Will I really slip in sticky, warm blood, force the lock, steal, tremble, hide, all soaked in blood... axe in hand?... Lord, will I really? This is the translation of author's 'psychological record of a crime' which gives his dark masterpiece of murder and pursuit a renewed vitality, expressing its jagged and fevered atmosphere.
'Will I really - I mean, really - actually take an axe, start bashing her on the head, smash her skull to pieces? . . . Will I really slip in sticky, warm blood, force the lock, steal, tremble, hide, all soaked in blood . . .axe in hand? . . . Lord, will I really?'
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014 This new translation of Dostoevsky's 'psychological record of a crime' gives his dark masterpiece of murder and pursuit a renewed vitality, expressing its jagged, staccato urgency and fevered atmosphere as never before. Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk (1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, he fell in love with one of his contributors, Appollinaria Suslova, eighteen years his junior, and developed a ruinous passion for roulette. After the death of his first wife, Maria, in 1864, Dostoyevsky completed Notes from Underground and began work towards Crime and Punishment (1866). The major novels of his late period are The Idiot (1868), Demons (1871-2) and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80). He died in 1881. Oliver Ready is Research Fellow in Russian Society and Culture at St Antony's College, Oxford. He is general editor of the anthology, The Ties of Blood- Russian Literature from the 21st Century (2008), and Consultant Editor for Russia, Central and Eastern Europe at the Times Literary Supplement. As Director of the Russkiy Mir Programme at St Antony's, he runs events and conferences devoted to Russian culture.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow in 1821, the second of a physician's seven children. His mother died in 1837 and his father was murdered a little over two years later. When he left his private boarding school in Moscow he studied from 1838 to 1843 at the Military Engineering College in St Petersburg, graduating with officer's rank. His first story to be published, 'Poor Folk' (1846), was a great success.
In 1849 he was arrested and sentenced to death for participating in the 'Petrashevsky circle'; he was reprieved at the last moment but sentenced to penal servitude, and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison at Omsk, Siberia. In the decade following his return from exile he wrote The Village of Stepanchikovo (1859) and The House of the Dead (1860). Whereas the latter draws heavily on his experiences in prison, the former inhabits a completely different world, shot through with comedy and satire.
In 1861 he began the review Vremya (Time) with his brother; in 1862 and 1863 he went abroad, where he strengthened his anti-European outlook, met Mlle Suslova, who was the model for many of his heroines, and gave way to his passion for gambling. In the following years he fell deeply in debt, but in 1867 he married Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina (his second wife), who helped to rescue him from his financial morass. They lived abroad for four years, then in 1873 he was invited to edit Grazhdanin (The Citizen), to which he contributed his Diary of a Writer. From 1876 the latter was issued separately and had a large circulation. In 1880 he delivered his famous address at the unveiling of Pushkin's memorial in Moscow; he died six months later in 1881. Most of his important works were written after 1864- Notes from Underground (1864), Crime and Punishment (1865-6), The Gambler (1866), The Idiot (1869), The Devils (1871) and The Brothers Karamazov (1880).
