June 01, 1999

Additional Reading

ALEXANDERPUSHKIN: Two new biographies of Pushkin have just arrived on bookstore shelves (see Under Review, page 53): Elaine Feinstein’s Pushkin, A Biography (Ecco Press, $29.95), and Serena Vitale’s Pushkin’s Button (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, $30). In addition, an excellent compilation of Pushkin’s letters and thoughts on literature has just been reisssued by Northwestern University Press: Pushkin on Literature, selected, edited and translated by Tatiana Wolff ($24.95). It makes for fascinating reading.

There are several different translations of Yevgeny Onegin available in print. The one which we chose for our translations in this issue, and which is quite controversial, is Vladimir Nabokov’s translation (Princeton University Press, $17.95). Since Nabokov opted for a literal approach, the poem lacks some of the luster and beauty of the original. But for persons familiar with Russian, it is the most useful. If you would like a more poetic translation of the work, we recommend either James E. Falen’s translation (Oxford University Press, $8.95) or the recently published version by Douglas R. Hofstadter, which is decidely looser (Basic Books, $22).

For a collection of Pushkin’s other poetic works in translation, try the inexpensive but decent Everyman’s edition, titled simply Alexander Pushkin ($3.50). And for his prose works, we recommend The Complete Prose Tales of Alexander Pushkin (W.W. Norton, $15).

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