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Thread: THE IDIOT

  1. #1
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    THE IDIOT

    I've just finished it. There were some slow parts, and the end was a bit abrupt, but overall it was quite entertaining.... Nothing near Crime and Punishment however. So who else has read it? What do you thinkof it?

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    I read it not long ago. I thought it was excellent! Don't remember any slow parts, it was all good to me
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  3. #3
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    How easy is it? Could I read it?
    Я знаю
    Что делаю
    Вилкою
    Пирогу

    How to Post

    Last edited by Darobat on Mon Mar 5, 1759 1:19 am; edited 243 times in total

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    I read it in English and it was quite easy. Occasionally had to look up a dictionary in the word but that's all. Dunno bout Russian though.

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    Почтенный гражданин Spiderkat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    I read it in English and it was quite easy. Occasionally had to look up a dictionary in the word but that's all. Dunno bout Russian though.
    You could give it a try, here's a link for you.
    http://www.fictionbook.ru/author/dostoe ... idiot.html
    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum.

  6. #6
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    Wow that's a lot easier than I thought it would be. I can follow it pretty well but couldn't actually read it - too many words I don't know.

    By the way I wanted to ask before, do translations of books change a lot from the original, i mean like the whole feel and stuff? For example I knew someone who said Don Quijote was better in english and said it was sh*t in the original spanish, but i can't actually believe it can make that much of a difference if it's a good translation. What do you think?

  7. #7
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    I was surprised, too-I could follow the first three sentences pretty well.

    IMO, how much a book changes in translation depends on which languages are in question... but as the Italians say, "Every translator is a traitor."

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Translating such things as classics is really, really, really, really, REALLY difficult. It is important that you pick a good translation, one that is not necessarily easy to read, but one that is closest to the style of the original author and to the point he is trying to make. This is very difficult.

    I read this wonderful article in the new yorkerm which unfortunately isn't online, that was talking about the difficulties of in particular translating dostoevskiy, and compared translators.

    Try to avoid: Constance Garnett. Here is the quote from the article ("The Translation Wars") (yes I typed it in myself)

    "As a literary acheivement, Garnett's may have been of the second order, but it was vast. With her pale, watery eyes, her grey hair in a chignon, she was the genteel face of a tireless industry. She translated seventy volumes of Russian prose for commercial publication, including all of Dostoevsky's novels; hundreds of Chekov's stories and two volumes of his plays; all of Turgenev's principal works and nearly all of Tolstoy's and selected texts by Herzen, Goncharov and Ostrovky. A friend of Garnett's, D. H. Lawrence, was in awe of her matter-of-fact endurance, recalling her "sitting out in the in the garden turing out reams of her marvelous traslations fromt the Russian. She would finish a page, and throw it off on a pn the floor without looking up, and start a new page [...]" [...]
    Nabokov [...] pronounces Garnett's translation [of Anna Karenina] a complete disaster. Brodsky agreed; he once said, " The reason English-speaking readers can barely tell the difference between Tolstoy and Dostoevsky is that they aren't reading the prose of either one. They're reading Constance Garnett." Garnett's flaws were not the figment of a native speaker's snobbery. She worked with such speed, with such an eye towards the finish line, that when she came across a word or a phrase that she couldn't make sense of she would skip it and move on. Life is short, "The Idiot", long. [...]"

    Bottom line: DO NOT READ TRANSLATED WORKS BY CONSTANCE GARNETT

    There is a new translator pair: Pevear and Volokhonsky (husband and wife), read them (it might be harder to find books by them, you would have to buy them new.)
    Why? This is how they work: "[...] Pevear and Volokhonsky decided to collaborate on their own "Karamazov." After looking at the various translations - Magarshak, Andrew MacAndrew, and, of course, Constance Garnett - they worked on three sample chapters. Their division of labor was - and remains - nearly absolute: First, Larissa [Volokhonsky] wrote out a kind of hyperaccurate trot of the original, complete with interstitial notes about Dostoevsky's diction, syntax, and references. The Richard [Pevear], who has never mastered converstational Russian, wrote a smoother, more Englished text, constantly consultion Larissa about the original and the possibilities it that it did and did not allow. They went back and forth like this several times, including a final session in which Richard read his English version aloud while Larissa followed along in the Russian. Their hope was to be true to Dostoevksy, right down to his famous penchant for repitition, seeming sloppiness, and melodrama."

