Eugene Onegin: Editions, editions, editions


Happy New Year 2014!  It's going to be an awesome year for reading - I'm so very excited to start the challenges I joined for the year. 

In one week, in fact, we start the Eugene Onegin Read-Along!  On January 7th, there will be a post with the first link-up/check-in.  Over the following week and a half, you can then add the link to your blog post(s) on chapters 1 & 2. 

I mentioned briefly before a quick list of copies and places to read Onegin.  Here I want to talk about them a little more in-depth:

Online - original Russian

I am (sadly) in no ways qualified to make a recommendation for a Russian edition.  However, a free online version, linked to by Wikipedia, can be found here:  ЕВГЕНИЙ ОНЕГИН

Online - English translation

The one I have read is Henry Spalding's translation, from Project Gutenberg.  It comes in many formats, and it has a Victorian vocabulary, which is kind of nice.  On the other hand, some of the word choices are very "thesaurus."

Another freely/legally available online translation is one by Poetry in Translation. I haven't read it yet.  It does come in PDF, Mobi, and Epub formats.

Hard copies - English transl.

The two I have read are Stanley Mitchell (Penguin Classics, 2008) and James E. Falen (Oxford World's Classics, 1998).  They are pretty comparable translations; personally I like Falen's a little better (it was the first I read).

The Mitchell translation features a beautiful cover and formatting, as you expect from Penguin Classics.  There is also a map inside and extensive notes (too extensive, maybe?).  It also includes some fragments of an unfinished chapter (Onegin's travels).  If you like to get a full grasp of the story's background, this would be a great translation to start with.  My main quibble is that the poetry/rhyme is less intuitive than other translations.

The Falen translation is less artistic, format-wise, but the translation is emotive and well-done.  There are a couple of anachronistic word choices ("girlfriend" and "zen"); still, I like this one best, so far.  The stanzas and rhyme are more melodic than Mitchell or Spalding.

Audiobooks

There are at least two free ones (which I have yet to listen to): Librivox and Stephen Fry.  Librivox is generally excellent and professionally done, and Fry's is, of course, professional.  You could hardly go wrong with either one.  Audiobooks are a great way to go, and poetry is particularly fun to listen to.

Please do comment with your own recommendations!  There are many, many editions I haven't listed.  Also, this blog has an excellent comparison of the first stanzas of several English translations, a great resource if you need help deciding.

Comments

o said…
Happy new year! Looking forward to starting Onegin with you tomorrow :)
Deseree said…
I have a 2 volume set that is translated by Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov. The 2nd volume includes commentary by Nabokov.

Popular posts from this blog

Valkyrie (2008) and My Thoughts on Historical Dramas

Top Ten Favorite Reviews

Tales of the Long Bow: Eccentrics and Impossibilities