The pevearsion of Russian literature

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Disastrously popular new translations of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and others are threatening to dishearten and distance new generations of readers from transformative works of greatness. The Pevear-Volokhonsky versions of Dostoevsky; Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov, and Bulgakov have earned rapturous reviews by James Wood in the New Yorker and Orlando Figes in the New York Review of Books, along with a PEN translation award. Student once encountered the great Russian writers as rendered by the magnificent Constance Garnett, a Victorian who taught herself the language and then proceeded to introduce almost the entire corpus of Russian literature to the English language over the space of 40 years, from the 1890s to the 1930s. The marketing of Pevear and Volokhonsky is a remarkable accomplishment. Each of their editions has allowed magazine and newspaper editors to commission articles in which writers of distinction are given the rare opportunity to review without qualification a genuinely great work that has great meaning for them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalCommentary
Volume130
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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