Showing posts from March, 2011

Eugene Onegin

"  Noise, laughter, bowing, hurrying mixed,
Gallop, mazurka, waltzing—see!
A pillar by, two aunts betwixt,
Tania, observed by nobody,
Looks upon all with absent gaze
And hates the world's discordant ways.
'Tis noisome to her there: in thought
Again her rural life she sought,
The hamlet, the poor villagers,
The little solitary nook
Where shining runs the tiny brook,
Her garden, and those books of hers,
And the lime alley's twilight dim
Where the first time she met with him. "

Eugene Onegin
by Alexander Pushkin
Edition:  Oxford World's Classics, paperback
My overall rating:  5 out of 5 stars. 

Bored by the dissipation and drama of his youthful life, Eugene Onegin withdraws from society to his inherited estate in the Russian countryside.  His only friend is Vladimir Lensky, a young, romantic poet who is engaged to Olga Larin.  Her older sister, Tatyana, is a plain, quiet introvert.  She takes more interest in books and the countryside than anything else, until she meets Onegin.…

The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Edition:  Oxford World's Classics, paperback.
My overall rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars

19th century New England.  A group of men and women set out to establish "Blithedale", a community of farmers whose aim is to set an example to the world of their peaceful, profitable, and simpler life.  Blithedale is led by three celebrities:  Miles Coverdale, a poet and the narrator; Hollingsworth, a philanthropist; and the elegant "Zenobia", an author and women's rights advocator.  They are also joined by a strange, timid girl, Priscilla, whose very existence and loving personality changes their lives--or rather, it helps bring to light the true characters of those around her.

This book was not originally on my reading list; I chose it at random at the library, because I'd been wanting to read more Hawthorne and it looked very readable.  I really didn't know what to expect.

As a work of American literature, I think The Blit…