Eugene Onegin | by Alexander Pushkin | Stan Washburn

Eugene Onegin | by Alexander Pushkin | Stan Washburn


A novel in verse by Alexander Pushkin
Translated by Vladimir Nabokov
Transliteration by Stanislav Shvabrin
Introduction by Brian Boyd
With a frontispiece by Stan Washburn

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Vladimir Nabokov was not only a great writer but also an astonishing translator. Far surpassing his other translating was the effort he expended on Pushkin. He once predicted: “I shall be remembered for Lolita and my work on Eugene Onegin”.

Nabokov began to think about translating Eugene Onegin as soon as he settled in Ithaca at the end of the summer of 1948 and started preparing for his first year of teaching Russian literature students at Cornell. Aware that it was “the backbone of the study of Russian literature”, he read the existing translations in disgust and despair, finding himself obliged to revise every line. His wife Véra asked him “Why don’t you translate it yourself?” He soon realized there was no viable alternative.

He had hoped for his translation to be faced line for line with the Russian original and a transliteration, with stress marked in all words of more than one syllable. But his publishers found the cost to be prohibitive. This edition belatedly fulfills this wish, with Nabokov’s English presented alongside the original in Cyrillic, accompanied by a transliteration; the eye can easily skip between the languages.

Production Details

  • Edition of 300 numbered copies for sale

  • Folio, 15-5/8 by 11 inches, 256 pages

  • Bound in brown leather and cloth with gold titling, in slipcase

  • Arion Press publication #112, 2018