garnett (via Matlaw's revision) renders part of a speech by Father Zosima in Book 2, Chapter 2:
>"Fear nothing and never be afraid; and don't fret. If only your penitence fail not, God will forgive all. There is no sin, and there can be no sin on all the earth, which the Lord will not forgive to the truly repentant! Man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God."

And here is what MacAndrew did with it:
>"Don't be afraid of anything, ever. And do not grieve. As long as your repentance does not weaken, God will forgive everything. There is not--there cannot be--a sin on earth that God will not forgive the truly repentant. Why, a man cannot commit a sin so great as to exhaust the infinite love of God."

So note for example the difference between Garnett's 'If only your penitence fail not' and MacAndrew's 'As long as your repentance does not weaken'. (Also I'm going to point out something on the last sentence. MacAndrew adds the expletive 'Why', but otherwise the two are basically the same. Not only does the addition by MacAndrew make the sentence seem more modern, but it's also more faithful since the original has an extra bit at the beginning of the sentence which Garnett omitted.)
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>>7609365
Пoшeл нaхyй, тyпopылый aнглocaкc
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>>7609417
Good answer anon. I liked the way that quote was revised too although I don't personally have a problem with reading Victorian English.
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>>7608778
Peter France from 'The Oxford Guide to Literature in English translations'.

On PV:
>France writes: "Pevear and Volokhonsky, while they too stress the need to exhume the real, rough-edged Dostoevsky from the normalization practised by earlier translators, generally offers a rather more satisfactory compromise between the literal and the readable. In particular, their rendering of dialogue is often livelier and more colloquial than McDuff's.... Elsewhere, it has to be said, the desire to replicate the vocabulary or syntax of the Russian results in unnecessary awkwardness and obscurity.
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>>7610632
Do you own a physical copy or how do you gain access there? Sorry for asking but I'm on mobile and it's really impractical to browse pages.
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>>7610675
just look up the wikipedia page for tbk it's all there
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