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Friday, December 09, 2005

Some Christmas Cheer

I thought some might enjoy this, a bit of Bible talk from yesteryear, just in time for the holidays:


From the mid 1860s one can observe in Dostoevsky an increasingly strong urge to see human beings and their actions in the divine perspective. Every single “natural” thing seems to have its special spiritual and divine counterpart. It is a silhouette of a spiritual thing, and this again a portrayal of the original divine picture.
-- Geir Kjetsaa, Dostoevsky and His New Testament

Ибо быть писателем неизбежео обазначает быть протестантом. -- Joseph Brodsky
(Trans. A. Sumerkina)

Dostoevsky’s Besy, variously translated over the years of its English existence as The Possessed, Devils, and, most recently, Demons, affords the translator a wealth of challenges. The “polyphonic” quality in Dostoevsky’s fiction, famously championed by Bakhtin, is present in the novel on several different levels, notably the most obvious one, i.e., the great variety and multiplicity of different narrative and conversational voices belonging to different characters, e.g., the simultaneously naïve and ironic, slightly Gogolian narration of Anton Lavrentevich G---v; the effusive Francophone largesse and pomposity of Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky; the sometimes hyperventilating, often logorrhoeic ferocity of his son Pyotr; the mute, inchoate, lackadaisical stabs at articulation of the nihilist philosopher Kirillov; the fluidly emotionless laconicisms of Stavrogin; the often sentimental, slightly hysterical speech of the irascible and didactic Shatov; the dialect spoken by Fedka the Convict (apparently based on what Dostoevsky heard from certain fellow prisoners in his years of penal servitude); the dialect spoken by the peasants who escort Stepan Trofimovich to their village toward the end of the novel; the rambunctious, rough language and cleverly irreverent pastiche poetry of Captain Lebyadkin; the hallucinatory free-association of his sister Maria Timofeevna, and so on. The present paper will naturally fail to address the fate of all of these diverse riches of linguistic material in the English translations at hand, not only for lack of space and time, but because its purpose is to confront specific problems of intertextual, more specifically, Biblical, motifs in the Russian text that do not always come through in translation, as well as related intra-textual issues.
Even more than the other three (four, if one includes Podrostok) canonical “Great Novels” of Dostoevsky, Besy is fraught with apocalyptic imagery, arranged in a rich allusive pattern that serves to heighten the tension of the narrative. Heightening of tension occurs not simply because the apocalyptic chords repeatedly struck by Dostoevsky add a deeper, “cosmic” level to the novel’s menacing atmosphere, its murder and mayhem, but for other reasons as well: mainly, a kind of claustrophobia-inducing textual crowding. What Graham Greene wrote about the novels of Patricia Highsmith (like Greene himself, a 20th century English-language writer whose works share striking thematic, structural and tonal affinities with those of Dostoevsky), is true in equal measure of the Russian writer’s oeuvre: “ [Highsmith is] a writer who has created a world of her own, a world claustrophobic and irrational, which we enter each time with a sense of personal danger... [she is] the poet of apprehension”. In some rather complex ways, however, the sense of personal danger we feel upon opening one of the “Great Novels” is linked with Bakhtin’s concept of “polyphony”: we do not simply “identify with” Dostoevsky’s characters, but like them, we fear that someone (a character, or the author himself) may usurp our autonomy of thought and feeling; on one level, we may become unconsciously absorbed in the author’s ideological religious and political polemic, on another we may feel our critical, lucid objectivity threatened by the inextricably overlapping, yet contradictory voices of different characters. The presence of intertextuality, particularly in its subtler forms, the near-seamless weaving of other texts into the fabric of the narrative, becomes in Dostoevsky another layer of the cognitive-symbolic instability shared by characters and reader alike.
Geir Kjetsaa and others have written of the novel’s many references to the Book of Revelation, and articles by Suzanne Fusso and Russell S. Valentino in Slavic Review put these in a broader context of intertextual symbolism and irony. More explicitly and consistently than Dostoevsky’s other works, Besy is concerned with a clash of visions of the concepts of “earthly paradise” and “New Jerusalem,” both of which figure in the Book of Revelation:

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 21:1-2
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4

