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Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse: Commentary / Edition 2

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Overview

This is the widely acclaimed translation of Russian literature's most seminal work. Pushkin's "novel in verse" has influenced Russian prose as well as poetry for more than a century. By turns brilliant, entertaining, romantic and serious, it traces the development of a young Petersburg dandy as he deals with life and love. Influeneced by Byron, Pushkin reveals the nature of his heroes through the emotional colorations found in their witty remarks, nature descriptions, and unexpected actions, all conveyed in stanzas of sonnet length (a form which became known as the Onegin Stanza), faithfully reproduced by Walter Arndt inthis Bollingen Prize translation.
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Editorial Reviews

Slavic and East European Journal
Nabokov's translation and commentary, taken together, can best be considered as a sui generis work of art—perhaps his ultimate masterpiece.
— J. Thomas Shaw
Slavic and East European Journal - J. Thomas Shaw
Nabokov's translation and commentary, taken together, can best be considered as a sui generis work of art—perhaps his ultimate masterpiece.
From the Publisher

"Nabokov's translation and commentary, taken together, can best be considered as a sui generis work of art--perhaps his ultimate masterpiece."--J. Thomas Shaw, Slavic and East European Journal
Ernest J. Simmons
For this reader the pure gold of Nabokov's Commentary consists in his many observations on the language of Pushkin and on poetic language in general. … Hidden refinements of Pushkin's art are revealed with enthusiasm. If one has the patience to absorb the contents of the stupendous Commentary, no matter how well he may know the poem, he will reread Eugene Onegin with a new wonder and surprise, and with a greatly increased appreciation of its manifold poetic beauties.
The New York Times Book Review, 1964
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691019048
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1991
  • Series: Bollingen Series (General) Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 1056
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 2.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Vladimir Nabokov
Readers of Vladimir Nabokov's books might be slightly uncomfortable with them, were they not so awe-inspiring. Nabokov had a penchant for writing about the tragic and the taboo; but his erudite, inventive approach to narration -- buttressed by his formidable academic and cultural intellect -- made him a literary legend.

Biography

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins.

The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri.

Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses -- the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions -- which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Vladimir Sirin
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 23, 1899
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Petersburg, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      July 2, 1977
    2. Place of Death:
      Montreux, Switzerland

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