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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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National Poetry Month No. 8: Alexander Pushkin - excerpt from Eugene Onegin [20110429|15:31]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Alexander Pushkin - excerpt from Eugene Onegin (translated from the original Russian by Stanley Mitchell)

Whom then to love? Whom to have faith in?
Who can there be who won’t betray?
Who’ll judge a deed or disputation
Obligingly by what we say?
Who’ll not bestrew our path with slander?
Who’ll cosset us with care and candour?
Oh, ineffectual phantom seeker
You waste your energy in vain:
Love your own self, be your own man,
My worthy, venerable reader!
A worthwhile object: surely who
Could be more lovable than you?


I think I'd probably at least admire the technique of anyone capable of producing an entire novel in iambic pentameter, but Eugene Onegin is a masterpiece. The urbane tone of the narrator neatly counterpoints the tragic passion of his subjects. The poem also functions as a scathingly critique of the social conventions of the times. And, as you can see from this verse, it is also very funny.

It's probably terribly lowbrow of me, but I have to admit that I prefer less accurate, rhyming translations of this poem into English to Vladimir Nabokov's.

[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2011-04-29 14:50 (UTC)
The Tchaikovsky opera is very fine too. There's a wonderful DVD recording with Renee Fleming and Dmitri Hvorostovsky
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-04-29 18:09 (UTC)
Ooh. The stills from that look beautiful. I've put it on my wishlist.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2011-04-29 20:30 (UTC)
It's near perfect. The production is elegant and unfussy (rare for the Met!) and the singing is of the highest possible quality.
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