January 02, 2005

Gogol Is Funny!

I'm not sure why the Moscow Times is only now reviewing the new Pevear-Volokhonsky translation of Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls. I remember reading it, in paperback, last spring, so it's at least two years old. But whatever! That aside, the reviewer here is much too harsh. I don't speak Russian, but I do know that the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation was the first to make me really think that Dead Souls was hilariously funny. (I'd read a Penguin paperback edition and some other edition previously.) So unless you're really a stickler for pedantry—or if for some reason you require a translation that "remains faithful" to an original text you'll never read anyways—I'd recommend it. Highly.

UPDATE: Okay, this edition of Dead Souls has actually been out since March 1997. I guess it's good that the Moscow Times doesn't feel bound by immediacy, but still...
-- Brad Plumer 10:47 PM || ||