Notes from Underground (Everyman's Library, 271)
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky
ISBN 1857152719 (1-85715-271-9)
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Hardcover, Everyman's Library Ltd
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Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation is the only translation that counts. They are the only translators who succeed in making Dostoevsky accessible to a 21st century audience, thanks to their ruthless attention to detail at the expense of alterations which can dilute Dostoevsky's unique and flowing style of writing. The great appeal this book retains even today is in part due to Pevear and Volokhonsky, as well as to Dostoevsky himself. Furthermore, Richard Pevear's substantial introduction is essential reading. It explains the purpose of the book and the historical significance of its ideas. Dostoevsky was writing at a time when Russia had reason to be optimistic, but the warning signs in his fiction perhaps leave us clues as to why Russia still has social problems today - and why, less than 40 years after Dostoevsky's death, Russia embraced Communism and destroyed the society in which Dostoevsky had lived
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