Which translation of The Brothers Karamazov is the best? Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's 1990 translation is largely regarded as the canonical English translation today. This novel earned them the PEN Translation Prize.
Their choice was noted by many to be odd since the novel has been translated numerous times before by other prominent translators including Constance Garnett, Alexander Teplyashvili, and David McDowell. However, they were praised for their attention to detail and clarity in presenting the complex philosophy of the novel.
In addition to being awarded the prize, Pevear and Volokhonsky were also given permission by the author's family to choose the winning entry. They selected an earlier translation done by Alexander Macleod that was published in 1927.
Macleod's translation was praised for its quality and ease of reading even by critics who found some of the language in the original Russian too difficult. It has remained in print ever since and is still considered one of the best translations into English of a modern work of fiction.
However, since the award-winning version was not available at the time of the selection, Macleod's version will have to do instead.
The Brothers Karamazov is the narrative of three Russian brothers who are immensely distinct in form, intellect, and spirit and are generally regarded to embody the three aspects of humanity. It was composed in Russia, mostly in St. Petersburg, between 1879 and 1880. Fyodor Dostoyevsky had planned to call his novel "Winter Notes on Summer Impressions," but he changed his mind after completing the first volume.
He began writing it in July 1872 and finished almost four years later. The story follows the lives of the Karamazov family, whose name is often translated as "the guilty ones." They are the sons of an Orthodox priest who is also a very devout man who loves all his children equally but favors the youngest, Dmitry, because he thinks he can control him. The other two sons are Ivan and Alyosha. Ivan is honest but weak willed while Alyosha is strong but pious beyond reason. When father dies at the end of Volume I, he leaves the control of the family to his wife, son, and old friend Zossima. Zossima is a holy man who lives alone in a monastery and has great influence over the family.
Ivan leaves home to go to university but stays away for several years because he is not sure what kind of a life he wants to lead.
Any 'Constance Garnett' translation of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, or other works is the best available. They are all very good and accurate translations that work well for reading.
The original Russian text by Leo Tolstoy is considered to be one of the greatest novels in world literature. It was first published in 1873-1875 and has been translated into many languages, making it one of the most widely read novels in history. The story follows a noble family's downfall due to greed and adultery. It is told through the eyes of the title character - an affluent St Petersburg society woman who becomes entangled in her own scandalous love life.
Anna Karenina is a classic example of a complex novel with multiple plots that evolve over time. It can be difficult to follow due to the number of characters and events that occur, but it is worth reading just for the beauty of the language alone!
Anna Karenina is written in a formal style called "syntax", which means using precise grammar to express thoughts and ideas. This requires reading between the lines to understand what characters are thinking and feeling. Syntax can be confusing at times, but it makes for great literary drama!