Monday, July 7, 2008

The Winter Queen

I just read The Winter Queen translated into English by Andrew Bromfield (original title Азазелы). I have to say that if I there is at all a good rendition of the picturesque Akunin language this translation would be classified as great. Andrew Bromfield does a fantastic job in preserving the lengthy phrase in Russian and giving it a wonderful life in equivalent vocabulary from the same time period in English. Last time I read the book in Russian, I was marveling in the author's skill to mimic the classic Russian language. In fact, I bought it on purpose to work on my Russian language skills. I have never even thought that the beauty of Akunin's tongue, much like the Russian classics, could retain its eloquence and vivacity in a different language. Not only does Bromfield find an appropriate historic tone for his translation of the mimetic end-of-19c. Russian language, but he also manages to preserve the sophisticated humor. Bravo, Mr. Bromfield! I cannot wait to read the next one of your artistic works; I will also make sure that I have a copy of either the original, or at least one in Bulgarian. Comparison proves always the best tool for learning. The mastery of the phrase is an innate skill, but the renditions of vocabulary units can be mastered with comparative work only.

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