[ModLib] Dostoyevsky spelling.

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Fri Aug 15 16:24:06 EDT 2008

My sense is that Dostoevsky is the more common spelling today, while editions of his works published in the 1920s and 1930s tended to use Dostoyevsky. Only one ML book before 1990 used the spelling without the "y" ... The Best Short Stories of Dostoevsky (ML 293), published in 1955. This was translated by David Magarshack and first published in London in 1950. The ML was simply conforming to the spelling used in the original edition of Magarshack's collection.

Current ML editions of Dostoevsky's works use the the spelling Dostoevsky, including current printings of Constance Garnett translations that were previously published under the form of name Dostoyevsky. If you search Amazon.com under both spellings you'll find a large number of titles listed under each, as if they were two different authors.

All this is the result of transliterating a language in a non-roman alphabet like Russian into a roman alphabet. There are multitudes of spellings for names like Chekhov, Tchaikovsky, etc., which result from representing a sound in Russian with "Ch" or "Tch"; in languages like German where "w" is pronounced as "v" in English, Tchaikovsky becomes Tchaikowsky or Tschaikowky.


---- Original message ----
>Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2008 12:51:48 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Darrell Johnson <zebradlj at yahoo.com>  
>Subject: Re: [ModLib] Dostoyevsky spelling.  
>To: For collectors of Modern Library books <modlib at owu.edu>
>   I think this may have been discussed a while back. I 
>   have some copies of Dostoyevsky titles with the "y"  
>   dropped out of his name - Dostoevsky. Was this on    
>   purpose or an accident.  I know very early on his    
>   first name was transliterated Fiodor instead of      
>   Fyodor.  Perhaps for a while they thought dropping   
>   the "y" was a more accurate transliteration of       
>   Dostoyevsky.                                         
>   My 80's faux of Crime and Punishment has this        
>   spelling as well as a mid or late 60's regular of    
>   this title.                                          
>   Darrell                                              
>ModLib mailing list
>ModLib at owu.edu
Gordon B. Neavill
Associate Professor
Library and Information Science Program
106 Kresge Library
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI 48202
313-577-0507 (tel); 313-577-7563 (fax)
aa3401 at wayne.edu

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