Re: The Idiot
Posted by Steven on 14/1/2011, 22:28:52, in reply to "Re: The Idiot"
I've been reading The Idiot, am just into Part 2 and enjoying it very much. I assume that at least Guillermo will be reading it as well, since he was the one who nominated it. |
I'm reading the Pevear/Volokhonsky translation. They appear to have taken pains to make it a very literal translation even when the result is phrases that sound unnatural in English (e.g. a character referring to his father as "my parent" rather than "my father.")
I don't recall any ironic glances, but I'll watch for them. To me this sounds similar to phrases such as "he paled at the thought," "he shrugged in reply," or "she screwed up her eyes." I've never seen anyone pale, I've rarely seen anyone shrug, and I have no idea what screwed up eyes would look like, but it sounds terribly painful. I wouldn't know how to describe an "ironic glance" either. These expressions are a conveniently brief way to represent a combination of subtle verbal clues, facial expressions, gestures and body language. Or in some cases maybe nothing is visible, but the author is just using these shortcuts to tell us how the character feels.
: It's been a while since I read The Idiot, but I
: certainly agree that Myshkin is not severely mentally
: challenged like Benji. As I recall, Myshkin is a naif
: who is "subject to fits."
: I'm not exactly sure why the phrase "ironic
: glance" bothers you so much. The irony is not
: necessarily in the statement. Let's say that I'm
: sitting with a friend and our boss. The friend and I
: are liberals. The boss is a Tea Party republican who
: says (without a bit of irony), "Sarah Palin is
: the greatest woman of our time!" My liberal
: friend throws me an "ironic glance," which
: communicates that we both think the statement is
: laughably absurd, but we don't wish to say so and
: start an argument with our employer. Is there
: something amiss with that usage?
: --Previous Message--
: I'm not reading The Idiot now, but I've read it a
: couple times.
: I read somewhere that Faulkner's idiot Benji in The
: Sound and the Fury is more convincing than
: Dostoevski's. I take Dostoevski's title ironically or
: something like that. Is Myshkin really meant to seem
: mentally challenged, or is he just completely lacking
: in self interest? Perhaps that would be a handicap,
: but it's not the same as Benji's.
: My translation of The Idiot uses the phrase 'ironic
: glance'. I think it's by Sydney Monas. Do other
: translations use that phrase? What is an ironic
: glance? Is it a look that seems to imply that one
: thinks what one is hearing is the opposite of the
: truth? Even if that's it, I find it a very awkward
: phrase since the irony is in the statement and not the
: glance. Did I ask this here before?