Ready on Dostoevsky.

I don’t often recommend podcasts because I don’t often listen to them, but I very much enjoyed George Miller’s interview with translator Oliver Ready, “about his five-year engagement with Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment (Penguin Classics, 2014): what persuaded him to take the project on? how did he limber up for it? and why – unusually – did he write his version out longhand rather than work on a computer?” It’s fascinating stuff, from his initially being put off Dostoevsky by Nabokov (he points out that Nabokov actually took a considerable amount from Dostoevsky, perhaps including the interjection “H’m!”) to his use of the OED in choosing words, his emphasis on Dostoevsky’s great stylistic range, and the effect of “key words” repeated in different contexts throughout the work (e.g., чистота ‘cleanness’). There are a couple of brief excerpts transcribed at the link, but I recommend listening to the whole thing; it’s only a half hour, and it goes quickly. Also, see Russian Dinosaur’s post on Ready’s introduction to his translation, “a genuinely interesting essay which manages to speak to both the academic and the general reader.”

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