Parisian Literary Salon

creating community through reading and discussing literature

Eugene Onegin

- by Aleksandr Pushkin

From Jon Ingram, Russion Literature scholar…his description of *Eugene Onegin*. (Jon would co-facilitate this Salon.)

“First things first: there are a few Russian titles I could propose (so much to choose from!)  First of all there’s *Eugene Onegin* by Aleksandr Pushkin.  I insist on using the Nabokov translation (Princeton UP, 1991). As for the wonder of this book.. well, almost too much to summarize in less than a book of my own!  In short, Pushkin is to Russian what Dante, for example, is to Italian: he was the first serious author to write in Russian rather than French, and had to invent much of the written language he used, just as Dante did for the *Divine Comedy*. Otherwise the text itself is one of the most intricately structured works I teach: a verse novel consisting of 8 chapters of roughly 50 sonnets each.  But even that is oversimplifying as Pushkin invented an offshoot of the sonnet known still as the Onegin stanza.  Goodness, makes me breathless even now to consider.”