REVIEW Повести покойного Ивана Петровича Белкина 109

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REVIEW Повести покойного Ивана Петровича Белкина 109 Ò Written in the autumn of 1830 and sometimes referred to as the little parodies the five stories in this collection involve a number of the key contemporary themes in European literature including the Byronic herO fruitful new avenues for exploration are suggested These tales uickly proved remarkably influential and Russia’s future literature simply would not have been the same without the. Meta literature parody and pastiche genre bending narrative experiment sounds like a brainstorming session for a class about postmodernist literature except that these are all terms which could fit Pushkin's The Tales of Belkin Written in the autumn of 1830 this is a collection of short tales supposedly collected by the recently deceased Belkin whose sketchy biography is provided in an introductory letter by an anonymous friend of the late author The stories parody various genres ranging from the supernaturalGothic The Undertaker to the sentimental The Mistress Peasant and show Pushkin's mastery of eachThis handsome Hesperus Classics edition also contains A History of the Village of Goryukhino” another witty pastiche this time of the high flown style adopted by 18th and 19th Century Russian historians It is complemented by a two and a half page Fragment in which the narrator describes the life of a friend of his who happens to be a poet We eventually learn that the narrator is himself the friend of whom he is speaking our expectations are then further dashed in a final paragraph in which the supposed editors of the text inform us that this is an introduction to an incomplete work In this collection style becomes content but isn't that what postmodern literature is supposed to be aboutThe fluent and idiomatic translation is by Hugh Aplin who also provides an introduction about the circumstances in which the works were written Adam Thirwell's foreword gives some interesting insights into Pushkin's playful use of parody and pastiche

Alexander Pushkin · 9 REVIEW

Written in the autumn of 1830 and sometimes referred to as the little parodies the five stories in this collection involve a number of the key contemporary themes in European literat. Yes strictly speaking the title of this book is generally Tales of Belkin in English but uniuely and unnecessarily in this 1947 translation it hass been rendered as Bielkin insteadThese stories are all short of slight appearance and witty We the readers get to be deliberately misled and fooled about with as well as generally pushed to change our understanding as Pushkin twists out these tales for usI read these stories first long ago and far away as a student bold and undaunted by the library steps or even the wayward habits of the stressed photocopiers Pushkin is a foundational writer for Russian literature but that doesn't really come through in translation into English in any case For example Tolstoy was inspired reading one sentence of the ueen of Spades kareti priexali pray forgive the probably incorrect transliteration That translates as the carriages were still arriving or the carriages continued to arrive or the carriages were still drawing up outside the palace depending on how much context and flavour you wanted to add That two word sentence illustrates the problem Some linguistic ualities are untranslatable what made Pushkin's writing exciting and inspirational doesn't always clear the linguistic borderPushkin also had the advantage of being early and writing widely across a range of genres The stories here assume the reader is familiar with the Byronic hero the Gothic romances and sentimental novels if you are alive today and read you are familiar with all of these even if not by name Typically Pushkin's attitude to these is playful Is the Byronic figure a hero or a psychopath or are the two indistinguishable The young nobleman who presents himself in the style of Evgeny Onegin to the young noble women of his district pale faced and melancholic is to be found in true She stoops to conuer style romping around with the servant women out the back The Tales of Belkin then turn upon the issue of perspective Each story was allegedly told to 'Belkin' by one of four storytellers and within each story there might be a further narrator or two embedded view spoilerand why not The the merrier hide spoiler

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Повести покойного Ивана Петровича БелкинаUre including the Byronic hero the Gothic novel and the tale of the supernatural Yet each sparkling vignette adds an unexpected twist to these familiar literary themes and in doing s. The first story is called From the Publisher which begins Having taken it upon ourselves to publish the Tales of IP Belkin which we offer now to the public we wanted to append an admittedly brief biographical sketch of the late author and follows with a completely fictitious biographical sketch I did see this on the preview at but I did not really expect the other stories to be almost eually amusing These are stories published than 180 years ago before TV and movies before even radio plays and when people told stories for amusement To me these feel like yarns men sitting around the public house might tell each other seeing who they could fool the most And they were fun I have been accused of not having much of a sense of humor and my husband was uite surprised to hear me laugh out loud while reading I'm not sure whether to use the word 'wry' or 'irony' in describing the endings because neither word is the perfect description but they have some of eachI have not read any other Pushkin avoiding him because I don't do well with poetry But this prose work is right up my alley I'll be happy to try to find of it Another 5 stars for a very few hours' enjoyment