Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Don Quixote - Good Editions

  1. #1
    Registered User Rores28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    508

    Don Quixote - Good Editions

    Any preferred editions of Don Quixote? Good notes, good translation, good introduction etc...?

    Any have any particularly good or bad experiences?

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5,046
    Blog Entries
    16
    I just got the Edith Grossman translation. It's the newest and it reads very well, and seems to be accepted as *the* translation to read in academic circles.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    79
    I'm reading the Wordsworth edition of Don Quixote at the moment, translation by ...umm...
    *Google!*
    Peter Motteux.
    I haven't read the introduction, but it has quite a few handy footnotes.
    As to the translation - mixed feelings. I haven't read any other versions so I can't personally compare, but it seems that the John Ormsby 1885 edition (Motteux's version is 1712) has generally been accepted as the best version of the book, and I've heard great things about the Edith Grossman version too. I'm looking at finding an Ormsby or Grossman version as I have heard quite a few negative comments about Motteux's work, and I think it would be worth the comparison, especially in such a classic and important work, to find the best reading.
    However I am enjoying my translation, I suppose it's a matter of personal taste as well. It's such a great book that I doubt an 'average' translation would make that much difference.
    Louis: My God! The Dukes are going to corner the entire frozen orange juice market!
    Ophelia: Unless somebody stops them...
    Coleman: ...or beats them to it.
    [all turn and look at him]
    Coleman: Egg-nog?

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    5,046
    Blog Entries
    16
    Plus, the problem with translations is that if you don't know the original language (as is my case for DQ), there's really no way to "know" if it's accurate or not. I like the Grossman version because it doesn't read at all like something written 400 years ago, but like a contemporary work. This would worry me, but the accolades it gets seems to verify it's trueness to the original text.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,091
    Edith Grossman's translation is wonderful - in no way a dry, "academic" translation - with a good reputation in academia and among common readers. I tried another translation and gave up on the novel. But Grossman kept me going all the way. I bought the Viking paperback, which isn't bad - nice, large print - but wish I'd bought the Everyman hardback - it's a keeper!

    The notes are as good as the translation - very short, succinct, and on the page you are reading. Perfect for keeping you going, you don't get bogged down in academic minutiae.

    All in all, the best translation I've ever read (with Screech's translation of Montaigne a close second).
    Last edited by mal4mac; 03-01-2011 at 09:24 AM.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,091
    Quote Originally Posted by <Trinity> View Post
    I'm reading the Wordsworth edition of Don Quixote at the moment, translation by ...umm...
    *Google!*
    Peter Motteux.
    I haven't read the introduction, but it has quite a few handy footnotes.
    As to the translation - mixed feelings. I haven't read any other versions so I can't personally compare, but it seems that the John Ormsby 1885 edition (Motteux's version is 1712) has generally been accepted as the best version of the book, and I've heard great things about the Edith Grossman version too. I'm looking at finding an Ormsby or Grossman version as I have heard quite a few negative comments about Motteux's work, and I think it would be worth the comparison, especially in such a classic and important work, to find the best reading.
    However I am enjoying my translation, I suppose it's a matter of personal taste as well. It's such a great book that I doubt an 'average' translation would make that much difference.
    The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation praises Motteux for its naturalness and for the pointed wit being something like the original. He does paraphrase difficult passages though. (Not sure that's a bad thing!) It says Ormsby is "difficult to follow", he uses obscure Elizabethan words and pseudo-Spanish syntax with little relation to natural English. As you are enjoying Motteux, why not stick with Motteux? The OG praises him, and disses him, just about as much as anyone else. Every translation has someone rooting for it, and someone dissing it.

    The quest for a "best reading" is Quixotic - it isn't a foot race, there is no winner.

    But Grossman was an excellent read!

    Why not finish Motteux, leave it for a year or so, then read Grossman. I did that with Maude's translation of Tolstoy's W&P, following it up with Pevear & V. I wouldn't like to recommend one or the other - but it was fun reading two different versions.

    It's not much fun trying hard to find "the best" version - it can drive you to Quixotic extremes, like buying and studying the OG, and using Google to find endless comparative reviews. You end up reading lots of boring scholarship and journalism, when you could have been reading literature!

  7. #7
    Registered User Rores28's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    508
    Cool... well I think I know which translation I'll be picking up... thanks for all the input

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    7
    I have read the original DQ when i took Spanish literature in high school and then had to read a translated version for my college English literature class and i jsut have to say that you dont get the same feel of experience reading the translate version compare to the original. Because the humor changes once its translate and it takes sometimes takes awya the depth of the characters.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3,091
    You must get some of the same experience - for instance, the plot, and the slapstick humour, and philosophical depth. You don't need Spanish words to see the humour (and depth) of 'tilting at windmills', and many other famous scenes.

    Have you read every English translation? How do you know that there isn't a translation that translates the humour? Grossman's translation is very funny, and I'm glad I sought it out rather than looking for another funny 'original' in English. Even in translation it's a lot funnier than P.G. Wodehouse...

  10. #10
    Sagitarius
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Germantown, Maryland
    Posts
    5
    In my experience I have found the Rutherford Penguin translation is accurate.

    www.don-quixote-explained.com

  11. #11
    Registered User LaMaga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by Mutatis-Mutandis View Post
    I just got the Edith Grossman translation. It's the newest and it reads very well, and seems to be accepted as *the* translation to read in academic circles.
    I second this.

Similar Threads

  1. Grammy's House
    By alcala0001 in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-21-2010, 05:16 PM
  2. Does Good & Evil Exist
    By [email protected] in forum Philosophical Literature
    Replies: 104
    Last Post: 09-18-2009, 12:06 AM
  3. The Last Birthday
    By beroq in forum Short Story Sharing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-16-2009, 05:44 PM
  4. Good Fruit from Bad Seeds
    By Byronic_89 in forum General Writing
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-29-2009, 11:33 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •