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A place for students, teachers and native Russian speakers to discuss Russian grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and other aspects of the Russian language.







Which is the best English translation of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment?

0 votes

I'm quite a newbie who wants to jab into the Russian literature territory nevertheless. Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment was first published in 1866 and there seems to be at least a half a dozen translations since then. What is the best English translation in terms of style and accuracy?

asked Jan 15, 2013 by Nikolas (270 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote

The contemporary translation by Richard Pevear (American) and Larissa Volokhonsky (Russian) is the best and most accurate. It has earned a very good reputation from the readers. The married couple has won several prizes for their translations of Russian classics.

The classical translation by Constance Garnett has received both praise and criticism. It is available free from Project Gutenberg. The downside is that it is outdated and inaccurate at times.

answered Jan 15, 2013 by Alex (13,670 points)
0 votes

I do not know if it's the best, but at least this one is easy to find:http://www.magister.msk.ru/library/dostoevs/dostf02e.htm

answered Jan 15, 2013 by Lampada (140 points)
Unfortunately, Constance Garnett's translation is rather dated.
0 votes

While it is true that the Garnett translations are "dated", and in some cases inaccurate, I find that she has preserved the voices of the Dostoevsky's characters in an authentic way, using a register of Victorian English that quite well renders the social structures of 19th century Russia. Of course, any judgement as to "authenticity" is going to be subjective; nevertheless, having recently read both 'Idiot' and 'Brothers Karamazov' aloud (to my girlfriend), I can say that Garnett's Dostoevsky translations are a pleasure to read.

answered Jan 15, 2013 by beavitt (150 points)

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