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Crime and Punishment: Pevear & Volokhonsky Translation (Vintage Classics) Paperback – March 2, 1993
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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.
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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’
The story, itself, is fascinating in how it looks at an investigation of murder. Told from the point of view of the criminal, the layers unfold into how the crime is established layer upon layer until all that is left is the raw portrait of a man who made some very bad choices. Drawn all the way out to the end, it is a thriller that leaves you wondering what will happen to Raskolnikov; if he will indeed 'suffer' for his crime of killing an old lady involved in pawn brokering and money laundering, and her ugly sister.
For those interested in mystery and intrigue, it may seem outdated, but the story is applicable in even today's day and age.
I give a four star rating not because of the novel itself or the quality of the print, but because that when I ordered the book I thought that I would be getting a full leather bound addition to add to my book collection. Instead I received a great hard cover addition that just had a leather strip on the back. The print was not a bad scanned addition like some of the other reviews state but it just wasn't full leather bound.
But I do have to say the the novel itself was great and that I enjoyed it very much.