Yevgeny Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
(Pushkin Collection)

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...what makes Onegin great is its timeless insight into the human heart: its vanities, its follies, its disasters. It’s a very knowing work, whose characters are aware of their own place within an artifice...
-Guardian

Synopsis

The aristocratic Yevgeny Onegin has come into his inheritance, leaving the glamour of St Petersburg's social life behind to take up residence at his uncle's country estate. Master of the nonchalant bow, and proof of the fact that we shine despite our lack of education, the aristocratic Onegin is the very model of a social butterfly - a fickle dandy, liked by all for his wit and easy ways. When the shy and passionate Tatyana falls in love with him, Onegin condescendingly rejects her, and instead carelessly diverts himself by flirting with her sister, Olga - with terrible consequences.

Yevgeny Onegin is one of the - if not THE - greatest works of all Russian literature, and certainly the foundational text and Pushkin the foundational writer who influence all those who came after (Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, etc). So it's no surprise that this verse novella has drawn so many translators. It's a challenge, too, since verse is always harder to translate than prose. (Vikram Seth, rather than translating Onegin again, updated it to the 1980s in San Franciso in his The Golden Gate). A.D.P. Briggs is arguably the greatest living scholar of Pushkin, certainly in the UK, and as such he's spent a lifetime thinking about how to translate Pushkin. Briggs is an experienced and accomplished translator, not only for Pushkin (Pushkin's The Queen of Spades) but for Penguin Classics (War and Peace, The Resurrection) and others. Briggs has not only been thinking about Pushkin for decades, he's been working on this translation for nearly as long. It's a landmark event in the history of Onegin translations and this edition is accompanied by a thoughtful introduction and translator's note.


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 January 10, 2017 by Pushkin Collection. 176 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by Nicholas Lezard on Feb 09 2016

...what makes Onegin great is its timeless insight into the human heart: its vanities, its follies, its disasters. It’s a very knowing work, whose characters are aware of their own place within an artifice...

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