Dostoevsky in English

I haven’t posted anything for a while, but having got over pre-Christmas flu, festivities, and catching up with work after both, I am now back in the saddle. I decided to post a list of links to English translations of Dostoevsky’s works, partly because someone suggested it would useful, partly to have an overview what’s available and in how many versions, and also so that I can find the links when I need them – for original Russian texts, lib.ru has everything except most of Dostoevsky’s correspondence, so one rarely needs to look further, but translations are a bit more scattered, and even the most complete collection – the University of Adelaide Ebooks series – does not have everything that is available. I’ve included links to everything I could find, giving multiple versions because different formats may be useful for different things, and you never know whether some may disappear. Most of the translations available on-line are Constance Garnett’s, but there are also a few versions by other people, including Fred Whishaw and Marie von Thilo – I’ve used * in the separate works lists to indicates those that are not by Garnett, but I may have missed a few, and there are a couple where I’m not 100% sure whose version it is.

It comes as no surprise to discover that Crime and Punishment is available on the largest number of websites, but it is perhaps more surprising that this is the only text available in a dual language version – I would have thought the internet was ideal for presenting side-by-side texts, and it would be really useful for students. Let’s hope someone takes the hint and we see more parallel texts in future. At the other end of the scale, there were a few stories that were proving rather elusive, including a couple of my favourites, A Nasty Story and Another Man’s Wife and a Husband Under the Bed, but I did eventually manage to track them down in a collection on Archive.org (translated as An Unpleasant Predicament and Another Man’s Wife – managing to turn possibly the best story title ever into something quite mundane!), while The Landlady (definitely not a favourite) eventually turned up in two different collections, with Garnett’s version of The Gambler and Hogarth’s version of Notes from Underground.

There is, on the other hand, hardly any of Dostoevsky’s non-fictional work available, which is a great pity, because it deserves a wider readership than it usually gets. There is a Google books preview of Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, but not the complete text. There’s very little of his journalism, because very little of it has been translated. The only bits of Diary of a Writer that are available are the short stories and one slim volume that features a couple of pieces, while from the earlier period I particularly regret the absence of his brilliant Petersburg feuilletons. On the other hand, there are two early volumes of letters and reminiscences, which I wasn’t really expecting to find. So I think there’s enough to keep most people going. I hope other people will find the list useful, and if you do come across any versions I’ve not included – particularly if you find any more of the non-fiction – please let me know and I’ll update.

Pre-exile works

Poor Folk Ebooks@Adelaide | Literature Network | Project Gutenberg | Archive.org

The Double Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network

White Nights Ebooks@Adelaide

Mr Prokharchin Ebooks@Adelaide

A Faint Heart Ebooks@Adelaide

Polzunkov Ebooks@Adelaide

A Little Hero Ebooks@Adelaide

A Christmas Tree and a Wedding Ebooks@AdelaideLiterature Network

Works of the 1860s

Insulted and Injured Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection (incomplete) | Literature Network |Archive.org* | other

House of the Dead, or Prison Life in Siberia Project Gutenberg | Archive.org | Free Fiction BooksArchive.org [2]*

Uncle’s Dream Ebooks@Adelaide

The Permanent Husband Ebooks@Adelaide

The Crocodile Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network

Notes from Underground Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network | Project Gutenberg | Archive.org | Free Fiction Books

Crime and Punishment Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network | Archive.org | Russia Today | dual language version | Free Fiction Booksother

The Gambler Ebooks@AdelaideLiterature Network | Project Gutenberg | Free Fiction Books*

The Idiot Ebooks@Adelaide | Literature Network | Project Gutenberg | Archive.org* | The Free Library | Free Fiction Books*

Works of the 1870s

The Possessed Ebooks@AdelaideLiterature Network | Project Gutenberg | Free Fiction Books

A Raw Youth Ebooks@Adelaide | Archive.org

Bobok Ebooks@AdelaideLiterature NetworkAbout.com

A Gentle Spirit Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network

The Little Orphan (A Little Boy at Christ’s Christmas Tree) Literature Networkother

The Dream of a Ridiculous Man Ebooks@AdelaideLiterature Network

The Brothers Karamazov Ebooks@Adelaide | Eserver Collection | Literature Network | Project Gutenberg | Archive.org | Free Fiction Booksother

Collections

Short stories by Fiodor Dostoievski [includes An Honest ThiefA Novel in Nine LettersAn Unpleasant PredicamentAnother Man’s WifeThe Peasant Marey, and others]

The Novels of Dostoevsky: Nyetochka Nyezvanov [sic] and The Friend of the Family (The Village of Stepanchikovo and its Inhabitants)

The Friend of the Family, and The Gambler

Poor Folk and The Gambler

The Gambler and Other Stories [includes Poor People and The Landlady]

Letters from the Underworld, trans. C. J. Hogarth [includes A Gentle Maiden (A Gentle Spirit) and The Landlady]

Uncle’s Dream and the Permanent Husband, trans. Fred Whishaw

Pages from the Journal of an Author, trans. S. Koteliansky and J. Middleton Murry (1916), including the speech delivered at the Pushkin Memorial on 8th June 1880

White Nights and Other Stories (also on Free Fiction Books)

Correspondence & reminiscences

Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoevsky to his family and friends, trans. Ethel Colburn Mayne (1914)

Dostoevsky: Letters and Reminiscences, trans. S. Koteliansky and J. Middleton Murry (1923), including selections from Anna Grigorevna Dostoevskaya’s reminiscences.

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5 Comments

  1. Sarah, you have drawn attention to a useful site. I agree that the presentation of an English translation of Crime and Punishment in parallel with Dostoevsky’s original is a valuable resource and that this is an example which could usefully be followed in the case of other works. It is a shame that it is less useful than it could have been, in that the webmaster responsible makes no mention of the fact that there exist several English translations of this work, consequently offering no rationale for the choice of this dated version. The truly crass failing, of course, is that the author of the English text (Constance Garnett) is not even named, as far as I can see. I think a robust note regarding this unprofessional, cavalier attitude to authors’ rights is needed here. Why do some publishers still fail to show this minimum courtesy?

  2. You’re absolutely right that the translators should always be credited and frequently aren’t. I have quite a few old editions of Dostoevsky in translation in addition to the electronic versions I found, and a surprising number of the books do not give the translator’s name. I suspect Constance Garnett was instrumental in changing that and bringing proper recognition for translators (at least, one assumes there was a lot of literary translation from French, German etc, long before the Russians were ever touched, and my impression the habit of crediting translators hadn’t really caught on) so it’s even more unfortunate when she is not named.

  3. Richard Armstrong

     /  February 19, 2012

    It is worth mentioning that a lot of these translations, particularly the older ones from the 1880s and 1890s, are incredibly rare in print so without these e-resources there is little chance that most people would get the chance to read them.

  4. You’re right – the Garnett versions are very common, but the others definitely not. I’ve picked up copies of some of these older versions from second hand bookshops, but the one I really want, which isn’t on line either, is the Whishaw translation of Crime and Punishment. If I ever find a reasonably priced copy of that, I’ll digitize it myself!

  1. Russian thought lecture 5: Dostoevsky and the anti-rationalist argument | Sarah J. Young

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