New PDF release: Alexander Pushkin: Eugene Onegin

By A. D. P. Briggs

ISBN-10: 0521384729

ISBN-13: 9780521384728

This can be a full of life and readable consultant to Alexander Pushkin's novel in verse Eugene Onegin, a landmark of ecu Romanticism, and arguably the simplest of all Russian poetry. Professor Briggs addresses the query of ways such extraordinary poetry may have been composed a couple of relatively banal plot, and considers the shape of the paintings and its poetic innovations intimately. He deals clean interpretations of the characters and occasions of the poem, and units it opposed to its ecu history. He discusses its effect - significantly Tchaikovsky's operatic model - and issues to its life-affirming philosophy and spirit of joyfulness. The booklet incorporates a chronological chart and a consultant to additional examining.

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Example text

He almost envies what Thomas Gray, speaking of their rural counterparts, had already described as 'their useful toil' and 'their destiny obscure'. Like Gray, Pushkin himself adds significantly to 'the short and simple annals of the poor'. Unusual acoustic properties haunt the stanza. Even those that are obvious are so appropriate that they cannot fail to please the ear. The crunching Okhtenka is a case in point; another concerns the sound of the morning drum. Luckily the Russian word for drum is already onomatopoeic and quite long, so baraban is quickly pressed into service.

His Germanic origin hints at the cosmopolitanism of all capital cities but perhaps especially that of St Petersburg, which was created artificially not much more than a century before and which simply imported all the good things it needed, and all the specialists, from Italian architects to, as we now see, German tradesmen. The naming of his little window, his vasisdas ('Was ist das? ') is an amusing touch; it provides the opportunity for one of the most attractive rhymes in the whole novel (a macaronic one with ne raz, 'more than once').

The futility, stupidity and sheer danger of such behaviour may be somewhat clouded over by the sympathetic personality and the lovely poetry of Alexander Pushkin, but even he cannot hide the injunction arising so clearly from his own story. Face the truth, he tells us by oblique implication, and you will have a better chance of forming proper relationships, as well as building a good and happy life, than those who are addicted to falsity and delusion. This is one of the most serious ideas in the novel and, because of its universal applicability, it deserves singular emphasis.

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Alexander Pushkin: Eugene Onegin by A. D. P. Briggs

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