Alexander Pushkin

(June 6th, 1799 — February 10th, 1837)

Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin (Александр Сергеевич Пушкин) was a Russian playwright, novelist, and poet writing in the Romantic era. He is considered by many to be the founder of modern Russian Literature.

Pushkin was born to Russian nobility in Moscow and was well-educated. He was very proud of his Central African heritage; his maternal great-grandfather was Abram Petrovich Gannibal. He published his first poem at 15 and was recognized as very talented by the time he finished school.

Pushkin’s early works were shaped by the philosophical ideas of the French Enlightenment, and he was very committed towards social reform. His poem ‘Ode to Liberty’ was found on one of the participants in the Decembrist Uprising and that led to his arrest.

In his lifetime, Pushkin was both exiled and given a title by the Russian court. He met Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, was friends with Nikolai Gogol, and wrote extensively. He had four children by his wife,  and eventually was killed in a duel with Georges d’Anthès. His literary legacy shaped Russian literature and language in the years after his death, but it also had a deep impact on music of the time (including many operas based on his works) and the Romantic movement in general.

Alexander Pushkin is a book author.

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Eugene Onegin

Romantic Era

Live-streamed opera is where we first saw Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, which is based on the Pushkin novel. Even though we weren’t provided with subtitles to the Met’s production from 2007, the imagery and the music were capable of conveying the story in and of themselves. Whenever I see fall leaves in piles on the ground, I’m reminded of the set design. This is a review of Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin.

The Queen of Spades

Romantic Era

The premise might be an old one, but what Pushkin does with it is worthy of praise. His writing flows with a concise clarity that is poetic in and of itself.

The Queen of Spades is a novella that is not too short and not too long. It’s a perfect short read for an afternoon or an evening, clocking in at approximately 82 pages including the prologue. The clarity of the prose and the flow of it make the reader nearly fly through it and want to finish it in one sitting if at all possible. This is a review of A. S. Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades.