Reading for Sunday 9/11/08
I remember being staggered the first time I read this years ago, and still am – that the Rostovs are heading out to track down one wolf with one hundred and thirty dogs. Remember, also, that Uncle (their neighbour) comes along as well, and he joins in with his dogs. (All of this so that the other aristocratic family, the Ilagins, don’t catch the wolf first.)
It’s a completely different world, this wolf-hunting business. First of all, who knew that aristocratic families had a buffoon? (At least that’s what my footnotes say.) I presume it’s similar to the role of a court jester. Either way, we have an inebriated Count Rostov and a man in drag out helping to track down this wolf.
However, judging by the end of the chapter, the inebriation didn’t help at all . . . One of the differences in translation that can be noticed here is that in the Garnett translation, Daniel calls Count Rostov a rather rude name (which is blanked out but starts with a “B”) but in the Maude, this is toned down to the rather more polite, “Blast you!” Probably the Pevear/Volkhonsky would be the definitive answer on this one.