Lauren G. Leighton, compiler. «A Bibliography of Alexander Pushkin in English: Studies and Translations». Studies in Slavic Languages and Literature, volume 12. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellon Press, 1999. 323 pp. ISBN 0773481702.

Lauren G. Leighton's bibliography of Alexander Pushkin is a welcome addition to the resources of Slavists at a time when more faculty and students find themselves relying on the imperfect but globe-spanning nature of the Internet for information on the most recent scholarship. Sadly, a monograph of this type is dated prior to its publication, and Leighton's is no exception. Published in celebration of the bicentennial of Pushkin's death, this volume gives the scholar and layperson an overview of Pushkin scholarship to the late 1990s. Previously, according to Leighton, the most complete bibliography on Pushkin in English was Pushkin in English (1939).

Ironically, it is the same computer technology that will undoubtedly give Leighton, or other scholars, the now much-easier task of updating this bibliography in the future. As a result, we are given the luxury of a bibliography in book form—always a much more convenient resource than an endless procession of computer screens and printouts.

The bibliography is divided into two parts: part 1, which covers literary studies of Pushkin's work, and part 2, which lists translations. Leighton ingeniously organizes the topics of part 1 in the same order that is used in the Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, that is, beginning with lyric verse and ending with memoirs. Although in many ways logical, this system of classification makes it difficult to track works by their authors (since there is no index). However, the bibliography conscientiously cites bibliographic entries in any section where it might be appropriate, thereby eliminating the page-flipping "see page XXX" prevalent in other listings. Such thoroughness makes finding a complete set of bibliographic entries on a specific work or topic easy.

Although the bibliography in part 1 includes all forms of scholarship on Pushkin, ranging from Ph.D. dissertations to journal articles, there are items that were missed if their defense or publication was later than 1996, most likely inevitable oversights stemming from the review and publication process. These will undoubtedly be corrected in later editions.

Part 2 is a list of the translations of Pushkin's oeuvre into English organized into collections (general Russian, general Pushkin), followed by specific poems and works following the same order as part 1, and endmg with autobiographical and memoir works. Particularly helpful is the listing of which works are available in translation in any given collection (thereby eliminating the need for multiple searches to find one specific translation). To save space and make the bibliography manageable, there are no listings of lyric poems that are not published alone, in small groupings in articles, or repeatedly.

Leighton's bibliography abounds with critical surprises. Scholarly opinion is included when necessary, such as the final entry on Pushkin's so-called "Secret Journal," which, according to Leighton, is likely a fabrication of Mikhail Armalinskii, one of the translators. It is not the place of the bibliographer to justify why this is so, but it does give the reader a chance to question the authenticity of the work.

Lauren G. Leighton's bibliography is a wonderful compendium of English-language scholarship and publication on Russia's greatest poet, and a fitting tribute to the 200th anniversary of his death. It shows to both scholar and layperson the breadth of research and effort that has engaged the legacy of Alexander Pushkin, revealing along the way that Russian studies have a rich and textured legacy in English as well as in Russian.

Luc Beaudoin
University of Denver


 Citation:

Beaudoin, Luc. "Rev. of Lauren G. Leighton, compiler. A Bibliography of Alexander Pushkin in English: Studies and Translations. Pushkin Review 5 (2002): 135-36. Retrieved from: <http://www.pushkiniana.org/index.php/backissues/pr05-2002/138-vol05reviews/299-review-beaudoin-pushkin-in-english>.