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War & Peace. Best translation?

 
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War & Peace. Best translation? - 4/5/2008 12:43:04 PM   
Manchurian candidate


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From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
I need a new book to read, and the one currently in my mind was War & Peace. However, a large number of translations seem to be around, and I was wondering which versions anyone here would recommend.

Your thoughts on the book would also be very welcome.

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 4/5/2008 4:16:35 PM   
homersimpson_esq


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Dear Lord, you mean you haven't read War & Peace?! You should be ashamed of yourself Mr Candidate! *shakes head sorrowfully*


(For the record, I haven't read it either.)





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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 4/5/2008 4:40:35 PM   
Manchurian candidate


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You should read Ulysses.

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 5/5/2008 10:06:26 AM   
Movieman Tom


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Kate Bush, Badlands and now Ulysses.

Damn, your obsessed!

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 1:49:44 PM   
Olaf


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In answer to your question MC, go with the 1978 revised edition, or the 1923 Maude translation. Though I've heard of a more recent English translation of Tolstoy's original draft, 400 pages shorter though.

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 2:28:24 PM   
Helen OHara

 

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I can't comment on the merits of the individual translations, but I bought a cheap-ass Penguin Classics edition and that was fine, seemed to make sense and all that. For the book itself, it felt kinda like a soap opera with extra farming and a soupcon of Napoleonic strife. So The Archers meets Sharpe, you might say. But all good an' literary and such.

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 2:58:25 PM   
elab49


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Joined: 1/10/2005
I think most people buy one copy and don't really try other translations - unless they teach English or study it!

Where you do have to make the choice though is between the 1500 page normal version and the new and improved 'shorter' version - either 600 pages total or 600 pages less, I can't remember which. I wouldn't read it though - not qualified to judge on the academic arguments but I think someone would have noticed a long time before if it wasn't the 'real' version so unfinished version sounds about right.

I did hear someone advise someone once that the best thing to do is search online - you can find most versions of it there and read a chapter or 2 and see if there is one your prefer?

Mine is Edmonds. I tried our Uni library online and the Maude translation still seems popular (and their Karenina is used for the Folio Soc version).

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 3:15:18 PM   
Larry of Arabia

 

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I haven't read their version of the book, but I have read translations by Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear before - Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, Bulgakov's The Master And Margarita - and they were very good. I think their version of War & Peace was just published last year, they already have a translation of Anna Karenina published as well by Penguin.

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 4:21:17 PM   
elab49


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Isn't that the one that sparked the war of words over the 'short' version as both were published about the same time?

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Deviation] LIKE AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS TOO. IT MADE ME LAUGH A LOT AND THOUGHT IT WAS WITTY. ALSO I FEEL SLOWLY DYING INSIDE. I KEEP AGREEING WITH ELAB.


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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 4:40:14 PM   
Manchurian candidate


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Ended up getting this version: http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/vintage/vintageclassics/title.htm?command=Search&db=/catalog/main.txt&eqisbndata=0099512238 I think it's the Larissa Volokhonsky and Richard Pevear one.

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 6/5/2008 4:44:39 PM   
Larry of Arabia

 

Posts: 7576
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It is their version, it was the one involved in a disagreement over the shortening of the novel, as elab49 pointed out.

http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2007/10/22/tolstoy-translations-rival.html

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RE: War & Peace. Best translation? - 7/5/2008 5:39:22 PM   
Manchurian candidate


Posts: 11123
Joined: 13/6/2006
From: A Clear-Thinking Oasis
It arrived today. A different edition to the one I ordered, and only volume one. So it's essentially useless.

Despite obviously being quite old, it looks nice, so I'll stick it on a bookshelf and find a decent copy.

_____________________________

"Ford's economics are the worst thing that's happened to this country since pantyhose ruined finger-fucking."
Lyndon B. Johnson
"British Beatitudes! Beer, beef, business, bibles, bulldogs, battleships, buggery and bishops"
-Ulysses, By James Joyce
"Rose McGowan is a fucking clown"
-Harry Lime
"Who's Keith"
- Rhubarb

(in reply to Larry of Arabia)
Post #: 12
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