Tales of Belkin by Alexander Pushkin
(The Art of the Novella)

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Synopsis

Ivan Petrovich Belkin left behind a great number of manuscripts.... Most of them, as Ivan Petrovich told me, were true stories heard from various people.


First published anonymously in 1830, Alexander Pushkin’s Tales of Belkin contains his first prose works. It is comprised of an introductory note and five linked stories, ostensibly collected by the scholar Ivan Belkin. The stories center variously around military figures, the wealthy, and businessmen; this beautiful novella gives a vivid portrait of nineteenth century Russian life.

It has become, as well, one of the most beloved books in Russian literary history, and symbolic of the popularity of the novella form in Russia. In fact, it has become the namesake for Russia’s most prestigious annual literary prize, the Belkin Prize, given each year to a book voted by judges to be the best novella of the year.

It is presented here in a sparkling new translation by Josh Billings. Tales of Belkin also highlights the nature of our ongoing Art of the Novella Series—that is, that it specializes in important although albeit lesser-known works by major writers, often in new tranlsations.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Alexander Pushkin

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Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin ranks as one of Russia's greatest writers. Born in 1799, he published his first poem when he was a teenager, and attained fame in 1820 with his first long poem, Ruslan and Lyudmila. In the late 1820s he found himself the target of government censors, unable to travel or publish at will; during this time, he wrote his most famous play, Boris Godunov, and Yevgeny Onegin (published 1825-1832). 'The Queen of Spades', his most famous prose work, was published in 1834; his best-known poem, 'The Bronze Horseman', appeared after his death (from a wound sustained in a duel) in 1837.Anthony Briggs is one of the world's leading authorities on the work of Pushkin, author of Alexander Pushkin: A Critical Study and editor of Alexander Pushkin: A Celebration of Russia's Best-Loved Writer. He is also an acclaimed translator from the Russian, whose translations include War and Peace, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy.
 
Published June 14, 2011 by Melville House. 112 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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