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Eugene Onegin (1832)

by Alexander Pushkin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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4,097632,457 (4.06)153
Outstanding translation of Pushkin's most acclaimed work recounts a tale of post-Napoleonic society in which a jaded young aristocrat rejects the love of a country maiden. This edition is enhanced by 16 lithographs.
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» See also 153 mentions

English (57)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (62)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This is another of those classics that it's — almost — redundant to read, because you have heard so much about them before you start. Not only from Tchaikovsky: just about every subsequent classic Russian novel involves characters discussing or comparing themselves to Onegin, Tatiana and Lensky. The plot runs along the lines we expect with all the precision of a tramcar: Tatiana falls for Onegin but he rejects her; he has to fight a duel with his best friend Lensky after flirting with his intended, Tatiana's sister Olga, and kills him; some years later Onegin falls heavily for the now-married Tatiana and it's her turn to reject him. So it's a kind of Russian Werther, a romantic tragedy in which all the players are very contemporary poets, tied up in the politics of early-19th-century Russia.

But of course it's not really about the plot. Pushkin effectively invented the rules of modern literary Russian, and developed a bouncy, Byronic Russian verse-form (the "Pushkin sonnet") to suit his chatty, up-to-date style. In tune with his heroes Byron and Sterne he loves to wander off into digressions at key moments, and it's never absolutely clear whether the numerous "missing" stanzas or half-stanzas in his numbering scheme are errors, practical jokes at the reader's expense, or simply places he intended to come back to later.

There are also the two chapters he never finished: the half-finished Onegin's Journey, which should have been Chapter VIII, and would have smoothed out the rather abrupt transition between Onegin meeting Tatiana as a young girl and then as a married woman, and the aborted Chapter X, which never got much further than a few bits of political satire attacking the Czar's government. It's not clear where he intended to fit this into the story: Onegin and Tatiana don't appear in the surviving fragments.

Stanley Mitchell taught Russian at the University of Essex and elsewhere, and was a noted left-winger and a veteran of the 1968 student protests. He worked on Pushkin throughout his academic career. His 2008 translation tries the difficult trick of putting Pushkin's tetrameter meter and demanding rhyme scheme into English, and he pulls it off astonishingly well. The rather contrived rhymes that sometimes result have a quite appropriate feeling of Don Juan about them, and the bounce and colloquial chattiness of the original come through very strongly. Just occasionally there's a bit too much of a hint of WS Gilbert (II.10: "He sang of life's decaying scene, / While he was not yet quite eighteen."). But it's great fun to read, which is surely the most important thing. ( )
  thorold | Sep 4, 2022 |
So... this is Pride & Prejudice isn’t it? I mean you have the 2 guys and 2 girls, the optimistic one and the prideful cynic, the more introspective girl falls for the cynic, at one point she even goes to his house and mooches about while he’s away... this is distinctly Pride & Prejudice shaped.

Not to say it goes in the same direction, far from it.. but i won’t say more about that as it will spoil things.

This is poetry and translated which can be iffy, i can't judge the quality of the translations, i started with whatever one is on Gutenberg but my ancient ereader seemed to have some trouble with the file and i eventually switched to the version on the PoetryinTranslation site. It seemed good enough.

Main issue with this is the author finds it really hard to stay on topic, especially in the early sections. And when his mind wandered mine often followed, i glazed over several times. However when its actually telling the story its pretty good.
I was tempted to give it 4-stars due to the strong later sections but restrained myself. ( )
  wreade1872 | Jul 25, 2022 |
Trata-se de um romance em verso. cujo inovador esquema de rimas, o tom e a dicção naturais e a transparência econômica da apresentação demonstram o virtuosismo que foi fundamental para proclamar Pushkin como o mestre incontestável da poesia russa.

A história é contada por um narrador (versão ficcional da imagem pública de Pushkin), cujo tom é educado, mundano e íntimo. O narrador se diverte às vezes, geralmente para expandir aspectos desse mundo social e intelectual. Esse estilo narrativo permite o desenvolvimento dos personagens e enfatiza o drama da trama, apesar de sua relativa simplicidade. O livro é admirado pela astúcia de sua narrativa de versos, bem como por sua exploração da vida, morte, amor, tédio, convenção e paixão. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Sep 17, 2021 |
man falls in love with woman he formerly spurned after killing best friend in duel
  ritaer | Aug 7, 2021 |
The translation is important. Falen's appears to be the best regarded. ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (100 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pushkin, Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Agt, F.J. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arndt, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barios, ArnauTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bazzarelli, EridanoEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boland, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Feinstein, ElainePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofstadter, Douglas R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, Sir Charles HepburnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jonker, W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kayden, Eugene M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keil, Rolf-DietrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nabokov, VladimirTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stekelenburg, L.H.M. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmer, Charles B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Pétri de vanité il avait encore plus de cette espèce d'orgueil qui fait avouer avec la même indifférence les bonnes comme les mauvaises actions, suite d'un sentiment de supériorité, peut-être imaginaire.
Tiré d'une lettre particullère

[Steeped in vanity, he had moreover the particular sort of pride that makes one acknowledge with equal indifference both his good and evil actions, a consequence of a sense of superiority, perhaps imaginary. From a private letter.] (Falen translation)
Dedication
Not thinking of the proud world's pleasure,
But cherishing your friendship's claim,
I would have wished a finer treasure
To pledge my token to your name--
One worthy of your soul's perfection,
The sacred dreams that fill your gaze,
Your verse's limpid, live complexion,
Your noble thoughts and simple ways.
But let it be. Take this collection
Of sundry chapters as my suit:
Half humorous, half pessimistic,
Blending the plain and idealistic--
Amusement's yield, the careless fruit
Of sleepless nights, light inspirations
Born of my green and withered years . . .
The intellect's cold observations,
The heart's reflections, writ in tears.

[Originally addressed to Pushkin's friend and publisher P. A. Pletnyov.] (Falen translation)
To Véra
First words
'My uncle, man of firm convictions...
By falling gravely ill, he's won
A due respect for his afflictions--
The only clever thing he's done.
(James E. Falen translation)
Alexander Pushkin (1799 - 1837) is the poet and writer whom Russians regard as both the source and the summit of their literature. (Introduction)
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Outstanding translation of Pushkin's most acclaimed work recounts a tale of post-Napoleonic society in which a jaded young aristocrat rejects the love of a country maiden. This edition is enhanced by 16 lithographs.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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The Planet

An edition of this book was published by The Planet.

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