The Queen of Spades
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The Queen of Spades

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,881 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The Queen of Spades (Russian: Pikovaya dama) is an acclaimed short story by Alexander Pushkin about human avariciousness. Pushkin wrote the story in autumn 1833 in Boldino and it was first published in literary magazine Biblioteka dlya chteniya in 1834. It was turned into the opera The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky.
Paperback, 52 pages
Published October 20th 2005 by Wildside Press (first published 1890)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Greatest Russian Novels of All Time
24th out of 91 books — 241 voters
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Idiot by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Queen of Spades by Alexander PushkinWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Books set in St Petersburg
4th out of 29 books — 16 voters


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Florencia
Mar 08, 2014 Florencia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Florencia by: Dostoyevsky
Shelves: russian
Avarice. The insatiable desire for wealth. That thing that tears family and friends apart. That moves the world in different directions. That creates in people the worst feelings and intentions. And a huge void that nothing can fill: “Poverty wants much; but avarice, everything”.
You can't have everything.

This short story, written by Pushkin in 1833, describes avarice with a brilliant writing and a witty plot. A little fella named Hermann enjoyed watching other people play cards. He never played...more
Ahmed Rashed
In The Queen of Spades, Pushkin uses unconventional plot developments and humor to ridicule the sentimental romance writing of his day. For example, after he leads the reader to believe that Lizaveta and Hermann will fall in love and marry, he reveals that Hermann is merely using Lizaveta to gain access to the countess and her card secret. Hermann will do almost anything to learn the secret, even woo the old woman: "I must get introduced to her," he says to himself, "and win her favour--become h...more
Ira Bespalova
I first read this book about three months ago during the university Russian literature course. Being a short story, it contains a lot of wisdom, witty parts and subtle psychological power. This work is just another evidence of Pushkin't great talent.
Azzageddi
I'm not the type who can focus my attention solely on one book--at least not when that book is well over a thousand pages, which is the case with War and Peace, which I'm currently reading. My wandering mind requires little interludes here and there to break things up. That's why I decided to read The Queen of Spades. It's nice and short and therefore will distract me just long enough without diverting my attention from Tolstoy too long.

Shamefully, I have to admit this is my first Pushkin. For s...more
Célia
A Dama de Espadas é um conto do escritor russo Alexander Pushkin, considerado por muitos o nome maior da poesia russa e fundador da literatura russa moderna. Nunca tinha lido nada de sua autoria e o meu conhecimento em relação a literatura russo é bastante parco, portanto pareceu-me interessante pegar neste pequeno livro, que já tinha por ler há bastante tempo.

Este conto, que se lê num par de horas, centra-se num segredo detido por uma velha condessa, que promete fazer com que quem o conheça enr...more
Julia Boechat Machado
Um livro bem selecionado e bem traduzido (Boris Schnaiderman e Nelson Ascher), que mostra o virtuosismo de Púchkin em contos e poemas. Dá ao leitor a oportunidade de conhecer o Púchkin da melancolia de Árion, da ironia amarga de O Semeador, da mordacidade dos poemas dirigidos aos tsares, do lirismo dos poemas de amor, da mistura eficiente de tudo isso nos contos.
Prêmio Jabuti de tradução em 2000.
dj
first written for a discussion forum:

perhaps what is most intriguing about this story is not the true nature of hermann's relationship to liz, but rather the strange metamorphosis of his motivations as the story progresses. he begins the story a man resolute in his financial prudence and refusal to gamble-- though "a gambler at heart". but what is it that causes him to so impetuously discard his convictions-- that is to say, "sacrifice the necessary in the hope of gaining the superfluous"? preci...more
JK
What a man Pushkin was.


What's most startling about Pushkin and this collection is how modern and relatable the stories are -both in theme and language- ... you wouldn't think in this day and age of silly technology that a guy from 19th century Russia would be so open to connection.
Sofi Collodel
"Two fixed ideas cannot exist in the brain at the same time any more than two bodies can occupy the same point in space."


