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Eugene Onegin (1823-31) is an eight-chapter novel in sonnets. The sonnet form employed is of Pushkin's own devising. It enables him to modulate between tragic profundity and sparkling humour, and from exquisite lyrical descriptions of nature to devastating satire. "Comparing the Penguin with the Dedalus leaves one in no doubt that, whatever Nabokov might have made of it, Dedalus's is superior. It reads fluently, and when you check it off against Nabokov (which is, for all Wilson's despair, frustratingly essential if you don't have any Russian), you find far more often not that he has kept to the sense, style and technique of the original. This is a clever trick to pull off, particularly when you consider that Beck is actually a musician, an occasional translator from German, who learnt Russian precisely in order to translate this work. He has not, to put it mildly, wasted his time. Giving himself the freedom to use half-rhymes is entirely forgivable, and means that he can follow the sharp, breathtaking handbrake turns of Pushkin's own mood. And now so can you.a Nick Lezard's paperback of the week in The Guardian "Eugene Onegin is a bitter-sweet love story. It is set in a particular place, Russia, and in a particular time, the 1820s - but it is also, as is all great literature, universal and timeless. Pushkin is one of the small, sublime company of aesthetic geniuses who can be drawn from any art, from any country and any time. This fine new translation is wholly welcome.a Iain Sproat in Scotland on Sunday
From the award-winning translators: the complete prose narratives of the most acclaimed Russian writer of the Romantic era and one of the world's greatest storytellers. The father of Russian literature, Pushkin is beloved not only for his poetry but also for his brilliant stories, which range from dramatic tales of love, obsession, and betrayal to dark fables and sparkling comic masterpieces, from satirical epistolary tales and romantic adventures in the manner of Sir Walter Scott to imaginative historical fiction and the haunting dreamworld of "The Queen of Spades." The five short stories of The Late Tales of Ivan Petrovich Belkin are lightly humorous and yet reveal astonishing human depths, and his short novel, The Captain's Daughter, has been called the most perfect book in Russian literature. From the Hardcover edition.
Collected into a single volume, a bilingual collection of Russian poetry, translated by the late author of Lolita, includes both the English translations and the Russian originals, along with three never-before-published poems written by Nabokov himself and the author's notes on the joys and dangers of translation.
There was a card party at the rooms of Narumoff, a lieutenant in the Horse Guards. A long winter night had passed unnoticed, and it was five o'clock in the morning when supper was served. The winners sat down to table with an excellent appetite; the losers let their plates remain empty before them. Little by little, however, with the assistance of the champagne, the conversation became animated, and was shared by all. "How did you get on this evening, Surin?" said the host to one of his friends. "Oh, I lost, as usual. I really have no luck. I play mirandole. You know that I keep cool. Nothing moves me; I never change my play, and yet I always lose." "Do you mean to say that all the evening you did not once back the red? Your firmness of character surprises me." "What do you think of Hermann?" said one of the party, pointing to a young Engineer officer. "That fellow never made a bet or touched a card in his life, and yet he watches us playing until five in the morning." "It interests me," said Hermann; "but I am not disposed to risk the necessary in view of the superfluous." "Hermann is a German, and economical; that is the whole of the secret," cried Tomski. "But what is really astonishing is the Countess Anna Fedotovna!" "How so?" asked several voices. "Have you not remarked," said Tomski, "that she never plays?" "Yes," said Narumoff, "a woman of eighty, who never touches a card; that is indeed something extraordinary!" "You do not know why?" "No; is there a reason for it?" "Just listen. My grandmother, you know, some sixty years ago, went to Paris, and became the rage there. People ran after her in the streets, and called her the 'Muscovite Venus.' Richelieu made love to her, and my grandmother makes out that, by her rigorous demeanour, she almost drove him to suicide. In those days women used to play at faro. One evening at the court she lost, on parole,to the Duke of Orleans, a very considerable sum. When she got home, my grandmother removed her beauty spots, took off her hoops, and in this tragic costume went to my grandfather, told him of her misfortune, and asked him for the money she had to pay. My grandfather, now no more, was, so to say, his wife's steward. He feared her like fire; but the sum she named made him leap into the air. He flew into a rage, made a brief calculation, and proved to my grandmother that in six months she had got through half a million rubles. He told her plainly that he had no villages to sell in Paris, his domains being situated in the neighbourhood of Moscow and of Saratoff; and finally refused point blank. You may imagine the fury of my grandmother. She boxed his ears, and passed the night in another room.
Hermann becomes obsessed by gambling, the Countess grants him her secret to the cards. Hermann manipulates Lizaveta and her “injured innocence” to gain access to the Countess and the gambling secrets she holds; however, Hermann’s “depravity becomes fully manifest in the climactic bedroom scene” when he trespasses into the Countess’ room and causes her death.
An enchanting collection of the very best of Russian poetry, edited by acclaimed translator Robert Chandler together with poets Boris Dralyuk and Irina Mashinski. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, poetry's pre-eminence in Russia was unchallenged, with Pushkin and his contemporaries ushering in the 'Golden Age' of Russian literature. Prose briefly gained the high ground in the second half of the nineteenth century, but poetry again became dominant in the 'Silver Age' (the early twentieth century), when belief in reason and progress yielded once more to a more magical view of the world. During the Soviet era, poetry became a dangerous, subversive activity; nevertheless, poets such as Osip Mandelstam and Anna Akhmatova continued to defy the censors. This anthology traces Russian poetry from its Golden Age to the modern era, including work by several great poets - Georgy Ivanov and Varlam Shalamov among them - in captivating modern translations by Robert Chandler and others. The volume also includes a general introduction, chronology and individual introductions to each poet. Robert Chandler is an acclaimed poet and translator. His many translations from Russian include works by Aleksandr Pushkin, Nikolay Leskov, Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov, while his anthologies of Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida and Russian Magic Tales are both published in Penguin Classics. Irina Mashinski is a bilingual poet and co-founder of the StoSvet literary project. Her most recent collection is 2013's Ophelia i masterok [Ophelia and the Trowel]. Boris Dralyuk is a Lecturer in Russian at the University of St Andrews and translator of many books from Russian, including, most recently, Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry (2014).

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