A clever modern translation of this classic of Russian horror that gave me nightmares as a student. We journey through suffering, repentance and expiation of sin -- Neil Mendoza The Week Ready's new translation of Crime and Punishment is thoughtful and elegant [and] shows us once again why this novel is one of the most intriguing psychological studies ever written. His translation also manages to revive the disturbing humour of the original ... In some places, Ready's version echoes Pevear and Volokhonsky's prize-winning Nineties version, but he often renders Dostoyevsky's text more lucidly while retaining its deliberately uncomfortable feel. . . . Ready's colloquial, economical use of language gives the text a new power Russia Beyond the Headlines [An] excellent new translation Critical Mass What a pleasure it is to see Oliver Ready's new translation bring renewed power to one of the world's greatest works of fiction ... Ready's work is of substantial and superb quality ... [His] version portrays more viscerally and vividly the contradictory nature of Raskolnikov's consciousness. ... Ready evokes the crux of Crime and Punishment with more power than the previous translators have ... with an enviably raw economy of prose The Curator A gorgeous translation ... Inside one finds an excellent apparatus: a chronology, a terrific contextualizing introduction, a handy compendium of suggestions for further reading, and cogent notes on the translation. . . . But the best part is Ready's supple translation of the novel itself. Ready manages to cleave as closely as any prior translator to both spirit and letter, while rendering them into an English that is a relief to read The East-West Review Ready's vivid, new version ... is more than a Titanic idea of a great translation. It is the real thing ... Crisp and compelling, building on staccato rhythmic structures to heighten the novel's dramatic tension, then elegantly sidling into Dostoyevsky's abrupt denouement, his translation brings new life to a 150-year-old classic, rendering the familiar in fresh light The Wichita Eagle Ready's lively translation succeeds in admirably capturing the psychological intensity of Dostoyevsky's style. . . . [It] replicates natural speech patterns in a way that Pevear and Volokhonsky's rather stilted translation does not. . . . [Ready's] English prose is rhythmic and, at times, poetic. . . . It is [the novel's] sense of frenzy that Ready so brilliantly captures in his new translation, which will ensure that another generation of readers remains enraptured by Crime and Punishment -- Slavic and East European Journal Ready's translation is nothing less than a wonder. He mirrors the tonal shifts in Dostoyevsky's original more nimbly than any English-language translator has before, and he catches the dark humour that runs through the book mostly below its surface, and best of all, he captures the essential, unchanging absurdity of Raskolnikov perfectly ... Ready's version crackles with grubby, demented vitality -- Steve Donoghue Open Letters Monthly Oliver Ready's version is outstanding in finding le mot juste for all of Dostoevsky's graphic verbs and odd objects (few Russian writers have a lexical range to equal Dostoevsky's) The Times Literary Supplement What a great book this is and nothing like the dated, heavy Russian literature I thought I might have to wade through. It's a page turner - a dark, comic thriller with an anti-hero akin to Macbeth and characters so perfectly rendered as to leap from the page. The style is really modern and constantly delves into the mad thoughts of the protagonist - if you can call him that - Raskolnikov. Try it, especially Oliver Ready's high-tempo version -- Gary Kemp A dazzlingly agile and robust new translation . . . Ready, who has a practiced ear for Russian dialect and a natural grace with English, is exceptionally deft at navigating [the novel's] challenges ... His ability to reproduce the whole heady brew of Dostoyevsky's novel in a consistent but nimble modern English ought to be applauded Los Angeles Review of Books A tour de force built from prose that is not only impeccable in its own right but also perfectly suited to the story, its characters, its epoch and themes. We should treasure this new translation and, indeed, this new book New York Journal of Books I was bowled over, by the novel itself and the utterly brilliant translation, which grabs you by the lapels and doesn't let go. In the course of my work, I go through mountains of nonfiction to try to understand the world. This summer, I was reminded of the power of a novel to uncover something much deeper about the human spirit -- Fareed Zakaria The New York Times Book Review At last we have a translation that brings out the wild humour and vitality of the original -- Robert Chandler Oliver Ready's translation of Crime and Punishment . . . is a five-star hit, which will make you see the original with new eyes -- A. N. Wilson Times Literary Supplement, 'Books of the Year' This vivid, stylish and rich rendition by Oliver Ready compels the attention of the reader in a way that none of the others I've read comes close to matching. Using a clear and forceful mid-20th-century idiom, Ready gives us an entirely new kind of access to Dostoyevsky's singular, self-reflexive and at times unnervingly comic text. This is the Russian writer's story of moral revolt, guilt and possible regeneration turned into a new work of art ... [It] will give a jolt to the nervous system to anyone interested in the enigmatic Russian author -- John Gray New Statesman, 'Books of the Year' I was delighted to discover Oliver Ready's new translation of Crime and Punishment ... It is brimful of a young man's rage and energy and bullshit. I adored it -- Peter Carey A truly great translation ... Sometimes new translations of old favourites are surplus to our requirements. Sometimes, though, a new translation really makes us see a favourite masterpiece afresh. And this English version of Crime and Punishment really is better ... Crime and Punishment, as well as being an horrific story and a compelling drama, is also extremely funny. Ready brings out this quality well ... That knife-edge between sentimentality and farce has been so skilfully and delicately captured here ... Ready's version is colloquial, compellingly modern and - in so far as my amateurish knowledge of the language goes - much closer to the Russian. ... The central scene in the book is a masterpiece of translation -- A. N. Wilson Spectator
Commended for Literary Award (Translation) 2016
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