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Eugene Onegin: A Novel in Verse

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  45,175 ratings  ·  1,138 reviews
Tired of the glitter and glamour of St Petersburg society, aristocratic dandy Eugene Onegin retreats to the country estate he has recently inherited. With the arrival of the idealistic young poet Vladimir Lensky he begins an unlikely friendship, as the poet welcomes this urbane addition to his small social circle - and is happy to introduce Onegin to his fiancée, Olga, and ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Penguin Classics (first published 1833)
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Popular Answered Questions
Pasha Uhin James E. Falen's version is the best in my opinion (I'm Russian), it keeps the flow and rhythm of the original which reads very quickly and easily.
Joshua Powell Clean? If this were a hollywood movie today it would be rated PG, if that's what you mean.

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4.09  · 
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 ·  45,175 ratings  ·  1,138 reviews


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Nataliya

I dare you, double-triple-dog dare you, to find a Russian person who has never heard of Evgeniy Onegin.
If you do somehow manage to find this living-under-the-rock person, I unfortunately cannot provide you with a monetary reward since I have no money to speak of. Instead, I will treat you to the my horrified expression akin to Edvard Munch's 'The Scream'. Sorry.
This novel in verse permeates all aspects of Russian culture, lauded both in the tsarist Russia and the USSR. Children read it in lit
...more
Luís C.
What can I say about this Eugene Onegin? A work that is so sublime, bearing the name of a character, oh so much apart... I would like to thank the magnificence of this song with my simple words, and I feel immediately this will be a daunting task... But I start anyway!

Let's talk first about intrigue. Eugene Oneguin is a love story between Onegin and Tatiana, a love story obviously impossible - even though here it is rather rendered impossible and lost forever because of the blindness and contemp
...more
Alex
This foundation stone of Russian literature is a smashing, lilting read - and it's only 200 pages to boot, so it's less of a commitment than all those later Russians who thought editing was for assholes.

It's a "novel in verse," which means epic poem, wtf, in iambic tetrameter. It's organized in stanzas that are almost sonnets, but far enough off to kindof fuck with your head, or mine anyway. The scheme is abab, ccdd, effe, gg, so he's switching it up in each quatrain, which leaves me constantly
...more
Florencia
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Poetry lovers, wit lovers, Russophiles
And then, from all a heart finds tender
I tore my own; an alien soul,
Without allegiances, I vanished,
Thinking that liberty and peace
Could take the place of happiness.
My God, how wrong, how I’ve been punished!

- Alexander Pushkin, Chapter VIII

Contradictions. We are made of dreams and contradictions. We want something and after getting it, we don't want it anymore. But there's even a more bitter reality: we often want what we can't have. We compare our lives with the lives of the characters we love
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Евгений Онегин = Yevgeniy Onegin = Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin
Eugene Onegin is a novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin. Onegin is considered a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes (so-called superfluous men). It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832. The first complete edition was published in 1833, and the currently accepted version is based on the 1837 publication.
In the 1820s, Euge
...more
Jan-Maat
Umbert Eco once wrote that "Translation is the art of failure" and your opinion of this work is likely to be decided by the translation that you read.

Pushkin wrote Onegin in Alexandrines which have twelve syllable lines with an end rhyme. This works well in Russian, it feels fairly easy even natural achieving a light and classical tone. The Johnson translation that works so hard to achieve this in English has for me a trite and bouncy tone that detracts from the work rather than supporting it. B
...more
Emma
May 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My honest reaction to this poem is a sense of awe at the art and the translation, rather than the story itself. Since I, regrettably, don't know nearly enough Russian to read the original, I can't speak to the accuracy of Anthony Briggs' efforts, but each stanza reads with an incredible, hypnotising rhythm and verve. It was fascinating to read the introductory notes about the multitude of issues the come with translating this work and I can well believe how many hours it must have taken to compl ...more
Jasmine
"Blest who betimes has left life's revel,
Whose wine-filled glass he has not drained,
Who does not read right to the end
Life's still, as yet, unfinished novel,
But lets it go, as I do my
Onegin, and bid him goodbye."
(p.197)
Perry
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: stela-eða-láni
I Will Survive [condensed 6/27/16]
Maybe the first notable Western novel hitting a favored theme in the arts: the ugly duckling's transformation into a swan and turning the table back against her rejector with a big ...


