- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 896 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (June 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0198748841
- ISBN-13: 978-0198748847
- Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.7 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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"...the best English rendering which has ever appeared" --A. N. Wilson, Times Literary Supplement
"Bartlett's [version] seems to me as ecstatic as the Russian language feels." - Bob Blaisdell, Los Angeles Review of Books
About the Author
Rosamund Bartlett has published widely in the fields of Russian literature and music. Her books include Wagner and Russia (CUP) and Shostakovitch in Context (OUP), as well as biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy. Her life of Tolstoy was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. As a translator she has published the first unexpurgated edition of Chekhov's letters for Penguin Classics, and her translation of Chekhov's short stories, About Love and Other Stories, for Oxford World's Classics was shortlisted for the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize. She was until 2006 Reader and Head of Department of Russian at the University of Durham, and she is the Founding Director of the Anton Chekhov Foundation, set up to preserve Chekhov's house in Yalta, for which she was awarded the Chekhov 150th Anniversary Medal in 2010 by the Russian government.
Top customer reviews
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After finishing Bartlett's translation the first time, I turned my attention to Marian Schwartz's new translation. While that has some interesting differences (including a more successful - in my opinion - opening chapter), on balance I really much preferred Bartlett's work. Schwartz too frequently falls into what I think of the "Pevear & Volokhonsky trap": in an effort to remain literally faithful to Tolstoy many of the passages read as if translated by Babelfish. However, I would always advise someone to sample different translations before purchasing. For me, Bartlett's is now my "go to" AK translation (now, if only she'd translate WAR AND PEACE!).
This novel is not a "love story" in the traditional sense because Tolstoy actually compares both couples. What constitutes true love between a man and a woman? Is passionate love really that big a deal at the end of the day? What keeps a couple together?
Favorite characters: Levin, Kitty, Karenin, and Dolly. Why? Tolstoy fleshed out the humanity and inner journey of each of these characters well. The souls of these people grew as the novel progressed, and I marveled at their journeys toward forgiveness, growth, and self-acceptance. Their lives were never going to be perfect, but they did the best they could do - without intentionally hurting others. Through terrible trials, they became adults.
I found Levin's (really Tolstoy's) search for God refreshing because it mirrors my own lifelong search for truth and meaning. Tolstoy and I were "soul mates! I also enjoyed the epic scenes of life in 1870s aristocratic Russia: the hunts, the Italy scenes, and German spa scenes, the election, and the upcoming war. Tolstoy explored the issues of the peasants and what it meant to be a landowner with honesty.
What an epic read. My hat's off to you, Count Tolstoy!
As for the actual edition of the book: The ebook could have better navigation or even footnotes for better reading. I for one don't enjoy having to flip through pages all the time to understand a French sentence or learning about something from Imperialist Russia. The annotations do their job though, I'm tickled by the fact that I've learned more through annotations in Tolstoy than I ever did through my education in the United States public school system.