Question by Luis Prisse: What is the best english translation of Mikhail Bulgakov novels?
I hear mixed reviews, and I am confused about which to buy
Answers and Views:
Answer by Kelley
I prefer Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s Russian translations. They just seem to flow better than other translators I’ve tried. However, the only Bulgakov novel they’ve done is The Master and Margarita.
Answer by Samara
There are quite a few published English translations of , including but not limited to the following:
- Mirra Ginsburg, New York: Grove Press, 1967.
- Michael Glenny, New York: Harper & Row, 1967; London: Harvill, 1967; with introduction by Simon Franklin, New York: Knopf, 1992; London: Everyman’s Library, 1992.
- Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O’Connor, annotations and afterword by Ellendea Proffer, Ann Arbor: Ardis, 1993, 1995; New York: Vintage Books, 1996.
- Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, London: Penguin, 1997.
- Michael Karpelson, Lulu Press, 2006.
- Hugh Aplin, One World Classics, 2008.
Ginsburg’s translation was from a censored Soviet text and is therefore incomplete.
The early translation by Glenny runs more smoothly than that of the modern translations; some Russian-speaking readers consider it to be the only one creating the desired effect, though it may be somewhat at liberty with the text.
Perhaps, I would try Glenny’s translation though it may be a little incomplete (censored text).
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