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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
7
Alexander Pushkin: Complete Prose Fiction
Format: Paperback|Change
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on March 14, 2013
If you ever would like to encounter some true wizardy with language, you should read this translation of Pushkin's prose ficition. Although the stories date from the very early 1800's, they do not date. All the stories are a fascinating window into a long gone culture of both priviledge and poverty. I don't want to spoil any part of the stories by trying to describe them. Just know that anyone would be intellectually richer for the experience of having read this book.
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on March 10, 2008
This is a very good collection of stories. The Queen of Spades and the Captain's Daughter stand out.
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on December 8, 2011
I like it. it's not for everyone. I am no poet and yet am able to appreciate the beauty of his writing. it's for anyone who likes to explore Russian writing.
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on July 29, 2002
Pushkin is to Russian speakers what Shakespeare is to English speakers. His influence on the prose and poetry of the language is second to no one and writing influences Russian literature to this day. Amazingly Pushkin only lived until the age of 38. Even now you can visit his gravesite (as I did) and still see teenage girls weeping and putting flowers on his grave.
This edition of the complete prose of Pushkin is truly excellent. The Queen of Spades and the Captain's Daughter are included are and are worth the price alone.
The translators, Arndt and Debreczeny, do a fine job in translating Pushkin's prose, while the stories are set up in chronological order so the reader can see Pushkin's growth as a prose writer. In fact this was the volume of Pushkin writings in English I took with me while living in Russia for a short while.
Very readable and a worthwhile introduction to the greatest of Russian writers.
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on May 7, 2008
Pushkin was a master of the Russian language, and these short works (which have been translated by Paul Debreczeny) are living proof. Each of these stories are works of art. "The Blackamoor of Peter the Great" is brilliant beyond belief, while "A Novel in Letters" and "The Captain's Daughter" are definitely worth reading. "A History of Pugachev" takes about 1/4 of the entire book, and it drags sometimes. But I hope I'll admire it once I read it a second time. The other stories ("Roslavlev", "A Tale of Roman Life", The Queen of Spades", etc.) will not disappoint. I give this an A.
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on January 28, 2002
What makes this book so beautiful is that word "Complete". In one handy reference you can enjoy all of Pushkin's prose. Mr. Debreczeny's translation of Pushkin's work is hearty. I believe it's nearly as close as we can come to feeling the work outside of really knowing Russian.
That would be amazing for me: to know Russian and read Pushkin in the language that he raised high in the face of the patrician encroachment of French that had relegated Russian to servant status. Each language must have a unique and valuable propriety in it's innermost meanings, and in reading this work (plus knowing something of Russian culture), I believe you can feel that unique Russian "thing" even through this translation.
You have about fifteen pieces plus Pushkin's own pre-work/research and some fragments. Mr. Debreczeny has arranged them such that you walk through the development of Pushkin as a prose writer. Early on, he did have quite a disdain for prose in comparison to poetry. To paraphrase Debreczeny, Pushkin's first serious writing treated prose as a necessary evil, writing with technical correctness but approaching parody of itself with strict adherence to the concept of prose as a sterile, low medium for expression.
I the later works, you will see the layering of complex themes and characters into prose that for me felt like driving a standard shift with power-assisted steering -- You get just enough resistance to feel the road and keep you engaged and thinking. Also, you just plain enjoy the ride.
Mr. Debreczeny is an excellent guide in his commentary and in his translation.
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on September 30, 2011
I just left St. Petersburg, Russia where I browsed several book stores looking for the english-language version of Pushkin's book of prose. Is this the collection that includes "The Undertaker"?
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