Thursday, June 10, 2010

An aside

The outrageous luxury of a sabbatical at this stage of my academic career: I am putting everything else aside in order to read War and Peace and Anna Karenina in the Pevear-Volokhonsky translations, out of a sudden conviction that the ABCs of the novel cannot proceed until I have done so!


  1. My husband is reading war and peace and really loving it - sounds like excellent sab reading to me!

  2. Sam read one--can't remember which--a few years ago and loved it. Very curious how long it will take you! And tempted to emulate, even without sabbatical.

  3. AK is, I think, fine in the P&V translation. I was less enamoured of their W&P when I looked into it. I think their popularity has worked against them in the sense that it has thrown a lot of work at them with very tight deadlines; and not all the books they've translated are favourites of theirs. I also think their method (V. provides a literal "pony" which P. edits into grammatical English) is not the best route to an acceptably literary translation. I think it is crucial that the "Englisher" should have direct access to the tone and "feel" of the Russian, which P. doesn't. He also is not the most accomplished English stylist, IMO. Proceed with caution.