This passage is subtly evoked in the conversation between the “crazed and pathetic” (Terras, p. 21) Holy Fool Maria Lebiadkina, the “Cripple” (“Khromonozhka”; Pevear and Volokhonsky render it the “Lame Girl”1), and the “rabid Slavophile” Shatov (Cravens, p. 792) in which Lebyadkina relates a conversation she had with an old woman at a monastery where she was staying about the Mother of God. Here is the Russian and four translations, by Constance Garnett, Andrew MacAndrew, Michael Katz and Pevear and Volokhonsky:

у нас жила за пророчество: «Богородица что есть, как мнишь?» -- «Великая Мать, отвечаю, упование рода человеческого». – «Так, говорит, Богородица – великая мать-сыра земля есть, и великая в том для человека заключается радость. И всякая тоска земная и всякая слеза земная—радость нам есть; а как напоишь слезами своими под собой землю на пол-аршина в глубину, то тотчас же о всем и возрадуешься. И никакой, никакой, говорит, горести твоей больше не будет, таково, говорит, есть пророчество.»

Dostoevskii, p. 152

“ […] And at that time an old woman who was living in the convent doing penance for prophesying the future, whispered to me as she was coming out of church, ‘What is the mother of God? What do you think?’ ‘The great mother,’ I answer, ‘the hope of the human race.’ ‘Yes,’ she answered, ‘the mother of God is the great mother—the damp earth, and therein lies great joy for men. And every earthly woe and every earthly tear is a joy for us; and when you water the earth with your tears a foot deep, you will rejoice at everything at once, and your sorrow will be no more, such is the prophecy.’ […]”

(Garnett, p. 144)

“But then, one day, as we were leaving the church, a lay sister who was staying at the convent to atone for making prophecies said to me:
“’Mother of God--- what do you think that means?’
“’She’s the great Mother, the hope of the human race,’ I said.
“’You’re right there,’ she said to me. ‘The Mother of God is our great mother earth, and there’s great happiness for man in that. And in every earthly sorrow and in every earthly tear there’s happiness for us. And once you’ve soaked the earth foot deep with your tears, you’ll rejoice in everything right away. And,’ she said, ‘you’ll not have a single sorrow—not a single one. There is such a prophecy,’ she told me.

(MacAndrew, p. 139-40)

“ […] Meanwhile one of the lay sisters, who was doing penance for having uttered prophecies, whispered as we were coming out of the church, “What is the Mother of God, do you think?” “The great mother,” I replied, “the hope of the human race.” “Yes,” she said, “the Mother of God is the great mother—the damp earth, and in that there’s much rejoicing for men. Every earthly sorrow, each earthly tear is a joy for us; and when you’ve watered the earth with your tears a foot deep, you’ll rejoice at everything all at once. And,” she said, “You’ll have no more sorrow. Such,” she said, “is the prophecy.” […]”

(Katz, p. 153”)

“ […] And meanwhile one of our old women who was under penance for prophesying, whispered to me on the way out of church: ‘What is the Mother of God, in your view?’ ‘The great mother,’ I answered. ‘The hope of the human race.’ ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘the Mother of God is the moist earth, and therein lies a great joy for man. And every earthly sorrow and every earthly tear is a joy for us; and when you have watered the earth under you a foot deep with your tears, then you will at once rejoice over everything. And there will be no more, no more of your grief from then on,’ she said, ‘and such,’ she said, ‘is the prophecy.’ […] ”

(Pevear and Volokhonsky, p. 145)

The four translations may seem almost identical at first, but in fact there are several important differences between all four. MacAndrew’s is clearly the weakest in at least one respect, having broken Dostoevsky’s paragraph (which in fact runs several pages in its entirety) into more manageable dialogue form, which loses the breathless, oracular stream-of-consciousness quality essential to this very strange character’s discourse. He also changes Lebyadkina’s introduction of the old woman (clearly, “staritsa” is more specialized than “old woman,” but we will leave that, for simplicity’s sake) into something very sudden and sequential: “But then one day,” thus losing more of the flowing, expanding, non-linear quality of Lebyadkina’s monologue. The old woman answering “You’re right there” is an interpolation which rings false; this is somewhat typical of MacAndrew’s modus operandi which seems based on trying to make the work as “accessible” as possible, producing such laughable failures as “Shatsie” for “Shatushka” (Lebyadkina’s term of endearment for Shatov). Katz fares better, but he leaves out the repetition of “And” in the old woman’s repeated discourse, thus losing the anaphora which greatly enhances the Biblical quality of her speech. He does, however, leave in the repetition of “she said” at the end, as do Pevear and Volokhonsky, preserving the child-like insistence and jerky change of rhythm as neither Garnett nor MacAndrew does. Katz’s “great rejoicing” for velikaia radost’ is a step up from “great happiness” in MacAndrew. “Happiness” is a generic and inadequate word, lacking the Biblical stature that radost’, “rejoicing” or “joy” have, and for an important reason2, its relatively secular quality diminishes the resonance of the philosophical “dialogue” in the work as a whole. “Rejoicing” echoes several relevant passages in the King James Bible, including “Rejoicing in heaviness” 1 Peter 1:6; “Rejoice evermore” 1 Thessalonians 5:16; “Rejoice always; and again I say, Rejoice” Philippians 4:4; “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation” Romans 12:12, as radost’ echoes the forms of the verb radovat’sia in the Russian Bible. Garnett’s “great joy” is perhaps even more appropriate, however, resonating with “glad tidings of great joy” (the birth of Christ) Luke 2:10 just as the Russian does. This is relevant not only because of the evangelical character of the passage, but because Lebyadkina is one—the purest one, spiritually-- of several women in the novel who may or may not have had sexual relations with the enigmatic, possibly impotent antihero Stavrogin and may actually have borne (and then drowned) his child; a nightmare inversion of the Christmas story (George Steiner writes, in describing her reverie about the child, of “a secret flowering of consciousness… an ‘annunciation’” p. 310). Stavrogin himself, who wears, as noted below, many of the attributes of Antichrist (“rog” in “Stavrogin” means “horn”), claims that she is a virgin, and the matter is never clearly resolved. What is clear is that she is not only a Holy Fool, or simply an “allegorical representation of Mother Russia” (Terras, p. 21), but an embodiment of a proto-Solovyovian concept of the Eternal Feminine superimposed on Eastern Orthodox theology (Sofia, or the “World Soul”) with much of its pagan geneaology intact. Mat’-syraia zemlia is an expression toute faite which is very difficult to translate into English, evoking a pagan feminine personification of earth here synthesized with the Christian Mother of God, but neither Katz nor Pevear and Volokhonsky, who are generally ready to provide copious footnotes at the drop of a hat, so to speak, gives any supplementary explanation here. Failing that, “damp earth” and “moist earth” seem about equally inexpressive, but “damp earth,” while less clearly fertile and positive, has slightly more of the rugged, near-cliché quality which is necessary here. MacAndrew’s “mother earth” makes the connection which the others leave slightly less clear; in this case MacAndrew’s clumsiness and bluntness are virtues, even though the physicality of the adjective gets lost, since the Russian reader does not need to have the gap bridged, but the English reader does. In any case, Pevear and Volokhonsky’s legendary ear is not at its finest here: “rejoice over everything” sounds nonsensical compared with “rejoice at” or “in everything,” and “What is the Mother of God, in your view?” has a hard bookish edge, as if Lebyadkina were taking an exam, compared with “Kak mnish’?” which has an archaic ring, but not an academic one. Garnett’s “What do you think?”, in its simplicity, is closer to the mark.
The most interesting aspect of the passage, for the purposes of this paper, is perhaps the final reassurance of the staritsa, which resonates, if only for an instant, with the vision of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth which closes the Book of Revelation. “Nikakoi, nikakoi, govorit, goresti tvoei bol’she ne budet” clearly puts less emphasis on the personal pronoun and more on the abstract idea than “you’ll not have a single sorrow” in MacAndrew or “you’ll have no more sorrow” in Katz (at least MacAndrew, to his credit, keeps the repetition: “--not a single one”). Garnett also meddles with the syntax and omits the almost incantatory repetition, but her “your sorrow will be no more” has a majestic, Elizabethan flavor, a truly soothing Biblical sonority, which Pevear and Volokhonsky do not achieve in “there will be no more, no more of your grief from then on”—the final “from then on” is clearly unneeded here, as the sense of bol’she ne budet is inherent in “no more”.
Pevear and Volokhonsky can be remarkably adept at catching intra-textual threads which other translators miss or drop, however, as the next example will demonstrate. The passage occurs in the same scene as cited above, where Shatov, accompanied by the narrator, visits the “Cripple.” After she dreamily describes her baby, then her mysterious lover, and then darkly hints that she drowned the baby in a pond, Shatov tries to prod more specific information out of her. She resists vehemently:

А тем временем и шепни мне, из церкви выходя, одна наша старица, на покаянии

-- Не скажу, не скажу, хоть зарежь меня, не скажу, -- быстро подхватила она,-- жги меня, не скажу. И сколько бы ни терпела, ничего не скажу, не узнают люди!

(Dostoevskii, p. 153)

“I won’t tell, I won’t tell,” she answered quickly. “you may kill me, I won’t tell. You may burn me, I won’t tell. And whatever I had to bear I’d never tell, people won’t find out!”

(Garnett, p. 146)

“Right, I won’t tell you, I won’t tell you. You can kill me, but I won’t tell you,” she said, quickly catching up his words. “You can burn me, and I won’t tell you; and they can do anything they like to me—I still won’t tell them. They’ll never know!”

(MacAndrew, p. 141-2)

‘I won’t tell, I won’t tell, even if you kill me, I won’t tell,’ she said quickly. ‘Burn me, I won’t tell. However much I suffer, I won’t say a thing; people will never know!’

(Katz, p. 155)

“I won’t tell, I won’t tell, put a knife into me, but I won’t tell,” she chimed in quickly, “burn me, but I won’t tell. And however much I suffer, I won’t say anything, people will never find out!”

(Pevear & Volokhonsky, p. 147)

Clearly, Pevear and Volokhonsky's is the only acceptable rendering of the first line, whose very specific verb zarezat' («to kill, slaughter», but also «to knife», literally «to cut/slit up») the other translators have blurred and muted to simply «to kill.» Lebiadkina's choice of this verb is important not merely as an indicator of her vivid imagination or intense emotion at this moment, but because along with the following verb zhech' it directly foreshadows what will happen to her, along with her brother and another inhabitant of their house, toward the end of the novel, when Fedka the Convict slits their throats at Pyotr Verkhovensky's behest and then the house is burned down in the fire which ravages a large part of the town. Like the murder of Nastasya Filippovna in Idiot, the murder of Lebyadkina is anticipated throughout the novel. The irony is that the murder was originally expected by its instigator, Verkhovensky; its perpetrator, Fedka, and Captain Lebyadkin himself, to be sanctioned by Stavrogin as a means of keeping his marriage to the Cripple a secret; but by the time she is killed he has long since publicly broken his silence and ended his deception about the affair. She here reveals the extent of her devotion to him, although she later becomes disillusioned and compares him with an owl (bird comparisons are a favorite for Dostoevsky in such situations, cf. Grushenka in Brat'ia Karamazovy) and with Grishka Otrep'ev, the usurper. Garnett's «whatever I had to bear» is the closest to her «skol'ko by ia ni terpela», which does carry the meaning «however much I suffer» as in Katz and Pevear-Volokhonsky, but in the context of the inspirational, devotional passage cited and analyzed can be read with slightly less self-dramatization and more generosity than the latter version suggests.
The marriage of Stavrogin and the Cripple is hardly functional, but it is, curiously enough, the only de jure marriage in the book in which the wife is entirely and unconditionally faithful to her husband (most of the other wives are seduced by Stavrogin, flirt with him or style themselves as «liberated» women of the 60's). With Lebyadkina understood as a vision of Sofia, an incarnation of the divine aspect of the Eternal Feminine who in her simplicity and purity has already reached the moment in Revelation where time stops and sorrow is converted into joy, the marriage may be seen as an apocalyptic recasting of the «holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Lebyadkina embodies the true vision of the New Jerusalem, earthly paradise, Golden Age and all other concepts of a timeless, sinless, and deathless world, Stavrogin sinful humanity that spurns this truth. On another level, however, Stavrogin is unmistakably identified with the age-old enemy of humanity, the arch-fiend, Satan, who also appears in the Book of Revelation alongside the Ewig-Weiblich:

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;
And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
Revelation 12:1-4

The title of the chapter which follows «Khromonozhka,» «Premudrii zmii,», has most often been translated as «The Wise Serpent.» It takes this title because Stavrogin makes his first, long-awaited appearance there and Captain Lebyadkin describes him with that epithet. Of the four translators, the only one who deviates from the «wise» reading is Garnett, who offers «The Subtle Serpent.» At first glance, it may seem like a typical embellishment on her part. In fact, however, Ozhegov's Russian dictionary provides some support for this translation:

1.Deep wisdom (obs.).
2.Something odd/tricky/difficult/abstruse, not easily understood (colloq. iron.) as in «Nikakoi premudrosti tut net.» (p. 504; translation by the author)

The Soviet lexicographer wittily provides a purely negative example that in fact does nothing to resolve the ambiguity, but obviously «subtle» is an acutely ingenious translation if the second meaning is intended. Proverbs 9, in Russian a meditation on «premudrost',» is also instructive even in English, though it does give «Wisdom»:

Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:
She hath killed her beasts, she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. Widom 9:1-2

In line 2, the verb zakolot' in Russian is, again, more specific than the English «to kill». Like zarezat', its primary meaning is «to stab». As one reads further on in this chapter, one finds numerous other parallels to the portrait of Stavrogin, to his contradictory nature, his humility and pride, his open-ended capacity for ultimate evil and infinite good. Like Satan, he is God's creation and has a wisdom and integrity reflecting his Creator's, even in his rebellion he fulfill's the Creator's will, much as Dostoevsky believed the Nihilist «plague» was Russia's God-chosen destiny, for a time. This all suggests that the word «premudrii» in the original is part of an intricate chain of reference which is difficult if not impossible to convey in English, where the King James Bible unfortunately fails to come up with a more rarefied, poetic word than the common, overused «Wisdom»3. Therefore, «subtle» is probably a more suggestive and faithful translation than «wise» here, especially if one agrees with Steiner and Bakhtin that the novel has its own logic and structure independent of all previous human history and culture.
If «premudrii» presents difficulties to the thoughtful translator, «zmii», while not difficult in itself, introduces a leitmotif which can be difficult for translators to sustain: a series of descriptions of Stavrogin in comparison with or suggestive of reptiles, all pointing to the great Red Dragon in Revelation. N. M. Chirkov elucidates this pattern (duly noting the Biblical reverberation in the chapter title) in juxtaposition with another parallel pattern of references to Stavrogin as a noble, heroic, princely character (p. 38-9); our examination will limit itself to the reptile theme. When Stavrogin has finally appeared in this chapter, in the great «carnivalistic» confrontation scene in the drawing-room of his mother, after Liza (one of his possible conquests) has asked him to confess or deny his rumored marriage to Lebyadkina before the entire assembled company and he has unconvincingly denied it, he escorts his secret bride out of the room. Liza reacts with visceral displeasure:

Потом молча села опять, но в лице ее было какое-то судорожное движение, как будто она дотронулась до какого-то гада.

(Dostoevskii, p. 189)

«Gad» is translated by Garnett (p. 184) and Pevear-Volokhonsky, (p. 184) in the vanguard as usual, as «viper,» perhaps with a mind to Matthew 23:33 «Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?» (in Russian, «ekhidininy,» lit. Eng. echidnae) MacAndrew and Katz both opt for different degrees of vagueness, using, respectively, «some slimy creature,» (p. 175) which at least retains some residue of the Biblical echo, and «something disgusting» (p. 194), which is perhaps an attempt to tread the line between the literal («a reptile») and figurative («a loathsome, disgusting person,» cf. gadina, gadost') meanings, to little purpose and with little success. The more interesting question is the slight elevation of tone chosen by Garnett and Pevear-Volokhonsky. In this case they have used a loftier, more meaning-laden, and indeed more Biblical term than was probably called for; the simple, prosaic word «reptile» would have sufficed. 4 That solution is more impressive than certain translators' inexplicable oversimplification of the next installment of the «reptile/snake» motif, however, which does credit to Garnett, Katz and MacAndrew: as the drawing-rooom confrontation winds down, Captain Lebyadkin here bumps into Stavrogin on his way out:

Но в дверях как раз столкнулся с Николаем Всеволодовичем, тот посторонился; капитан как-то весь вдруг съежился пред ним и так и замер на месте, не отрывая от него глаз, как кролик от удава.