This brings to mind a song like I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor):
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye?
Did you think I'd crumble
Did you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive...
Pushkin's one-of-a-kind novel-in-verse set in Russia in the early 1800s
...more
Joseph Spuckler
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, russian
Yevgeny Onegin by Alexander Pushkin is a Russian masterpiece of literature. Pushkin was a Russian poet, playwright, and novelist of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin was born into Russian nobility in Moscow.

I picked up this book because it was listed as poetry. I later asked a Russian friend about the book and she said it was magnificent, but never read it in English. It dawned on me that this is much
...more
Edward
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Acknowledgements
Chronology
Introduction & Notes
Further Reading
A Note on the Translation & Notes
A Note on the Map
Map


--Eugene Onegin

Notes
Antonomasia
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Antonomasia by: Nick Lezard in the Guardian; Briggs' W&P
ARC review: 2016 Pushkin Press edition, translated by Anthony Briggs

[3.75?] I've yet to be convinced that it's possible to translate Russian poetry into consistently excellent English verse. Translator Anthony Briggs' introduction suggests that it is easier to make Russian poems sound good in English than it is French ones - which contradicts my experience as a reader. (I loved Kinnell's Villon, Millay's Baudelaire, among others, and was disappointed by two different versions of Tsvetava.)

It ha
...more
Anastassiya
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to those who want to read something sophisticated for a change
Recommended to Anastassiya by: School, they made me learn about 20 lines of it when i was 7
Shelves: classics, russian
But like so many people said it before me and too many say it after me..this book is the Masterpiece!

It is so diverse and sophisticated, combines melancholy and brutal realism,a truly timeless work that describes so many sides and motives of human soul. Many characters that you instantly recognise...as if they have been reincarnated into people you know. The divine words strung together to create a perfection! Verse after verse you read and everytime one exclaims:"How true!!!" And not a word tha
...more
Aubrey
I'll always have a soft spot for the writers who welcome their readers in both work and play. While Pushkin is a very different sort from de Assis, author of personal favorite The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, the two of them converse, pique, mock, desist, recollect, wander, and believe, like siblings who remain friends despite the best efforts of society, or artists who accept audiences despite the most strident disapproval of academia. While EO did not prove a favorite, the author's contex ...more
Laurel Hicks
Wonderful! Just wonderful! If you haven't gotten around to reading Eugene Onegin yet, get the Naxos audio version. (It's available through either Naxos or Audible.) The translation by Mary Hobson is very pleasing, and Neville Jacobson's narration is superb. I have read Pushkin's novel in verse in several very good translations, and none is better than this. To finally be able to hear the lines is amazingly satisfying. What's it about, you ask? Oh, Russia, family, society, unrequited love, that s ...more
Caroline
Chapter 1: stanza LVI (Nabokov)

Flowers, love, the country, idleness,
ye fields! my soul is vowed to you.
I’m always glad to mark the difference
between Onegin and myself,
lest an ironic reader
or else some publisher
of complicated calumny,
collating here my traits,
repeat hereafter shamelessly
that i have scrawled my portrait
like Byron, the poet of pride
--as if for us it were no longer possible
to write long poems about anything
than just about ourselves!


This is a double review of Eugene Onegin as translat
...more
Sincerae
This is my first Alexander Pushkin. Eugene Onegin is a novel written in verse, rather in the same realm as Lord Byron's Don Juan. I read a biography of his life a long time ago, and after then I tried to read some of his poetry and couldn't get my mind to digest them. Finally after all these years I have. I like what I've read.

