February 27, 2020

#TBT Russian Literature is Born



#TBT Russian Literature is Born
Eugene Onegin as imagined by Alexander Pushkin, 1830.

195 years ago today Russian literature was born. More specifically, Alexander Pushkin's Yevgeny Onegin began to be published. The epic novel in verse was published over the next seven years, and was not published in a single, full publication until 1833.

Comprised of 5,446 lines of iambic tetrameter, in an unusual form that has come to be known as the "Onegin stanza" or the "Pushkin sonnet," the poem has a very natural tone and diction the demonstrated Pushkin's humor and virtuosity, cemented his place as the greatest Russian poet who ever was or ever will be.

As a cornerstone of Russian literature, the poem has been translated into multiple languages and inspired countless derivative works, films, music and ballet.

My Pushkin, Our Pushkin
  • June 01, 1999

My Pushkin, Our Pushkin

There are many Pushkins. But only Russia can truly claim him as its own. For Pushkin made Russian literature what it is. Included in this piece are amazing photos from films based on Pushkin's works, plus excerpts, in Russian and English, from his most famous works.
Pushkin's Death
  • January 01, 2007

Pushkin's Death

Looking at the place of Pushkin in the Russian psyche, on the anniversary of the poet's tragic death.
The Poet's Fate
  • June 01, 1999

The Poet's Fate

Alexander Pushkin's work was inextricably bound up with his personal life and with his tragic death, foretold in his masterpiece, Yevgeny Onegin.
Pushkin's Estates
  • June 01, 1999

Pushkin's Estates

Pskov region's three estates associated with Pushkin were more than a quiet place for the poet to create; they also offered material for his muse.
The Translator
  • November 01, 2017

The Translator

Galina Sergeyevna Usova is a poet and translator of English prose and poetry. For the last few years, she has been standing outside St. Petersburg’s Polytechnic Institute metro station selling her books.
Pushkin is a Meme
  • May 01, 2019

Pushkin is a Meme

In which an artist tries to get out of a job illustrating a brochure and ends up getting sucked into a Pushkin meme vortex.
Pushkin Was Here (Perhaps)
  • May 01, 2019

Pushkin Was Here (Perhaps)

“Pushkin is our everything,” Russians like to say. And sometimes it seems like he was everywhere.
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Some of Our Books

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A Taste of Russia

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Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.

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