Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse, Translated from the Russian with a Commentary, in 4 Volumes (Bollingen Series 72) (English and Russian Edition)

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9780691097442: Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse, Translated from the Russian with a Commentary, in 4 Volumes (Bollingen Series 72) (English and Russian Edition)


"In an era of inept and ignorant imitations, whose piped-in background music has hypnotized innocent readers into fearing literality's salutary jolt, some reviewers were upset by the humble fidelity of my version." Such was Vladimir Nabokov's response to the storm of controversy aroused by the first edition of his literal translation of Eugene Onegin. This bold rendering of the Russian masterpiece, together with Nabokov's detailed and witty commentary, is itself a work of enduring literary interest, and reflects a lifelong admiration for Pushkin on the part of one of this century's most brilliant stylists.


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About the Author:

James E. Falen is Professor of Russian, University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His previous publications include Isaak Babel: Russian Master of the Short Story.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One 1) 'My uncle's acted very wisely, to seek his bed when he's so sick; his family's reacted nicely and he's most happy with his trick. He's set the world a good example, which others would do well to sample, but it's a bore, when night and day the sick man forces you to stay! To keep him sweet, as if he's dying, give him his daily medicine and make quite sure that it goes in, adjust the pillows while one's sighing: 'Don't even think of getting well, The devil take you, go to hell!' 2) Thus thought a ne'erdowell and dandy whom Zeus had made his uncle's heir: to him the money'd come in handy, so coach and horses rushed him there. For those who love my comic thriller of Ruslan and his dear Ludmilla, I'll introduce without ado, the hero of my tale to you: Onegin, whom I've long befriended, had grown up on the Neva's shore, perhaps like you, dear reader, for St. Petersburg is truly splendid where once we wandered back and forth, though now I really hate the North. Chapter Five 1) That year the warm and autumn weather appeared to wish that it could stay, and nature dawdled, altogether reluctant ever to make way for winter; suddenly some flurries of shining snow arrived and hurried to cover fences, houses, lanes, drew patterns on the window panes. Tatiana wakes and sees the whitened and gleaming countryside; the trees in wintry silver, magpies please her eyes, the hills around now lighten as swirling snowflakes gently float, enclosing all in winter's coat. 2) So now it's wintertime! The peasant sets off, rejoicing in the day, his horse, in snow both crisp and pleasant, is snorting as it drags the sleigh, while fleet kibitkas glide for hours and throw up fluffy, snowy showers; the coachman drives with proud panache in sheepskin coat and crimson sash; a country urchin blithely scampers along and pulls his little sled on which a mongrel sits, instead of him; he laughs at frozen fingers, inflamed in all the biting cold, not caring as his mother scolds.

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Pushkin, Aleksandr Sergeevich
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