    Phew...

    bottom line: read translations by PEAR and VOLOKHONSKY
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

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    Здорово! Спасибо за то, что ты помешал себе написать всю статью. Мне очень интересно знать, но к сожалению я читал версии Гарнетта не только книги “Преступление и Наказание”, но и книги “Война и Мир”. Ах если бы только я знал тогда! Но тем не менее я прочитал хорошую версию “Идиота” Пеаром и Волохонской. ...

    Argh I have a bad feeling about that post in Russian, I wrote it in a hurry.

    Thanks again

  10. #10
    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    я, слава богу, не написал всю статью. Вся статья - 12 страниц!!!

    не за что!
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  11. #11
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    Below the bottom line: read Russian books IN RUSSIAN :)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by net surfer
    Below the bottom line: read Russian books IN RUSSIAN
    Yes!

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    Vinnie, a wee tale for you.

    A number of years ago, way before I had any inclination to learn Russian, I read a couple of books by Dostoevsky. The first was Crime and Punishment, the second was Brothers Karamazov. Naturally at the time, I didn't pay any attention to who had translated them, I just picked up the only copies on sale in the Classics section of my local Waterstones (or wheverever) and read them. Crime and Punishment was unspeakably fantastic, I could barely put it down (and probably read it twice back-to-back). Reading B.K., on the other hand, was a chore like no other book I have ever read, and I never even got past half way before I discarded it in disgust.

    Of course I knew at the time that, since both books were originally written by the same author, the difference had to be down to the translation, but I never gave it any more thought than that, I just stopped reading translations of foreign books. That's right, the translation I read of Brothers Karamazov was so bad it persuaded me to stop reading translations altogether.

    I didn't really give it much more thought until I read this thread, but you piqued my curiosity, so I went downstairs to see if I could find those books to see who translated them.

    Crime and Punishment, translated by Pevear and Volokhonsky

    Karamazov, translated by Ignat Avsey

    So...

    bottom line: read translations by PEAR and VOLOKHONSKY

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    Завсегдатай kalinka_vinnie's Avatar
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    Yeah, I know, I felt the same way. I didn't think much of who translated it until I read this article. Actually, I might make a PDF out of it and upload it for the forums perusal. It is a really interesting article.

    P.S. I wouldn't trust anyone with the name Ignat, even if they paid me.
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
    Trusnse kal'rt eturule sikay!!! ))

  15. #15
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    The Mini-Series with Yevgeny Mironov is very enjoyable, though the English subtitles for those of us who need them are horrible. I was glad I had read the book (in translation) beforehand.

    I hope someday I will be able to read them in the original, but I think I shall start with baby-steps. Like effectively reading the news online.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Пожалуйста, исправьте меня если я допустил ошибки.
    You've forgotten a comma.
    Пожалуйста, исправьте меня, если я допустил ошибки.
    Не говорите мне что делать, и я не скажу вам куда идти!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WishMaster
    Пожалуйста, исправьте меня, если я допустил ошибки.
    Are you sure about the comma before если?

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    Quote Originally Posted by net surfer
    Quote Originally Posted by WishMaster
    Пожалуйста, исправьте меня, если я допустил ошибки.
    Are you sure about the comma before если?
    Ya, certanly. In this case we have a complicated (compound) sentence (2 parts).
    "Пожалуйста, исправьте меня" - first
    ", если я допустил ошибки." - second.
    We have two couples of grammatical subject and predicate: .."someone" correct.. (null subject in first part) - and ..I've made..
    In this case we must use comma.
    Не говорите мне что делать, и я не скажу вам куда идти!

  19. #19
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    Спасибо, но как я только что сказал на другой теме - я презираю пунктуацию всей душой.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by basurero
    Спасибо, но как я только что сказал на другой теме - я презираю пунктуацию всей душой.
    В другой теме
    It's better to say ненавижу, презираю is usually used concerning somebody not something.

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