mika
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Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 5:47 pm

I'm sure most of us have at some point heard of the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevski, many people have recommended me to read his work "The Idiot" and maybe even more so his book "The karamov brothers" (i believe that's what it's called). The last one have even been for me referred to as "THE book" to read. Now, those of you have read these titles or anything else by Dostoyevski, what is your take on him? Brilliant or not good at all?
 
pelican
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 6:00 pm

Some years ago I read "The Karamazov brothers" (I don't know the English title). And I've to say although Dostoevsky isn't the easiest to read - I think Tolstoy is easier to read -the book gives an unique impression of Tsarist times of Russia. He potrays complicated characters in a very impressive way. Hence I can recommend it to you.

pelican
 
lekohawk
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 7:10 pm

Quoting Pelican (Reply 1):
Some years ago I read "The Karamazov brothers" (I don't know the English title). And I've to say although Dostoevsky isn't the easiest to read - I think Tolstoy is easier to read

In the States it's called "The Brothers Karamazov", which I presume is the title for most (if not all) English translations... feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

As for Dostoevsky v. Tolstoy? Tolstoy... but not by much.
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Kieron747
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 10:30 pm

I recently finished reading 'Crime and Punishment' and would recommend it to anyone. It may not be that easy to read, and it is damn long, but once you get into in it's very hard to put down.

It's certainly a book that makes you think...

Kieron747
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Logan22L
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:24 pm

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 3):
I recently finished reading 'Crime and Punishment' and would recommend it to anyone. It may not be that easy to read, and it is damn long, but once you get into in it's very hard to put down.

That's in my top 5.

All of Dos's work is first rate. Notes from Underground, Poor Folk and other stories, the Gambler, The Possessed...in addition to those mentioned above.

I'd rank him as one of the 2 or 3 best writers of all time. It's a shame that I cannot read him in his native Russian, as I'm sure some of the wordplay is lost in translation.

Logan
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
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TS-IOR
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:31 pm

It's worth reading it. It's an engaged, left, literature !!! Good reading  Wink
 
Kieron747
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:35 pm

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 4):
It's a shame that I cannot read him in his native Russian, as I'm sure some of the wordplay is lost in translation.

Agreed, I was thinking that as I was reading it. I'm not sure however, if all editions are translated by the same person. The edition I have is translated by a Scottish academic called David McDuff and I appreciated his style very much.



I enjoy reading literature from the 19th century and found his translation inkeeping with the style.

Regards

Kieron747
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Logan22L
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:41 pm

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 6):
The edition I have is translated by a Scottish academic called David McDuff

Sounds familiar; I think he did several works of his, but there have been several other translators. I've read C&P by two different translators, although the names escape me right now. Perhaps I should bring all my books to work so I can fairly contribute to this. Wink

Logan
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JGPH1A
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:45 pm

I read about 3 pages of "Crime and Punishment" and gave up. Admittedly it was a VERY old translation, but it was SO awful, dreary and hard to enjoy. Maybe I should try again with a more modern translation. On the other hand, I'm not a real fan of gritty tales of urban grimness in any language.
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dl021
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:52 pm

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 3):
'Crime and Punishment' and would recommend it to anyone.

Same here.

Dostoyevskiy was an excellent writer and had the advantage of living in that environment. I don't know if I'd call him a grimmer Dickens, but the thought crossed my mind.
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Logan22L
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:53 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 8):
Admittedly it was a VERY old translation, but it was SO awful, dreary and hard to enjoy.

Spoken like a VERY old A.netter. old  old  old  old 

Not surprised you didn't like it, you seem more like the Jaqueline Susan type. Wink

Come on JG, give it another go. It's not "Curious George Rides on a Firetruck," but it's right up there.
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JGPH1A
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Mon May 09, 2005 11:59 pm

Quoting Logan22L (Reply 10):
Not surprised you didn't like it, you seem more like the Jaqueline Susan type.

