Monday, February 18, 2008

Poor Poor Folk

I zipped through to the end of Dostoyevsky's Poor People (or Poor Folk as the better translators seem to have it), but only because it's so short. It is recognisable as his work, but you can tell it's an early piece. I should have heeded the warning-in-code in the blurb: it said something like 'Although it shows the influence of Gogol's The Overcoat, Poor People stands as a novel in its own right' - clearly this meant 'Derivative; doesn't stand as a novel in its own right'.

Maybe it's the translation - not a new one, but by David Magyarshak, whose work I have enjoyed in the past. In any case, I've moved on to Demons, the only one of Dostoyevsky's big four novels which I haven't yet read. A chapter in, and this is the real McCoy.


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