I read the Garnett translation. I was happy with it, to the extent that “happy” is the right word to describe the experience of reading what I found to be a depressing novel.
What is the BEST translation of Crime and Punishment?
I did some research on the available translations, which I have presented in a long, illustrated post on my other website, We Love Translations, called “Which translation of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment should I read?”
That post compares in-print translations. I count seven in-print translations of thirteen total, listed here:
||Princess Alexandra Kropotkin
||Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
||Nicolas Pasternak Slater
||Michael R. Katz
I recommend the Garnett translation of Crime and Punishment.
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The word “mnemonic” has nothing to do with anything in the movie. Nothing. It’s just a weird word that makes the title sound fancy.
As an adjective, “mnemonic” means “aiding or designed to aid the memory” or “relating to the power of memory”. As a noun, it means a special word or poem that helps you recall a set of connected ideas—like “FANBOYS”, which reminds you of seven coordinating conjunctions in English: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
But the premise of Johnny Mnemonic is that the protagonist is carrying data in his head like a drug mule and doesn’t even know what it is! Moreover, he doesn’t remember much about himself; he dumped his memories to make more space to carry data. From the title, I would have guessed he had a special memory skill, but no. He just has a cybernetic upgrade that turned his brain into a (rather faulty) hard drive. He’s nothing special. Might as well be named John Doe.
William Gibson wrote the screenplay as well as the short story of the same name, so the title was his choice, nothing to do with Hollywood. Maybe he picked it because the character wishes he could remember his childhood?
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See below for more on what the movie is like and why I didn’t particularly like it.
Continue reading Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
I didn’t particularly like Crime and Punishment… it was third-person omniscient but drifted into unreliable narrator territory because the protagonist is crazy, and you spend a lot of time watching him very closely as he goes around in circles being indecisive. I find his behavior dull at best and really frustrating at times—which is perhaps the point, but it’s unpleasant and rather drawn-out. I think I was expecting more overt philosophy, but there’s only a couple of scattered bits.
I read the Constance Garnett translation of Crime and Punishment. If you are trying to decide on a translation, check out my post over at Medium on which translation of Crime and Punishment you should read.
More on what I liked about the translation and didn’t like about the novel below.
Continue reading Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Constance Garnett
When and Why I Read Crime and Punishment
I was too tempted by the price! Bought it for 50% off SG$5.89. But according to the rules I've been trying to follow for a couple of years now, if I buy it, I can't just put it aside for another day. Last in, first out. Means I have to read it. So that's what I'm doing!
Genre: Classic Literature (Russian)
Date started / date finished: 28-Mar-20 to 05-Apr-20
Length: 485 pages
Originally published in: 1867/2000
Amazon link: Crime and Punishment