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Pristine if used copy of Eugene Onegin delivered early and arriving as described.
Pushkin's poem novel speaks for itself. However, I have consulted Russian friends who say that Johnson's translation works well, but I have also bought Nabokov's translation because of his erudite footnotes and introducttion. I am still of the belief that it is such a work of genius that it can only be partly appreciated in English. It is a masterwork in Russian....and there's the rub if you don't speak Russian fluently.
This is undoubtably my favourite book, and its inimitable style, its clarity, subtle humour and its imagery are but some of the qualities of Pushkin's fantastically fluent verse. My encomiums cannot be any warmer, although I could go on for a lot longer on the merits of this work. Both of Penguin's translations are good, although Johnston's is a little less palatable (being older and thus seeming a little dated and harder to read), the new translation is good (and has a much better cover). And even if you are not used to Russian literature you will find this book surprisingly easy to read - the notes are very useful for the Russian terms and references. Personally, I think any of these two translations would be the best edition to buy when first choosing to read this book; Nabokov's, although being more literal, loses the rhythm and fluidity that the original verse possessed, and which the two Penguin translations attempt to retain. I read this story over and over again yet I can never tire of it. It was this work that made me fall in love with poetry, and lead me on to other works, such as Byron and the rest of the Romantics (who Pushkin pays his tribute to), but I always retain that this work is the best I have ever read. I hope you will gain some of my enthusiasm from my bias review and give it go.
This great and witty translation from the Russian describes a dilemma for all who fall in love in our 'age of narcissism'. See also Ralph Fiennes' brilliantly cast cinematic version, with Fiennes as the anti hero (a performance touched by genius) which captures the underlying poetry of Pushkin's work
I had tried another translation but this was far preferable. It is easy to read, urbane and witty. In addition, the scholarly notes are thorough and helpful (though I am yet to read them all). I have no hesitation in recommending this version.
I bought this book quite along time ago but I remember the quality of the book being excellent and it arriving within a week. I really enjoyed this book though I found it quite hard to read as it was completely written in verse however I highly recommend this book as it truly is a lovely yet heartbreaking story. The quality of Pushkin's writing is so good that everyone should read it. Though people who don't like poetry will probably find it difficult to read, with it being in verse. I heard about this book through the film adaptation starring Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler I also recommend the film as it is a great film which I think does justice to the book.
My Russian is fairly good and I was reading Onegin in Russian side by side with Nabokov's translation. I understand what Nabokov's point was in making a literal, literal, literal translation and killing both rhyme and form but the result, for my taste, is a murder of Onegin, just painful gibberish. I understand that Nabokov was a rare and subtle linguist of the first water, but still... No matter how you rationalize it, Nabokov's translation is (as someone I know once described her ugliest undergarments) a passion killer.
Now I found Charles Johnson's translation; it is a pleasure to read and a great help. This translation is much more human that Nabakov's. Nabakov scornfully described such non-literal translations as Johnson's in his own scholarly treatment. Well, to each his own. I know some will be ripped to hear Nabokov's work disrespected, but there you are.
The layered meanings and word play that are the true beauty of this classic can only be found and understood in Russian. Few, if any, students of Russian will get half of the meaning or beauty without a decent translation to guide them, and I am certainly not one of them.
Fortunately for me, I read Onegin each night with my wife, who is Russian, and that is best of all.
Eugene Onegin, capably translated by Charles Johnston is a simply amazing piece of literature. Possibly Pushkin's most well known work, it maintains enormous influence in Russia today, with Pushkin often considered to be the 'Russian Shakespeare'. Any fan of Russian literature should take the time to read this or any of Pushkin's other works, as so many of the great Russian writers that are so well known were inspired and influenced by this great poet's work.
The novel is written in verse format, in a style that has come to be known as the "Onegin Stanza". This 14 line format allows for a range of emotions and reading experience over the course of the novel. Sometimes light and playful, other times deadly serious, the verse format of the novel adds a lyrical readability to the novel, while at the same time making the many shifts in subject potentially disconcerting. These shifts in focus (to literary conventions and precedents, women's feet, and various other confessions and tidbits) along with the novel's scope of focus and time make it many times complicated to understand. However, this is one of the novel's great achievements as it provides insight and exploration in a wide range of topics, while maintaining a literary self-awareness. The guiding plot is thoughtful, surprising and enjoyable as it (again) explores a vast range of life experiences, hinging on a couple of vicissitudes.
The Penguin edition with its introduction and further reading recommendations is helpful in understanding the role that this novel has had in Russian culture as well as critical studies. The notes are helpful throughout the novel - the fact that they are not denoted in the text and are instead attributed to each stanza makes it easy to read the notes either concurrent with the novel or as a nice addition after having completed the novel.
Eugene Onegin is truly deserving of all the praise and attention that it has received over the years - I highly recommend it as a literary experience that will not be soon forgotten.
Love this book. I love poetry and Puskin is one of my favorite authors. The story depics Russian society in the 1800. It is a well written novel in the form of a poem. The hero of the novel Eugene Onigin is described as a sinical character while Tatyana, the heroine is the fulfilment of moral and social duty. It is a wonderful book to read. It is a love story.