From the award-winning translators: the complete prose narratives of the most acclaimed Russian writer of the Romantic era and one of the world's greatest storytellers.
The father of Russian literature, Pushkin is beloved not only for his poetry but also for his brilliant stories, which range from dramatic tales of love, obsession, and betrayal to dark fables and sparkling comic masterpieces, from satirical epistolary tales and romantic adventures in the manner of Sir Walter Scott to imaginative historical fiction and the haunting dreamworld of "The Queen of Spades." The five short stories of The Late Tales of Ivan Petrovich Belkin are lightly humorous and yet reveal astonishing human depths, and his short novel, The Captain's Daughter, has been called the most perfect book in Russian literature.
Pushkin (1799 1837), arguably Russia's greatest poet, finds worthy translators in Pevear and Volokhonsky, who have compiled an indispensable edition of the master's complete prose. Pushkin's great ambition, keen curiosity, and comprehensive range are all in evidence here, beginning with the unfinished "The Moor of Peter the Great," a historical fiction about the writer's grandfather, an African courtier of the czar. Russian history also figures in the short novel "The Captain's Daughter," set during a bloody 18th-century peasant rebellion, as a young officer in a besieged rural fortress develops a strange comradeship with the Cossack ringleader of the uprising. In "Dubrovsky," a young aristocrat flouts the law after his inheritance is unjustly denied him. Always mindful of his position vis- -vis European literature, Pushkin both draws on romanticism and lampoons it; in the short story "The Queen of Spades," rational young engineer Hermann comes to believe in a mystic secret of gambling, and in his quest to learn the secret wrecks several lives, including his own. Pushkin moves with great facility from bored, hotheaded St. Petersburg aristocracy to the pastoral peccadilloes of country squires and the deprivations of peasant life ("The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin"), and even farther afield, to the exoticized landscape of the Caucasia ("Journey to Arzrum"). Pushkin the storyteller is witty and compassionate, panoramic and precise. Although he's best known in the States for poetry, in this thoughtfully annotated, syntactically loyal edition, readers will discover another facet of a prodigious talent.