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Literary Salon Series: ‘Poetry of the 19th Century: Alexander S. Pushkin’ – Professor Elena A. Keshokova
February 5 @ 14:00 - 16:00
Alexander S. Pushkin was called the “Sun of Russian Poetry” by his contemporaries. The poet had an extraordinary pedigree. His mother’s great-grandfather, one of the most educated people of his time, descended from a noble princely Abyssinian family and served faithfully to the Russian tsar Peter the Great. The biographies of Pushkin’s ancestors are as interesting as the novels of the 18-19th centuries.
My pride of blood I have subdued;
I’m but an unknown singer
Simply Pushkin, not Moussin,
My strength is mine, not from court:
I am a writer, a citizen.
The prominent Russian writer Ivan Turgenev maintained that one of the distinctive features of Pushkin’s poetry was graceful and smart simplicity. In his writing, he was engaged in a gratifying creative dialogue with Western poets – Shakespeare, Voltaire, Byron, and Walter Scott among them.
Pushkin’s polyphonic lyrics largely influenced a great number of Russian poets and created a new poetic language. The poet was also an efficient historian: his heroes of Russian antiquity laid the foundations of the Russian historical novel.
The poet’s dynamic descriptions of various characters of his life and times helped create a highly animated image of Russia which made it possible to name his main work Eugene Onegin “the encyclopedia of Russian life.”
The lecture will also explain why Pushkin’s poetry is so difficult to translate, and his writing has not become a revelation to Western readership.
The event is part of the UK-Russia Creative Bridge Programme 2020-21 organised by the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy in Moscow with the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
The Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature and Creative Writing Moscow
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