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It had such a lovely cover! Don't you sometimes just need a book because it looks pretty? But as always none of these translations are really "bad" and you won't miss out on anything major if you don't read the "best ones".
Commenting on Garnett's revised translation she says: "The revision Their edition shows an excellent understanding of the details of Tolstoi's world for instance, the fact that the elaborate coiffure Kitty wears to the ball is not her own hair—a detail that eludes most other translators , and at the same time they use English imaginatively Kitty's shoes 'delighted her feet' rather than 'seemed to make her feet lighter'—Maude; a paraphrase.
This emended Garnett should probably be a reader's first choice.go to site
NTA Longlist: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy translatedby Marian Schwartz | ALTA Blog
Yet she lacks a true sensitivity for the language There is occasional awkwardness This is a good translation. The advantage is that Wettlin misses hardly any cultural detail.
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One's choice Kent and Berberova did a much more thorough and careful revision of Garnett's translation than Gibian did of the Maude one, and they have supplied fairly full notes, conveniently printed at the bottom of the page. Turner's A Karenina Companion , although he calls their version "certainly a good translation. You can find it here.
Will you be reading Anna Karenina in English? If so, what translation will you use? I have noticed that there's a lot of debate going on about how you should pronounce Karenina.
If anyone is interested in language and pronunciation, I could look this up more thoroughly and make a post about it? Let me know if you'd like that.
From the Russian, with Love
Jun 28, PM. Kim wrote: "I have noticed that there's a lot of debate going on about how you should pronounce Karenina. In Brazil it was translated as Kar ie nina instead of Kar e nina. I haven't done any research to find out the reason yet though. In different languages names are transliterated in different ways. After helping him prepare the text for publication in book form in , Nikolay Strakhov recalled his friend staunchly defending the slightest expression, and opposing even the most innocuous changes. Strakhov realised that "in spite of all the apparent carelessness and unevenness of his style", Tolstoy had "thought over every word, every turn of speech no less than the most fastidious poet.
Take the opening sentence of Part 2, chapter 20, which is set outside St Petersburg, where the Russian army is garrisoned during the summer months. In one recent translation we read: "Vronsky stood in the spacious and clean Finnish cottage, which was divided in two".
On Garnett meeting Tolstoi, and the economics of translations
Although literally correct, it is the figurative meaning of the Russian verb "to stand" which is clearly intended: "Vronsky was billeted in a spacious and clean Finnish log cabin, divided into two". The English-speaking world owes Constance Garnett a great debt for producing a translation of Anna Karenina which has stood the test of time and set a high benchmark for future versions.
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But her remark that "Tolstoy's simple style goes straight into English without any trouble" is problematic when one remembers the thorny challenge posed by the many sentences in the book which are over words long. Then there are the clotted sentences brimming with participles, gerunds and subordinate clauses, and others with clusters of adjectives strung together like beads, not to mention Tolstoy's deliberate and unorthodox use of repetition. Tolstoy's limpid simplicity is deceptive, and his artistry of a high order, despite his apparent artlessness and eschewal of traditional rhetorical devices.
The Soviet writer Yury Olesha once noted perceptively that "Tolstoy's style is an expression of his rebellion against all norms and conventions". Take Part 6, chapter 10, where Tolstoy deliberately uses variants of the same verb chmokat to describe the sucking sound made by Levin's heel as he extracts it from the bog, and the "scape" call made by the common snipe when flushed, typically described in contemporary Russian ornithology as chvek or zhvyak. Garnett describes the sound of Levin's heel "squelching" but then talks about the "whir" of a snipe, while Louise and Aylmer Maude describe the "smacking sound" of Levin's heel and the "cry" of a snipe.
I did not know any of the biographical details about Garnett just the prodigious amount of work she did- what a fascinating woman! Thanks for sharing this.
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Notes on nineteenth-century Russian poetry and prose
You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Blog at WordPress. Home About this blog Translation comparisons. Garnett learnt more Russian with another revolutionary with whom she fell in love.