NABOKV-L post 0018976, Fri, 18 Dec 2009 09:01:49 -0500

QUERY: VN on Garnett's translation of Anna Karenin(a)
As Fredson Bowers points out in his introduction to the Lectures on Russian Literature, VN "highly disapproved of Constance Garnett's translations from the Russian," including that of Anna Karenina - or rather, as Nabokov corrects the usual English title, Anna Karenin. Indeed, this volume's transcription of VN's lecture on the novel "usually omits his bitter sidenotes about the translator's incompetency, directed at Constance Garnett's blunders" (xv).

A subscriber asked me to forward this query to the List, especially to those who teach Russian literature in translation: Do you agree with VN's assessment of Garnett's translation? Which translation of Tolstoy's novel do you recommend instead?

Susan Elizabeth Sweeney
Co-Editor, NABOKV-L

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