Sunday, October 14, 2007

NY Times with Pevear on War and Peace

The New York Times is hosting a month-long discussion (moderated by Sam Tanenhaus) on the new Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation of War and Peace.

They also have an essay by Richard Pevear on the epic, and on the daunting 3-year translation work.

The world of “War and Peace” envelops you. It is built on uncertainties, illusions, sudden reversals, constantly shifting perspectives, but once you enter it you feel you’re in sure hands. Over it all is the “infinite sky” that Prince Andrei discovers as he lies wounded on the field of Austerlitz. This vast unity that embraces the broadest human diversity is the secret, the mystery, of Tolstoy’s art. If it offers a great challenge to its translators, it also offers great rewards to its readers, as I’ve tried to suggest in a small way.

4 comments:

Sarah said...

Thanks for this! I went over and printed it off immediately. I've already ordered my copy and now I just have to wait (not so) patiently for it to arrive! :)

Dark Orpheus said...

You're welcome. Say, this reminds me of something. Have you read the David Remnick article in The New Yorker, "The Translation Wars"? It touches on Constance Garnett's translation of the Russian masters -- but also talks about P/V and their own approach to the Russians.

Here's the link:

http://ruinedbyreading.blogspot.com/2007/03/cat-has-9-lives-war-peace-has-more.html

Sarah said...

I stumbled upon it when I was looking at Remnick's collection of New Yorker articles, "Reporting." It was the first time I heard that Pevear and Volokhonsky were doing a translation of W&P and I remember running through the bookstore to tell my husband. I'm such a nerd! Thanks for the links!

Dark Orpheus said...

Ah, you are the best kind of nerd. One after my own heart!

I remember rushing to blog about the new translation of W&P the moment I read about it. I am so geek.