Download Alexander Pushkin: Eugene Onegin by A. D. P. Briggs PDF

By A. D. P. Briggs

This can be a energetic and readable advisor to Alexander Pushkin's novel in verse Eugene Onegin, a landmark of ecu Romanticism, and arguably the easiest of all Russian poetry. Professor Briggs addresses the query of the way such extraordinary poetry may have been composed a few quite banal plot, and considers the shape of the paintings and its poetic ideas intimately. He deals clean interpretations of the characters and occasions of the poem, and units it opposed to its eu history. He discusses its impact - particularly Tchaikovsky's operatic model - and issues to its life-affirming philosophy and spirit of joyfulness. The booklet contains a chronological chart and a advisor to additional interpreting.

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The attentive reader ends up with far more information about the morning, the city, its people and the hero of the story than would seem possible in such a short space. As Onegin returns hometo go to bed and sleep, the city of St Petersburg is doing the opposite, awakening to a new day. We observe a few of the citizens going about their early business - traders, stall­ holders, carriage-drivers, a girl with a jug, a German baker. They are going out, getting started, opening up. The picture is wholly positive.

The two half-identified citizens are of particular interest. This novel is full of unobtrusive little characters who flit rapid­ ly in and out of the story. They are more important than they seem to be. Pushkin treats them with a warm, welcoming humour. This is his attitude to humanity at large; it is a major form of compensation for all the jaundiced nastiness which Onegin brings into the story and it certainly marks the real difference between the two men. Onegin would not so much as notice that such insignificant people exist; Pushkin sees them, cares about them and wishes them well.

This kind of partiality distorts as it describes. Consider Onegin. Pushkin liked him as soon as they met because of Onegin's capacity for daydreaming, his inimitable strangeness and his sharp, cold wit (one, XLV). Even Pushkin had to overcome a sense of outrage at his vicious tongue, his bitter jokes and venomous epigrams, though these were something one could get used to (one, XL VI). It is interesting to note who changed whom. Pushkin did not mellow Onegin; it was Onegin who demanded and secured Pushkin's acquiescence before there could be any friendship.

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