Eugene Onegin by Alexander PushkinEugene Onegin is the master work of the poet whom Russians regard as the fountainhead of their literature. Set in imperial Russia during the 1820s, Pushkins novel in verse follows the emotions and destiny of three men - Onegin the bored fop, Lensky the minor elegiast, and a stylized Pushkin himself - and the fates and affections of three women - Tatyana the provincial beauty, her sister Olga, and Pushkins mercurial Muse. Engaging, full of suspense, and varied in tone, it also portrays a large cast of other characters and offers the reader many literary, philosophical, and autobiographical digressions, often in a highly satirical vein. Eugene Onegin was Pushkins own favourite work, and it shows him attempting to transform himself from romantic poet into realistic novelist. This new translation seeks to retain both the literal sense and the poetic music of the original, and capture the poems spontaneity and wit. The introduction examines several ways of reading the novel, and the text is richly annotated.
Study Event: Eugene Onegin
If I walk the noisy streets, Or enter a many thronged church, Or sit among the wild young generation, I give way to my thoughts. I say to myself: the years are fleeting, And however many there seem to be, We must all go under the eternal vault, And someone's hour is already at hand. When I look at a solitary oak I think: the patriarch of the woods. It will outlive my forgotten age As it outlived that of my grandfathers'. If I caress a young child, Immediately I think: farewell!
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everybody has a plan until they get punched in the
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P ushkin Press has finally done it: it has published the key work of the writer it is named after. Most English translations do not keep the Russian spelling, which is odd as the name is an occasional part of the poetry, not least in its final line; it has, in other words, a key role in the rhythm. Nabokov was not the only person to have said that a knowledge of Russian is essential to fully appreciate the genius of the poem or novel, if the idea of a poem this long makes you anxious. And when he translated it himself , Nabokov produced a version more famous for its idiosyncrasies than for its poetry. It gives those of us with no Russian an insight into the scale of the task. Briggs, who has translated War and Peace and is also a Pushkin expert, is clearly a safe pair of hands for the job. We need this help not just because of the poetry but because Pushkin was writing in another country, nearly years ago, and so there are local obstacles to overcome before we even get to its form.
His behaviour was a lesson to us all. But, God above, what crushing boredom To sit with the malingerer night and day Not moving even one footstep away. What demeaning hypocrisy To amuse the half-dead codger, To fluff up his pillows, and then, Mournfully to bring him his medicine; To think to oneself, and to sigh: When the devil will the old rascal die? So thought our young ne'er-do-well Flying through the dust on a mail coach. By the supreme will of Zeus He was the inheritor of all his kin. Good friends of Ludmilla and Ruslan!