Friday, June 26, 2009

A Sportsman’s Notebook discussion: online resources and versions

A Sportsman's Notebook by Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Charles and Natasha Hepburn
The Cresset Press, London, 1950

I am glad that this book has come out; it seems to me that it will remain my mite cast into the treasure chest of Russian literature, to use the phraseology of the school-book… Much has come out pale and scrappy, much is only just hinted at, some of it's not -- right, oversalted or undercooked -- but there are other notes pitched exactly right and not out of tune, and it is these notes that will save the whole book.

-- Ivan Turgenev, in a letter to his friend Pavel Annenkov in 1852, remarking on A Sportsman's Notebook
Quote source

Because of differences in translations, I thought it might be helpful to list which stories are in my version. I picked up the used copy pictured above (I know, I need to figure out how to use my camera phone better). I can’t really explain why I went with this version other than I liked the look and loved the feel of it over other versions. I know it’s all the wrong reasons, but I have seen only a few translations recommended and this was one. I’m not sure the best way to go about discussing the book, so I’ll probably only highlight certain stories and have a post on general topics.

Also, be sure to keep checking the main Turgenev online resource page. I add interesting articles as I find them.

Online texts

Most online texts seem to only have some of the stories available. Project Gutenberg looks like they have a complete version: Volume One and Volume Two

The work at is also the Constance Garnett translation, but has "translation corrected and names modernized by James Rusk"

A pdf version is available at Mootnotes

Eldritch Press has many works of Turgenev available in translation

Additional links about A Sportsman’s Notebook

The biggest hurdle to finding online links to this work is the various translations of the title. As I find more links that look like a good resource, I will continue to add them here.

The Wikipedia entry contains an overview of each story.

The quote at the start of this post was taken from this link, what looks to be the introduction to the 1967 Penguin Books edition. It was found on a syllabus page of Kathleen Ahern, Ph.D., at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

A review from TIME magazine in 1950 marking the translation I am reading. Quote:
"[Sherwood] Anderson once called A Sportsman's Notebook the sweetest thing in all literature.'"

Although it has nothing to do with Turgenev's story other than having the title of one tale, Sergei Eisenstein's film Bezhin Meadow has an interesting history.

The contents of the Hepburns’ translated version I am reading:

  • Khor and Kalinich
  • Ermolai and the Miller’s Wife
  • Raspberry Water
  • The Country Doctor
  • My Neighbor Radilov
  • Ovsyankkov the Freeholder
  • Lgov
  • Bezhin Meadow
  • Kasyan from Fair Springs
  • The Bailiff
  • The Estate Office
  • The Bear
  • Two Landowners
  • Lebedyan
  • Tatyana Borisovna and Her Nephew
  • Death
  • The Singers
  • Pyotr Petrovich Karataev
  • The Rendezvous
  • Prince Hamlet of Shchigrovo
  • Chertopkhanov and Nedopyuskin
  • The End of Chertopkhanov
  • The Live Relic
  • The Knocking
  • Forest and Steppe

No comments: