Once again, I was surprised how much I enjoyed this reading and many thanks to Marian at tanglewood for hosting. The pace was excellent for me, leaving plenty of time to slip the chapters in between other readings and yet not forget what had happened. Taken as a whole it’s a bit odd. Sort of jumps around abruptly. It does feel like he wrote the different parts at widely different intervals. Suddenly Tatyana’s all sophisticated and grown-up and Eugene has lost his Byronic indifference. There’s a fine how-do-you-do. But whatever you make of the plot such as it is, the verse is amazing. So light. So full of humor. This is a Russian? It reminds me of someone, but then I tried to think of whom and no one I’ve read is like this. Granted, my reading of poetry is pretty minimal. Did I say already it’s like watching a ballet? A witty ballet. I must definitely read some more Pushkin. I must also recommend the Falen translation. I don’t know Russian and have only read a stanza of other translations, and honestly, most of them seemed fine, but I can say Falen keeps up the tone and captures at least some of the wit. Unless you know both languages, you don’t know what is lost, but Falen captures so much that I believe I can recommend his version without hesitation.
My book says Pushkin died March 1st, Wikipedia says February 10th. Did someone get confused switching calendars? Either way it was close to 177 years ago, having fought a duel, though Eugene Onegin illustrates how stupid duels could be.
In addition to the Readalong, I believe this also qualifies as Russian Literature and European Reading and A Classic in Translation. It is not a cozy mystery. Definitely need more Pushkin in my future. Maybe someone will host another readalong? Hint, hint.