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EUGENE ONEGIN by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin


by Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin & translated by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Pub Date: May 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-465-02093-3
Publisher: Basic

Eugene Onegin ($22.00; May 1; 224 pp.; 0-465-02093-3). The alarmingly learned mathematician and author of such interdisciplinary marvels as his seminal G—del, Escher, Bach moves into new territory with a lively English version of Pushkin’s 1831 verse novel: the mock-heroic tale of how its bored Byronic “hero” (the eponymous Eugene) enchants, then callously rejects the loving Tatyana, and lives to suffer for his caddish behavior. Hofstadter employs the demanding original rhyme scheme (ABABCCDDEFFEGG: a hybrid of the sonnet and the couplet), devising dozens of ingenious rhymes—and recounts his delighted immersion in Pushkin and the Russian language, in a beguiling Preface that’s almost as much fun as the immortal Eugene Onegin itself. A masterly performance, and a thoroughly charming book.