I actually studied Russian for the express purpose of being able to read Dostoevsky in his original language. Couldn't hack it.
When it comes to short stories, Georgeob1, you've chosen the master.
That's more than I have done so I'll be respectfully silent. What is your opinion of a comparison of the old Constance Garnet translations of Dostoyevski with the newer ones?
I really liked your distinction between 'best' and 'favorite'. Another pair would be "The Red and the Black" (Stendahl) as a 'best' and Pere Goriot (Balzac) as a 'favorite'.
Now you've got me, George. Just did a quick check of the Dostoevsky works on my shelves (the ones I could find), and Garnet was not the translator of any of them. So I read them all without having the best translator and was still overwhelmed. Do you know whether any editions of Garnets translations are still in print?
I agree with you about the Red and the Black. A great work, but not one that touched me in a powerful emotional way to make it a favorite. On the other hand, I could see where Pere Goriot could be a favorite, although it's not one of mine. Entirely different connection with the reader.
On the whole I'm not a big fan of French literature. I made that assessment a number of years ago. It may be time to revisit. I'll see if Pere Goriot is on my shelves. If it is, I may give it another read.
On another thread about books Dyslexia made the point that we go through phases at different ages and times in our lives. He went through an Ayn Rand phase at an early age and moved on. (I never admired Rand, but that's beside the point.) I've found this to be true. Went through my Herman Hesse phase. So, as I said, maybe it's time for me to revisit some French writers.