Alexander Pushkin is the father of modern Russian poetry and literature. I will be reading more of his work both poetry and prose. Pushkin had a fascinating heritage. He
...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
This was one of the most original books I have ever read. How Pushkin was able to accomplish this poem/novel is beyond me. The theme of rejecting love and then being rejected by that same love latter in life is masterful. Alexander Pushkin! - you are on my 'reading radar' and I will look for more of your works!
Wayne
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russophiles,wits,poets,tragic lovers who need to see the funny side
Recommended to Wayne by: Tchaikovsky with his opera
I couldn't decide which translation to buy - the Penguin or the Oxford. So I bought both and read them simultaneously!!!
What an idiot!!
What an effort!!!
What a delight !!
What an education in the art of translation!!!
No one told me this tragedy was going to be...funny!!Amusing!!Witty!!
I still don't get it but boy! did I enjoy it.
Novels in verse I have NEVER gone near.
But I am MAD about Tchaikovsky's opera of this verse-novel. Now THAT is TRAGEDY!!
I think poor old Tchai was a disaster waiting to ha
...more
Ray
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the finest books I've ever read! I have jokingly said, "I recommend this book to anyone who likes anything." While that's a bit of an exaggeration, this book really has it all:
The story manages to be both compelling and a parody at the same time. The main characters-Onegin, Lensky, Tatiana and Olga- are all believable and likeable, but that doesn't stop the narrator from poking fun at them occasionally. But Pushkin's parody is sympathetic; You laugh at the characters the way you l
...more
Teresa
Apr 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what to expect with my first reading of Pushkin and perhaps that's why I felt a bit unsure at the beginning. I'd seen a ballet of Onegin a few years ago, so perhaps I had other expectations due to that as well. And then I wondered if it was the translation; but I've since read of how it reads in Russian, and it seems the translation is just fine. Once I got in the swing of this formal structure with very 'informal' words, I really enjoyed it.

This is really much more than just a sto
...more
B the BookAddict
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Passion, poetry and pistols amid thwarted love.
Darren
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just a joy to read (preferably out loud!) with the individual stanzas being self-contained vignettes/episodes as well as moving the plot along, and all beautifully evocative of time/place/society/character/landscape/seasons etc etc. I have now read this in two different English translations (Spadling and Elton) and have a third (CH Johnston) lined up, but fear I'm going to need to learn Russian in order fully to appreciate! :o(
Kathleen
I was so looking forward to this. My introduction to Pushkin! Everyone loves it. Couldn’t wait. I read the intro with great interest, and in the beginning, enjoyed the way many stanzas relayed key information by drawing little scenes:

A new landowner, at that moment,
Had driven down to his estate
And offered equal cause for comment
And stringent neighborhood debate.
By name Vladimir Lensky, wholly
Endowed with Gottingenian soul, he
Was handsome, in his youthful prime,
A devotee of Kant and rhyme.
He brou
...more
Lobstergirl
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, poetry, russia, fiction

Charles Johnston's English translation of Eugene Onegin is a ridiculously pleasurable read, charming and comprehensible, a story filled with tragedy yet somehow made amusing and comical in the telling. Every 14-line stanza follows an ababccddeffegg scheme, and the novel is as structured as the stanzas ("like a perfect curve or parabola," the introduction proclaims), with Eugene and Tatyana at two opposing emotional poles at the outset, then each undergoing a 180 degree transformation and ending
...more
Marianna Neal
I haven't read Eugene Onegin since... oh, I don't even remember, some time in school, a very long time ago. Though I remembered loving it even back then (seriously, if you've read Pushkin in Russian and somehow didn't love him I don't really know how to talk to you about literature), it's obvious that what you gather from classics in school cannot be compared with consciously reading them later, on your own. But, even taking all of that into account, I am amazed by how Pushkin manages to create ...more
David
Apr 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
Tatyana falls for Eugene, who rebuffs her (gently).
Time passes. Tatyana marries a prince.
Eugene falls for Tatyana, who rebuffs him (gently).


Pushkin whips the whole affair into this wonderfully frothy souffle, which any Russian will tell you is one of the summits of Russian poetry. It certainly disproves the notion that all of Russian literature is dark, brooding, and gloomy.

The Penguin Classic translation is by Charles Johnston. Having just re-read the chapter about Onegin translations in Dougl
...more
J.
I think at fifteen I was too young when I first read this, I missed a lot of the subtleties, and social commentary, but even then I appreciated Eugene Onegin as something very special. The rhyme and meter and the ease with which the story flowed left a lasting impression. Having re-read it recently after having a much better background in Russian Literature I have come to the tragic conclusion that I will probably never read anything better in my life. Such literary experiences are accidental ha ...more
Hadrian
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, russia, fiction
Lyrical, tragic, comical, romantic. Russian lit at its best.
Czarny Pies
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-lit
Eugene Onegin is a dominating presence in Russian literature and hence at some point anybody interested in the high culture of Western civilization should make an effort to get to know him. He is truly one of the nastiest characters in all of literature. He spurns the advances of the woman he loves. Then when he attends her birthday party he starts to flirt with her younger sister. The fiancé of the younger sister is incensed and challenges Onegin to a duel. Onegin accepts the challenge and call ...more
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Norwegian: Aleksander Pusjkin

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
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