a little light night reading

i'm in love with russian literature. my first love was german. but then i read crime and punishment and fell in love all over again. then i read war and peace, translated by maude. then i took a class in undergrad with an amazing professor (even if i think her ways for grading was high schoolish) and i loved learning about russian history, and the names, and different words, and the rich, amazing meanings and insinuations within the text. i loved how much they used language, play on words, etc. my favorite book was gogol's dead souls. LOVED it. mr. mimi is not one for fiction but even he really liked it.

so last week mr. mimi picked up my copy of war and peace and began reading. i became a little jealous. all those wonderful scenes and intrigues he was talking about! so i bought my own copy, the new translation by pevear and volokhonsky. i already read their version of brothers kamarazov and when i re-read anna karenina for class i chose them too.

some people think they are too close to the russian and not enough catering to a modern english reader. most people know war and peace from the old standard british translations. there are some interesting articles about how p+v work in their translation (he does the english, she does the russian) but i won't link them here mainly because i'm lazy (a quick google search will suffice). some people complain about all the french. although everyone agrees that yes, tolstoy used the french on purpose in certain passages to convey a certain tone, message, or meaning ... however, many people rebut that in those days, literate people knew french, whereas nowadays nobody does. i didn't know the lowest common denominator was the requisite for good translation? what a bunch of baloney!

so now i will begin re-reading my copy of war and peace, alongside mr. mimi. i'm excited! i'll love to see what each of us pick up in our reading. i can't think of a better way to spend the next month while i'm off from school. i wonder when i will ever get to travel to russia?

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