The Wichitan

English instructor translates novel into modern English

Rhonda Gibbs

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About 20 people attended the Wichita Falls Museum of Art free reading by Kirsten Lodge, assistant professor of English, of her translation from the novel Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky sponsored by the bookstore on Nov. 10.

“Excellent reading, very passionate.” Sean Pinkos, English graduate student, said, “She managed to convey the humor of Dostoevsky.”

Lodge, also the program director for the department of humanities, was selected to write the novel by the Canadian company Broadview Press who was in search of additional foreign translations of the book.

“I was elated to learn that I had won.” Lodge said, “I was truly surprised.”

In the 1864 novel, the author argues that man can never be confined to reason. Written in two parts, part one is set in the 1860’s with a nameless character known as the “underground” man by some critics, who goes off on a long rant against the use of reason. He has this philosophical belief that not everyone acts according to reason. Part two is set in the 1840’s when he was a young man. It tells the story of his spitefulness and terrible nature and explains how he forces himself on his so-called friends especially Liza whom he informs will die a horrible death because of her lifestyle.

Lodge gave some background of his book to the attendees before reading passages from her translation. Lodge’s reading showcased some of the imagery, flow, and energy of the main character within the book. One example would be when he compares himself to a mouse.

“The mouse is a metaphor for his insignificant life,” Riley Cope, humanities sophomore, said, “She morphed into the character.”

The argument that is portrayed in the book of free will versus freedom is still relevant today. Lodge was asked to translate other books so look for those books in the future.


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English instructor translates novel into modern English