Un Petit Peu de Pushkin

Perplexing
Perplexing

Apparently, today is Take-your-poet-to-work Day…Well, it would be pretty crowded in the studio then. I have been meaning to read some more Pushkin. I have unfortunately not seen the Eugene Onegin opera, but you can listen to it here! Just as delicious, you can listen to the translated poem here, read by the inimitable Stephen Fry. The poem has been translated by various people, including Vladimir Nabokov and Douglas R. Hofstadter (of Gödel, Escher,Bach).

There is a beautiful ink self-portrait of Pushkin on the Wikipedia site:

English: Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-...
English: Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) Русский: Русский писатель и поэт Пушкин, Александр Сергеевич (1799-1837), Институт русской литературы, Санкт-Петербург (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This poem seemed apt:

MON PORTRAIT

Vous me demandez mon portrait,

Mais peint d’après nature :

Mon cher, il sera bientôt fait,

Quoique en miniature.

Je sais un jeune polisson

Encore dans les classes :

Point sot, je le dis sans façon

Et sans fades grimaces.

Onc, il ne fut de babillard,

Ni docteur de Sorbonne

Plus ennuyeux et plus braillard

Que moi-même en personne.

(from Poems by Alexander PushkinAleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin– January 1888, Cupples and Hurd- Publisher on Google Play)

 

(Another interesting resource I found, as translated by G.R Ledger: Pushkin’s Poems…)

 

 

Minus One

Minus One
Minus One

Wonderful: it sounds so logical…

Biblioklept

“The Philosophy of Composition” by Edgar Allan Poe

Charles Dickens, in a note now lying before me, alluding to an examination I once made of the mechanism of Barnaby Rudge, says—”By the way, are you aware that Godwin wrote his Caleb Williams backwards? He first involved his hero in a web of difficulties, forming the second volume, and then, for the first, cast about him for some mode of accounting for what had been done.”

I cannot think this the precise mode of procedure on the part of Godwin—and indeed what he himself acknowledges is not altogether in accordance with Mr. Dickens’s idea—but the author of Caleb Williams was too good an artist not to perceive the advantage derivable from at least a somewhat similar process. Nothing is more clear than that every plot, worth the name, must be elaborated to its dénouement before anything be attempted with the…

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Biblioklept

“Mrs. Bullfrog” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

It makes me melancholy to see how like fools some very sensible people act in the matter of choosing wives. They perplex their judgments by a most undue attention to little niceties of personal appearance, habits, disposition, and other trifles which concern nobody but the lady herself. An unhappy gentleman, resolving to wed nothing short of perfection, keeps his heart and hand till both get so old and withered that no tolerable woman will accept them. Now this is the very height of absurdity. A kind Providence has so skilfully adapted sex to sex and the mass of individuals to each other, that, with certain obvious exceptions, any male and female may be moderately happy in the married state. The true rule is to ascertain that the match is fundamentally a good one, and then to take it for granted that all minor objections, should…

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