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book cover of Pushkin

Pushkin

(1998)
A Biography
A non fiction book by

 
 
Pushkin towers over Russian literature and culture in much the way Shakespeare towers over British. Elaine Feinstein calls him "Russia's greatest poet, and the fountainhead of literature in the Russian language", a figure whose tragic life has the resonance of legend. It is frankly amazing, then, that there is no biography of this great man in print, and Feinstein seizes the opportunity to correct this lack. Indeed, Pushkin's extraordinary life makes unputdownable reading. His maternal grandfather had been an African slave, who had been adopted by Peter the Great and had risen to great eminence in Russian society. (He died a general).

Pushkin himself felt a curious mixture of pride and shame with respect to his black heritage; just one of many contradictions in his character. He was very short (five feet tall), but passionately amorous, and Feinstein takes us through his many love affairs. His poetic genius produced masterpiece after masterpiece--it is Eugene Onegin that is most famous today--although his passion was sometimes alarmingly hotheaded. He seemed to have been ready to fight duels on the slightest pretext; one time in an officers' club he scrambled the billiard balls of two officers who were playing, and the resulting quarrel resulted in a duel. Another time he slapped the bald head of the man in front of him at the theatre by way of applause--can we imagine Shakespeare being so impetuous? His death--in a duel, of course, this time over the honour of his beautiful wife--makes a fitting conclusion to Feinstein's fascinating book. --Adam Roberts

    

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Used availability for Elaine Feinstein's Pushkin

Hardback Editions

April 1999 : USA Hardback
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Title: Pushkin: A Biography
Author(s): Elaine Feinstein
ISBN: 0-88001-674-4 / 978-0-88001-674-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ecco Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


October 1998 : UK Hardback
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Title: Pushkin
Author(s): Elaine Feinstein
ISBN: 0-297-81826-0 / 978-0-297-81826-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: W&N
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

July 2000 : USA Paperback
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Title: Pushkin: A Biography
Author(s): Elaine Feinstein
ISBN: 0-06-095655-0 / 978-0-06-095655-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Ecco Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


June 1999 : UK Paperback
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Title: Pushkin
Author(s): Elaine Feinstein
ISBN: 0-7538-0749-1 / 978-0-7538-0749-1 (UK edition)
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK