№11 2021

Author: Omar Lobos
About the author:

Omar Lobos, PhD, Associated Professor, School of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Buenos Aires, Puán 480, C1406CQJ Buenos Aires, Argentina.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The voice of Dostoevsky-narrator is always live and theatrical. We can hear his voice that sounds spontaneously in the present tense. We perceive his changing timber, we can see that the writer strives to be scrupulous in passing on to the reader every minute detail, to prevent us from overlooking it. Sometimes there are doubts or musing in his voice. The narrator examines everything together with the reader, he is mounting adjectives, adverbs, participles before nouns. He makes sudden impulsive digressions, slows down, impedes the narration, he prolongs it nervously and convulsively up to making his manner tedious and at the same time captivating. Hence there appear choking fits, hyper-saturation, lengthiness, coarseness of the phrases. Usually all these tend to be softened and smoothed when translated into Spanish. Our grammar and literary conventions automatically ‘put everything in order’, keeping it under lock and key in the past tense, while Dostoevsky’s narrative lives, argues, debates, evolves in the present tense, being a sort of theater. The Spanish language, however, wants to make everything follow its rules. The article strives to study and demonstrate the characteristics of Dostoevsky’s “live style” in his novel The Idiot, and to discuss the possibilities and difficulties one is facing with when trying to reproduce them in Spanish.

Keywords: Dostoevsky, The Idiot, translation, style, narrator, reader.
For citation:

Lobos, Omar. “Rerproducing the Voice of Dostoevsky-Narrator in Spanish: Translator’s Notes.” Literature of the Americas, no. 11 (2021): 183–197.  


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