Come on JG, give it another go. It's not "Curious George Rides on a Firetruck," but it's right up there.

Not Jaqui Susann ! Jackie Collins though, good for reading on holiday, in hammocks slung between palm trees (I actually did that once !).

Curious George ? Oh please, spare me such simian caperings ! I much prefer the erudite and intellectually stimulating saga of The House at Pooh Corner.
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scbriml
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 12:44 am

I think he's very highly skilled, but he's just not a team player. They'd be better off without him!
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Vulindlela
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:21 am

About the old translations-If you find the language to be pretty dull, or if you are going to read Dostoevski for the first time in English, you should get the Richard Pevear/Larissa Volokhonsky translation. They are husband/wife professors of Russian literature-one native Russian and one American, and they make for the best translators. I am pretty sure they have done all of Dostoevski's books now, as well as some Tolstoy and others.
I read their version of the Brothers Karamazov and Notes From Underground. They were both great. I have picked up older translations and compared them page by page, and the newer ones are hugely different. I don't speak Russian either, so I can't say one is truer than the other, but Pevear/Volokhonsky use much brighter language and are more loose in their punctuation, sentence structure, etc. It makes a massive difference. Next time you are at the bookstore, just pick up one of each of the same book, and compare the first page of any chapter. The improvements can be seen immediately.
-Kevin
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Logan22L
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:26 am

Quoting Vulindlela (Reply 13):
one native Russian and one American

I bet I can guess which one is which. Wink

Kevin, thanks so much for your advice. I will no doubt search for these translations.

John
"The deeper you go, the higher you fly. The higher you fly, the deeper you go."
 
Vulindlela
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:28 am

One other thing-Those new translations are more expensive. My copy of The Brothers Karamazov says US $17 on the back, whereas an old classics edition of it is probably about $6 or 7. But they are well worth it, and they are much better quality paper, binding as well.

Finally-A quote from the back of The Brothers Karamazov:
"It may well be that Dostoevsky's world, with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now-through the medium of this new translation-beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.
-NY review of books

-Kevin
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Kieron747
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:29 am

So, bearing all this in mind, I am looking to read more by Dostoevsky, can anyone suggest which book I go for next bearing in mind I have only read Crime and Punishment?

Thanks,

Kieron747
Airliners.Net - The Jam Rag Of The Web.
 
Vulindlela
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:30 am

Logan22L-
Good job if you guessed  Wink It usually is an American man and Russian woman isn't it? -not very often the other way around.

-Kevin
"If you take everything I've accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into 1 day, it looks decent!"
 
Vulindlela
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:34 am

Kieron747-
The Brothers Karamazov is to most people his greatest novel. But if you want to read something shorter to see if you might be interested in others, you could try (what many say is his first great early work) The Double, or Notes from Underground. Both of these are very short compared to his few massive novels, but still very telling about the writer.
-Kevin
"If you take everything I've accomplished in my entire life and condense it down into 1 day, it looks decent!"
 
Logan22L
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:35 am

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 16):
So, bearing all this in mind, I am looking to read more by Dostoevsky, can anyone suggest which book I go for next bearing in mind I have only read Crime and Punishment?

"Brothers" is quite long, but, if you made it through C&P, that shouldn't deter you. Notes From Underground is very personal, and an influential book for many writers. The Gambler is a slightly lesser-known work, and one of my favorites.

There are also several books of stories.

Just read 'em all, Kieron. Smile

Logan
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Pendrilsaint
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RE: Your Thoughts On Dostoyevski

Tue May 10, 2005 3:37 am

Kieron 747, how much time do you have haha? If you have a good amount of reading planned ahead I'm going to suggest the brothers K as a good follow up. I don't think it was quite as riveting as Crime and Punishment, but it is definitely a great read. If you want some less intense reading, pick up a collection of his short stories (Which MUST include Notes from the Underground, which one can argue is one of the most important literary works in recent centuries). I know it's a sentimental story, but 'White Nights' is also a good short story.

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