Best English Translation of "Crime and Punishment"

I want to buy a friend of mine a copy of Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" and I noticed that there are a few translations available. Which one is the best?

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I have to admit I never read the book but my mother recently bought a copy of the book published by "Penguin Popular Classic" and she's enjoying tje translation very much. 

When buying a translation a good thing to do is to see what other books did the translator wrote or translated. Although you will never get a perfect match some translators are very good. In this case I have enjoyed Constance Garnett translation of this book.  He did many other books by Fyodor Dostoevsky and my impression of them was just as good.

Another good reason to use this translation is the opinion of my friend Uri, he is a Russian literature student (who can read Russian) and he compared some parts of the war & peace translation.

You can buy the book in amazon

Constance Garnett is a women

Constance Garnett was a woman.

I am reading Crime and Punishment in Russian right now (I am bilingual). Sometimes I read a page or so in the Garnett translation to compare, and the translation is almost word for word. However, I often feel that a lot of mood, emphasis, and nuance is lost. It's sort of like painting the Mona Lisa in watercolor, even if at any given point on the painting, the color is the same...


Apologies for the emphatic nature of this response, but the translations of Dostoevsky and other Russians by the team Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky are without a doubt THE number one translations of Russian literature you can find.  They have won many awards, and they are able to pull out some of the good humor and grit that many of the other stuffier translators are unable to translate for some reason.

 So I hope that helps, and avoids the probably correct impressions RandomGuy was getting from his english translation.


There's <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="" class="comlink">searching</a> , and there's <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="" class="comlink">studying</a> , and there's <a href="" rel="nofollow" cl="" class="comlink">everything else</a> .

My guilty pleasure seems to be collecting different versions of Russian literature by every translator i can find.  And ordinarily i would completely agree with MikevanEerden when he states that Pevear and Volokhonsky have produced by far the best translations of the great Russian works.  On Crime and Punishment however, i have to say Sidney Monas gets the nod for the top translation.  Monas has sadly not done any other Dostoevsky works despite his beautiful job perfecting a translation of one of the most honored books in literature.

 The Monas translation can be somewhat difficult to find in stores, it is published by Signet and i have seen two different covers for the Monas translation.  The Pevear/Volokhonsky translation may be easier to find and is still top notch and is published by Vintage.

 Garnet's is definitely the most common translation and many different publishing companies use her edition.  It is worth checking out for comparison of styles in my opinion.  However a true understanding of Dostoevky's piece is best seen through the words of Monas or Pevear/Volokhonsky. 

If translations could kill... They do. Like McDuff's translation of "The House of the Dead". So be careful of not reading rephrased works, and aim for the closest, as it is impossible to find a perfect one. In such epic works like Dostoevsky's, do account for history, culture, subtleties and nuances of language, that, unfortunately, do not translate.

Having read the two widely-known translators, Garnett and Pevear/Volokhonsky, I prefer P/V. The duo's "Notes from the Underground" was as good as it could get.

actually, i like the sidney monas translation best. I have read it next to the Volokhonsky, and even though one may be more accurate, it hardly differs. the only reason monas is better, is the flow. It seems so much more like literature, and there are more similies and imagery. take a look at the first paragraph of both on google books.

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