Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Additions to the Library

This year is supposed to be the Year of Russian Literature, meaning that I begin to read and acquaint myself with Russian Literature and be able to talk on them. No particular Russian authors were listed; the only requirement is for the author to be from Russian. So far, I have only two books: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and The Government Inspector by Nikolai V. Gogol. Regardless, Russian Literature will be incomplete without certain classic names and it was only a matter of time that I read some of these names.

This week I have added two Russian books - by the same author - to my library. They are those that were over-recommended by friends and which I (or a friend) happen to find at the Legon Bookshop. I am ultra-conservative when it comes to books and so when I say I have purchased a book or added a book to my library, I mean a physical book to a physical library. The following are the books:
  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. [From the Blurb of the Wordsworth Classics edition]: Crime and Punishment is one of the greatest and most readable novels ever written. From the beginning we are locked into the frenzied consciousness of Raskolnikov who, against his better instincts, is inexorably drawn to commit a brutal double murder [...] The result is a tragic novel built out of a series of supremely dramatic scenes that illuminate the eternal conflicts at the heart of human existence [...]
  2. The Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoevsky. From the Blurb of the Wordsworth Classics edition]: As Fyodor Karamazov awaits an amorous encounter, he is violently done to death. The three sons of the old debauchee are forced to confront their own guilt or complicity. Who will own to provide. [...] The search reveals the division which rack the brothers, yet paradoxically unite them. Around the writhings of this disfunctional family Dostoevsky weaves a dense network of social, psychological and philosophical relationships. [...]
Actually, these books are common and I would assume that most readers have read them. Both books were translated by Constance Garnett. What do you think of this particular translation? Is it true to the Russian text?

2 comments:

  1. I usually prefer Pevear and Volokhonsky's Russian translations but, without knowing Russian, it's hard to comment on how closely they adhere to the original text.... always a problem when reading in translation, I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. That's a problem. I will seek out Pevear and Volokhonksky's translation.

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