New version of Nabokov's Eugene Onegin translation

Submitted by Brian_Boyd on Mon, 06/18/2018 - 05:36

For the wealthy Nabokov completist, or for those who can recommend books to their university's rare books collection, Arion Press, San Francisco, has published this month, June 2018, a limited fine edition of Nabokov's Eugene Onegin translation, in a form even better than he ideally envisaged: the Cyrillic text interleaved with the stress-marked transliteration of the Russian on the inner half of each page (transliteration and stress-marking prepared by Stanislav Shvabrin), and the translation on the outer, spaced so that the translation is aligned with both Cyrillic and Romanized versions of the Russian, on fine-paper Folio pages big enough so that nothing looks in the least cramped. The edition is limited to 300 copies for sale, at $1650, surely the highest price for any new Nabokov edition. 

Brian Boyd wrote an introduction. The translation was intended to be accompanied by the two-volume Princeton paperback with Nabokov's introductions, Commentary, and Index, but Princeton and Arion need to resolve the distribution. For more details, see the Arion catalog. To quote from the catalog entry:

As Brian Boyd declares: “Nabokov would have been thrilled to see this Arion edition, which solves these problems of presentation so elegantly: the English translation with, beside it, the Cyrillic original interlineated with an indented stress-marked transliteration (prepared by Stanislav Shvabrin, the leading scholar of the finer points of Nabokov’s verse), both original and transliteration set in type small enough that their two versions of the line match the placement and numbering of the lines of the translation, so that the eye can easily skip from English to Russian.

“But what difference could a mere typographic arrangement make? In this case, all the difference in the world. It allows Pushkin to leap into sharp focus; it allows Nabokov’s aims in translating the poem as he did to become instantly clear; it allows readers to see the essential modesty and solicitude that drove Nabokov’s method.”