A wonderful short story about human avarice and obsession with money and wealth, clearly showing what people is willing to do to get it. Why it was so short ?? Because it contains everything it needs in just a few words.
Hermann was ready to do whatever was necessary just to know the secret of the play cards that could assure him a huge wealth, so he played with Lizavetta’s em...more
TarasProkopyuk
«Пиковая дама» - это хороший пример того как помешательство может стать наградой тем людям, которые, переступая через допустимые пределы, до последнего ищут лёгких путей.
Laura
This is the first book I've read by this author and I really loved it. MORE please.
rosshalde
Kitap 2 öykü barındırıyor.Bunlardan ilki "Maça Kızı". Ortalama 50 sayfalık hikaye Puşkin eserlerini okumayı sevenlerin alışageldiği üzere bir çok dipnot barındırıyor. Puşkin'in yaşadığı dönemde yenilikçi bir akımın parçası olduğu için eserlerinde eski alışkanlıklara karşı ağır eleştiriler bulmak mümkün. Bu da öykülerde bir takım ek açıklamalara ihtiyaç duyulmasına neden olabiliyor. Bu maça kızı için de geçerli.

Bir kumarbazın hikayesi anlatılır gibi görünse de aslında Puşkin dönemin alışılan ge...more
Rachel Jackson
In a whirlwind of a story, Alexander Pushkin combines everything horrid and ironic about love, greed, fate and death all into one with this tale of a man too greedy for love and too set on making his fortune, no matter the cost.

The Queen of Spades is the tale of Herman, a young man who tries to beguile an old lady out of her never-fail gambling tricks. He deceives many along the way, and it's his own mistake that causes his downfall in the end.

I'd never read Pushkin before, but he seems like a p...more
Carlos
“Los escritores pasan con su época. Sólo unos cuantos resisten la erosión del tiempo y aun estos clásicos atraviesan por temporadas de silencio y olvido. Pushkin no. Pushkin se ha salvado de todos los cambios en los gustos y en las modas e incluso ha sobrevivido ileso a los cataclismos históricos. Pushkin nace de nuevo con cada generación que se acerca a él por vez primera. Es Rusia y la lengua rusa”. Así expone José Emilio Pacheco, en su ensayo “Pushkin o el rayo que no cesa”, su visión del que...more
Maan Kawas
A wonderful short story about human avarice and obsession with money and wealth that displays the mastery of the great Russian poet Pushkin in drawing a beautiful and deep picture using language. It is painful how a person may use love as a means to achieve his or her goals, playing with people’s emotions as well as confidence. Hermann was ready to do whatever it demands just to know the secret of the play cards that can guarantee him a huge wealth, so he played with Lizavetta’s emotions, trying...more
Carol
Pushkin is considered the soul of Russian literature mainly because of his poetry which some say does not translate easily into English. An interesting fact about him is that one of his great grandfathers came from Africa as a slave and rose to become a Russian aristocrat. Pushkin was proud of his African heritage and brought it up often.

Having never read anything by Pushkin I decided that the short story "The Queen of Spades" would be a good place to start. This is a story about various kinds o...more
Andrea
"Wie, wenn die alte Gräfin mir ihr Geheimnis enthüllen oder die drei Gewinnkarten nennen würde? Ich müßte ihr Wohlwollen erringen, vielleicht noch ihr Liebhaber werden! Aber das alles braucht Zeit, und sie ist siebenundachtzig.."

Eine einzige Novelle von Puschkin und ich möchte nie wieder Goethes Prosa lesen. Hier klappern keine Figuren durch die Gegend, sondern Menschen, die man alle vom Fleck weg heiraten könnte. Selbst dieser kleine geldgierige, verlogene Deutsche ist wie er auf Lisaweta Iwano...more
Sandra
Este é um pequeno conto de um dos maiores nomes da literatura russa - Alexander Pushkin -, que se lê extraordinariamente bem.
Numa época em que o gosto pelo jogo é comum surge esta pequena história sobre um poderoso segredo que pode fazer a felicidade de um homem ou a sua desgraça completa. Junta-se a isto uma personagem curiosa e gananciosa, que com os poucos escrúpulos que possui, tenta por meios menos próprios chegar ao conhecimento desse segredo que apenas a condessa Ana Fédotovna conhece.
Co...more
Vicky Hunt
A Sherlockian Moral Tale

"Two fixed ideas cannot exist in the brain at the same time any more than two bodies can occupy the same point in space."