(Dostoevskii, p. 199)

The word “udav” here is quite specific; it means “boa (constrictor)”. MacAndrew and Katz, not to mention Garnett, distinguish themselves here by translating directly: “boa constrictor.” Pevear-Volokhonsky apparently decided that was too specific, and their choice is the most general, simple and vague: “snake.” Perhaps “like a rabbit in front of a snake” (p. 194) seemed like a smoother locution, but it is no more of an expression toute faite in English than “like a rabbit before a boa-constrictor” (Garnett, p. 195). Where, as Chirkov notes, the progression in Dostoevsky goes in descending order of grandeur from the Biblical-mythological “serpent”, to the broad “reptile”, to the vividly deadly “boa”, Pevear-Volokhonsky have made it a strange crescendo—first ascending from “serpent” to “viper” and then flattening out into the sprawling, loose generality of “snake”.
Gradually it becomes apparent in comparing these translations that what the translators have accomplished when their work is seen in its collective totality is, perhaps, much akin to the great fable of the blind sages touching different parts of an elephant and coming to various partially accurate, but incomplete conclusions: where one translator grasps and conveys the Biblical grandeur of the passage, he or she loses certain stylistic idiosyncrasies peculiar to Dostoevsky; another maintains the rhythms of the original, but gets a little more folksy or colloquial than is required at times. A composite of the best of each would still need much revising, and would never achieve perfection, for “As it is written: there is none righteous… no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)

И отрет Бог всякую слезу с очей их, и смерти не будет уже; ни плача, ни вопля, ни болезни уже не будет, ибо прежнее уже прошло.

Откровение Святого Иоанна Богослова

Works Consulted

Bakhtin, Mikhail. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Ed. and trans. Caryl Emerson. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1984

Brodsky, Joseph. “O Dostoevskom.”

Chirkov, N. M. O stile Dostoevskogo. Akademii Nauk SSSR, Moscow, 1963

Cravens, Craig. “The Strange Relationship of Stavrogin and Stepan Trofimovich as Told by Anton Lavrent’evich G-v.” Slavic Review, Vol. 59, Issue 4 (Winter 2000)

Dostoevskii, Fedor. Besy. Azbuka, St. Petersburg, 2000

Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Possessed. Trans. Andrew R. MacAndrew. The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., New York, 1962

________________. Devils. Trans. Michael R. Katz. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992

________________. Demons. Trans. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. Vintage Books, New York, 1994

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Possessed. Trans. Constance Garnett. The Modern Library, New York, 1936

Fusso, Suzanne. “Maidens in Childbirth: The Sistine Madonna in Dostoevskii’s Devils.” Slavic Review, Vol. 54, Issue 2 (Summer 1995)

Highsmith, Patricia. The Two Faces of January. Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1988

Kjetsaa, Geir. Dostoevsky and His New Testament. Solum Forlag A.S., Oslo, 1984

Macdonald, Dwight. “Updating the Bible.” In Against the American Grain. Da Capo Press, New York, 1983

May, Rachel. The Translator in the Text. Northwestern University Press, Evanston, 1994

Ozhegov, S. I. Slovar’ Russkogo Iazyka. Russkii Iazyk, Moscow, 1987

Steiner, George. Tolstoy or Dostoevsky: An Essay in the Old Criticism. Vintage Books, New York, 1959

Terras, Victor. F.M. Dostoevsky: Life, Work and Criticism. York Press, Fredericton, 1984

Valentino, Russell S. “The Word Made Flesh in Dostoevskii’s Possessed.” Slavic Review, Vol. 56, Issue 1 (Spring 1997)