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Alexander Pushkin Walter N. Vickery

Alexander Pushkin

Walter N. Vickery

Published December 1st 1970
ISBN : 9780805727265
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Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) is to Russia what Shakespeare is to England and Goethe is to Germany: a founding figure of a national literature. Modern Russian masters from Leo Tolstoy to Anna Akhmatova have drawn significant inspiration from hisMoreAlexander Pushkin (1799-1837) is to Russia what Shakespeare is to England and Goethe is to Germany: a founding figure of a national literature. Modern Russian masters from Leo Tolstoy to Anna Akhmatova have drawn significant inspiration from his poetry, prose, drama, and criticism, particularly his famous play Boris Godunov, and his masterpiece, Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse. For well over a century Russian readers have cherished Pushkins humor, wisdom, and depth. Yet the very quality that most distinguishes Pushkin also presents a major obstacle to Western readers: his extraordinary use of language. Pushkins carefully crafted sounds, meanings, associations, and rhythms cannot be rendered faithfully in any language but Russian. Walter N. Vickery elegantly rectifies this dilemma in this thorough revision of his classic introduction to Pushkin. Recasting each chapter with new ideas and discoveries gathered during the past two decades, and illustrating his discussion with a wealth of transliterated and translated excerpts, Vickery engenders a deep appreciation of Pushkin in all his subtlety. He also explains the phenomenon of Pushkin, placing him at the dawn of Russias involvement in the European literary scene and tracing the young writers exploration of the rich movements of his era, including Classicism, Sentimentalism, and the new Romanticism, as epitomized by Byron. Vickery moves chronologically through Pushkins best known works, providing expert readings of the 1820 six-canto comic epic Ruslan and Lyudmila, the Little Tragedies of 1830, the 1833 Fairy Tales in Verse, lyric poetry written as late as 1836, and other pieces. In several short poems he reveals the wit, irony, irreverence, and bawdiness made popular by Voltaire- in the Southern poems, he finds disillusion, nostalgia, and the torments of love, as well as deep patriotism- in The Bronze Horseman he uncovers Pushkins terrible weariness and preoccupation with death- and in Eugene Onegin h