A short story... my first of Pushkin's work.
Written in a simple style, reminiscent of both Sherlock Holmes; by Doyle and the Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Anderson. The Queen of Spades is like the former in the simplistic way of recounting the avarice of a person bent on crime. Yet, Holmes usually does not moralize, and Pushkin has a definite morality...more
Collin A.
Pushkin's The Queen of Spades is an excellent tale that embodies the true human vices of greed and jealousy. Exemplifying the traditional gothic novel itself, Young Hermann passionately invests his time, and money (pun intended) in trying to discern an elderly countesses' secret to gambling fortune.

Full of irony, an unlikely heroine and plenty of twists worthy of the dark nature of an Edgar Allan Poe story, The Queen of Speeds is a great quick read. The Conley "con" I could attribute to the set...more
Anastasia
К сожалению, прочитала только сейчас. Пиковая дама - странное на мой взгляд произведение. Возможно, что в более юном возрасте, когда в моем мире еще оставалось так много место для мистического, впечатление было бы намного сильнее. Или может эту повесть нужно читать вечером, когда за окном хмуро, тогда, наверное, получится самое лучшее впечатление. Честно не почувствовалось здесь ничего Пушкинского, что-то тут было не то, что есть в других его произведениях..
Одну звезду добавляю в качестве компен...more
Jochen
Angeblich hat Puschkin es so formuliert, daß er nach seinen Erfolgen mit Gereimtem, zur Prosa "herabgestiegen" ist. Aus Angst vor der Versuchung verzichtet der Deutsche "Hermann" aufs Spielen und guckt nur zu. So sind sie also, die Deutschen, aber wenn man sie dann von der Leine läßt, kommt es doch anders. Daß der Schluß in "Schneckenmühle" zitiert wird, hat niemand gemerkt, aber ich bin ja auch nicht Georg Klein, in dessen Büchern man nach so etwas sucht.
S
3,5
Uma leitura fluída e rápida. Lembra-me muito a escrita própria do romantismo português.
Gabi
Velmi krátká novela od ruského spisovatele. Piková dáma je sice příběh s lehkými fantazijními prvky, ale můj šálek kávy to zrovna nebyl. Dílo mě nijak zvlášť neuchvátilo. A to jsem opravdu měla celkem velká očekávání - vždyť to napsal přece Puškin.:D

Nejvíc mě asi zaujal úplný závěr. "Trojka, sedma, eso. Trojka, sedma, dáma!" Tohle se mi vryje do paměti asi nejvíce. :)
Riya
Mar 04, 2012 Riya rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: russia
Wonderful novella. It took me about half an hour to read the entire thing and it was interesting from beginning to end. Having been only familiar with Pushkin's poetry, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I like his short stories as well.

If you like this story I also recommend that you read The Queen of Spades by Ludmila Ulitskaya as well.
Latoia
Somehow I think that something was lost in translation. The story was enjoyable however I found it lacking in atmosphere. Don't get me wrong I really enjoined the read I just wished I had a translation with a bit more meat (or knew Russian then I would have no need for a translation.)
Samuel
Why it was so short ?? Because it contains everything in just a few words. Wonderful work by Pushkin. Story about man, who was greedy and counterfeit "bastard" was stunning for me. And the end was absolutelly unexpected. Nicely done, A.Pushkin...I love you because of this!!
Janin
A very well written psychological short story. Very much in keeping with the literary romantics of his time. It's hard to claim to like a story with no really likeable characters, but I greatly appreciated the writing style and visual descriptions.
Julia
Another great short story by the master. This one has all the elements of a good story. Trapped/bored female heroine, old rich lady with a curse, handsome yet foolish hero. Great plot, great themes, great structure, great style.
Julien M.
I really liked this short story. It was the first work I have read from Pushkin and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ll make sure to check some of his other writings. It was quite an intriguing short story.
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In Cyrillic: Александр Пушкин

Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin was a Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling—mixing drama, romance, and satire—associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Rus...more
More about Alexander Pushkin...
Eugene Onegin The Captain's Daughter The Tale of Tsar Saltan The Queen of Spades and Other Stories Tales of Belkin and Other Prose Writings

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“Two fixed ideas can no more exist together in the moral world than two bodies can occupy one and the same place in the physical world.” 4 likes
“писем были им подписаны; никогда с ним не говорила, не слыхала его голоса, никогда” 0 likes
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