The sentence flops onto its bottom like a toddler.
Ann Pasternak Slater, niece of Boris Pasternak, pens a delectably vicious smackdown of Volokhonsky-Pevear's translation of Dr. Zhivago.
I read Dr. Zhivago in college but already had considered the movie a favorite for years. In the film, you never "hear" Zhivago's poetry and I liked it that way. I was disappointed that they were included in the book and didn't really enjoy them. Later, I learned that the poems are really famous (They were, after all, Pasternak's, and he was a great poet.)! Since then, I've read some other translations of the Zhivago poems and love them (translation matters!). I'm interested to know how V-P dealt with the poetry, since they are better known as prose translators.
This is what Pasternak Slater has to say about the poems in their translation: "There are many bad translations of Pasternak's poems. Volokhonsky and Pevear's are no worse than the rest. They're what Nabokov called his translation of Pushkin's Onegin – 'a pony'. A humble pack-horse. A prose crib, dutifully set out in pointless short lines mimicking the original." Ouch.