(From the publisher):
Alexander Pushkin’s reputation as Russia’s greatest poet rests on more than Eugene Onegin. This selection of five of his finest narrative poems displays his essential qualities – his stylistic fluency, ironic poise, parodic playfulness and endless ability to surprise, his creation of poetry out of everyday language.
The Gypsies, the anti-Romantic tale of a city-dweller whose search for ‘unspoiled’ values among gypsies ends in tragedy, is modern Russian literature’s first masterpiece – and a source for Bizet’s Carmen. The ballad The Bridegroom turns this Romantic genre into a whodunit filled with sexual dread and subconscious terror. Count Nulin, a deliciously comic tale of country life, stands Shakespeare’s Rape of Lucrece on its head – what would have happened if Lucrece had slapped Tarquin’s face? The Tale of the Dead Princess (Pushkin’s version of the Snow White story) transforms Russian folk-tale into purest art, and the eerie Tale of the Golden Cockerel savagely politicizes the folk-tale form.
In a substantial introduction, the translator discusses these different approaches to narrative in verse and the literary and biographical context of each poem. In his end notes and an afterword ‘Pushkin’s Voice in English’, he takes the reader into the translator’s workshop to consider what is involved in the process of translating Pushkin’s verse and his solutions to specific problems posed.
- The Gypsies
- The Bridegroom
- Count Nulin
- The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Champions
- The Tale of the Golden Cockerel
Original title: The Gypsies and Other Narrative Poems
Genre: Poetry→ Epic and Narrative Poetry
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