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on 23 December 2011
Nearly every Russian sees Pushkin as their country's greatest writer. This perception, however, is not shared by many foreigners. The problem, of course, is translation. Pushkin's verse is supremely elegant, witty and musical. Few, if any, great poets are harder to translate.

Charles Johnston's version is not at all bad, and conveys much of Pushkin's wit - though not his lyricism. James Falen's version (Oxford World's Classics) is better still. Stanley Mitchells's long-awaited version (just published by Penguin Classics (2008) is truly outstanding. I enjoyed it every bit as much as the original - something I would never have believed possible. It deserves ten stars!
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on 6 December 2011
This translation by Stanley Mitchell is astonishingly good. The rhyme scheme of Pushkin's 14-lines stanzas is extremely complex and very important to convey the fast rhythm of the poem. Mitchell manages to keep this constraint, although rhymes in English, especially feminine ones are scarce. I cannot comment on how the translation is faithful to the original but it is quite clear that the translator commands Russian (whereas many translations are produced by poets that do not know the original language and depend on literal line translations written by others).
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on 19 January 2014
I read this book after watching a movie on the story. One thing for sure is that James Falen did a perfect job on the translation of EUGENE ONEGIN. Much of the Russian nature of glows in this English translation, brining out the humor, wittiness, emotions, grief, sadness and vitality of the original story, which mirrored the Russian society at the time Pushkin lived.
The lessons from the story are strong. Never fight against somebody who is not out to hurt you even if you feel he hurt your pride. That was the case between Eugene and his friend and neighbor Vladimir Lensky, which ends tragically over a nonexistent rivalry over Olga Larin: Another lesson is to appreciate the genuine and selfless love of others for, especially when we are lost in life. That was the case of Olga's sister Tatiana, whom Eugene initially rejects, only to fall in love with her later at a time when she had lost faith in him and had committed herself to a man she did not love but respected. Pushkin himself could be seen in the writing. The loss of what we did not know we loved is the overriding theme in this book. In this direction, there are many lessons to learn from Russia .We can see that in UNION MOUJIK, WAR AND PEACE.I enjoyed reading this book, so if you are undecided about reading it, pick it up and do yourself a favor by knowing about this great work of art.
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on 7 July 2012
Eugene Onegin, is possibly the greatest work of an author, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. As someone unable to appreciate this work in the original, I am reliant on the work and dedication of a translator in order to experience this text. Having been informed by those able to read the work in the original that this was a truly outstanding translation this was the translation I chose. I was not disappointed. The work reads beautifully. To translate anything is difficult but to translate a great work of poetry in one language into a great work of poetry in another must surely be the most difficult task of all. To my mind however, Stanley Mitchell (emeritus professor of aesthetics at the University of Derby) has achieved this.

Highly recommended.
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on 13 December 2012
This Onegin is full of verve, wit and poetry; a marvellous translation. On reading one understands why this work took many years. The work has been done for you.
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on 24 April 2013
A really faithful translation which added to my enjoyment of ths work. Worth spending the extra money to get this version which I have found to be the best.
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on 2 September 2013
Great novel, I am new to the works of Pushkin, whom I became interested in after visiting Moscow. He is definitely Russia's "Shakespeare". Something is always lost in translation I believe, but it is better to read a translated version that is done quite well than not at all, and this version is pretty good. I will definitely read more of Pushkin. Recommended!
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on 22 March 2013
Truly, a novel in verse. I can not judge Pushkin's verse, or the translation, but the story with the description of characters in the different environments and situations is very good. A lot of the additional information on Pushkin's importance on the development of russian literature, and complementary notes, were also very valuable
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on 21 June 2015
This "novel in verse" is one of my favourite literary works. The original is written in iambic tetrameter (four stresses). I have read a number of different English translations: rhymed verse versions, unrhymed verse versions and an unrhymed prose version.

Prose translation is accurate, although it inevitably misses the rhythm of the original. Roger Clarke's prose version is very good partly because it has extensive and excellent notes.

Rhymed verse translation sounds good, but accuracy is often sacrificed. The present translation by Stanley Mitchell - who apparently worked on it for 42 years - is excellent. Mitchell uses "near rhymes" instead of strict rhymes in order to mitigate technical problems. He writes that he "noticed an excess of padding and distortion in previous translations that keep resolutely to exact rhyming." He sticks to iambic tetrameter to maintain the rhythm, but avoids the sorts of inversions and verbal contortions that mar earlier translations including Nabokov's. He uses contemporary idioms and avoids old-fashioned usage.

I think he succeeds in capturing not only the meaning, but also the wit, grace and irony of the original. The novel - now more than 180 years since the publication of its complete edition - emerges fresh to the contemporary English reader.
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on 26 May 2016
This translation is pretty readable, and the notes are excellently comprehensive for some of the more obscure names mentioned. I read it on Kindle, which I find perfect for this kind of thing with frequent notes, since you are not constantly flicking backwards and forwards between front and back. It's just push of a button.

Anyway, the actual verse flows very nicely, despite the occasional odd phrase inversion or word choose, obviously necessitated by the need for meter and rhyme. But those are fairly minor complaints, the verse trots along nicely and the story itself comes through, which is more than you can say for some translations of The Divine Comedy. A particular favourite bit is Onegin's duel. There's some great contemplative stanza in there.
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