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Crime and Punishment Paperback – August 22, 2001
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Mired in poverty, the student Raskolnikov nevertheless thinks well of himself. Of his pawnbroker he takes a different view, and in deciding to do away with her he sets in motion his own tragic downfall. Dostoyevsky's penetrating novel of an intellectual whose moral compass goes haywire, and the detective who hunts him down for his terrible crime, is a stunning psychological portrait, a thriller and a profound meditation on guilt and retribution. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
An acclaimed new translation of the classic Russian novel.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Many things may indeed be lost in translation, and many others get misrepresented but we may not know. The result of reading only the English versions is that one’s choice is largely subjective. Compared to the Garnett version, the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation seems very modern – until Ready’s came along. Little things like changing ‘had not’ to ‘hadn’t’ renders Ready’s version not only a little more modern but also more informal. That is not to say that the atmosphere of old Russia is lost. Ready uses ‘fibs’ for ‘lies’ (Pevear/Volokhonsky) in one passage.
Ultimately, the reader has to decide for himself which style he enjoys more. Here is a comparison from one of my favourite passages (there are many) from the book. I set out first the Pevear/Volokhonsky version then the Ready version:
“What do you think?” Razmumikhin shouted, raising his voice even more. “You think it’s because they’re lying? Nonsense! I like it when people lie! Lying is man’s only privilege over all other organisms. If you lie- you get to the truth! Lying is what makes me a man. Not one truth has ever been reached without lying fourteen times or so, maybe a hundred and fourteen, and that’s honourable in its way; well, but we can’t even lie with our minds! Lie to me, but in your own way, and I’ll kiss you for it. Lying in one’s own way is almost better than telling the truth in someone else’s way; in the first case you’re a man, and in the second – no better than a bird. The truth won’t go away, but life can be nailed shut; there are examples. (Pevear/Volokhonsky)
‘Now what are you thinking?’ cried Razumikhin, raising even more. ‘That it’s their lies I can’t stand? Nonsense! I like it when people lie. Telling lies is humanity’s sole privilege over other organism. Keep fibbing and you’ll end up with the truth! I’m only human because I lie. No truth’s ever been discovered without fourteen fibs along the way, if not one hundred and fourteen, and there’s honour in that. But our lies aren’t even our own! Lie to me by all means, but make sure it’s your own, and then I’ll kiss you. After all, lies of your own are almost better than someone else’s truth: in the first case you’re human; in the second you’re just a bird! The truth won’t run away, but life just might – wouldn’t be the first time.
Ready’s version has a table of chronological events and a fresh, inspiring introduction that will help the first-time reader understand and appreciate the context of ‘Crime and Punishment’
As the story goes on Raskolnikov, gets more and more unglued as he is racked with guilt and hounded by the inspector, even though he keeps thinking to himself that he is not sorry he killed the old woman, but that that he made a mess of it, and he is not one of those peolple meant to change society and that maybe his theory is wrong. Comming to this conclusion leads him at an empass and the reader sees him unraveled as a person in the end there are two possibilities for him.
This is the reason people started to hate big box and online bookstores when they first started putting neighborhood bookstores out of business -- because they don't seem to care about books, just making money. But what's funny here is that they could actually charge money for the better translation, since it's new, but instead they choose to give away an inferior version and pretend it's the same thing. (They do offer the Pevear and Volokhonsky version of Demons for a price - a version easier to distinguish because the newer translation even changes the title from the less-accurate The Possessed - versions with that title are available for free.) Also, because they don't distinguish between different translations, there is no button available under the Pevear and Volokhonsky version to request that the publisher make it available for Kindle.
It's also difficult to know what version of a book is being reviewed sometimes. I'll be reading reviews on the Kindle Edition page, and the reviewer will describe the fine leather binding. This is especially frustrating now that I realize the actual content - the language - of the book I'm buying could be different from the one I read about online.
Since getting my Kindle, I've been impressed by the machine itself, but thoroughly unimpressed by Amazon's handling of content. They should focus less exclusively on getting people to buy the device, and work harder at improving the way they sell books and other content for it.