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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: Keeping an Open Mind (126 comments)

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  •  How much of his delicately mocking tone, and his (10+ / 0-)

    ear for dialect, come through in English translations?

    There seem to be a lot of Russians who weave distinctive magics - Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky's humor - that are impossible to capture in translation. Perhaps this true of any language, but Russian does seem to have a wildness, a tang to it, a lot of hard and bitter roots; we think we read their books, because some of them are Western classics, but we're drinking watered-down tea.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:18:37 PM PDT

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    •  Some things get lost, but I think that (8+ / 0-)

      it comes through just fine in these particular stories (whereas another favorite, "The Poker", I won't even bother with here - one translation I saw had to include a paragraph-long explanation of why the story is so funny, heh.)  The translator lays it on a little thick with the slang in "The Lady Aristocrat", and it starts leaning a bit toward openly instead of delicately mocking, but I think it still works.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Wed May 22, 2013 at 06:38:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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