Review: Andrew Kahn, ed. «The Cambridge Companion to Pushkin»

Andrew Kahn, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Pushkin. Introduction by Andrew Kahn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. xv + 238. Illustrations. Chronology. Map. Appendix. Index. ISBN-0-521-60471-0. Paper.


     This review of Andrew Kahn’s Cambridge Companion to Pushkin could not be more enthusiastic. In this affordable and well-produced volume, Kahn has gathered together top specialists across the English-speaking scholarly world, each an expert in his or her own field, to share their insights about the great Russian author. As an introduction to the poet, this collection presents Pushkin in his full glory by focusing on his every aspect: his life, his writings, and his posthumous fame, reputation, and influence. Each chapter includes brief endnotes, and the book as a whole benefits from the “Guide to Further Reading,” which has both English-language titles—many by the contributors to this volume—and titles in other languages. Beautifully written in fluent, clear, but sophisticated prose, these essays together offer a serious insight into why Pushkin has been so well-loved and valued by students of, and participants in, Russian culture for almost two hundred years.

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Review: Stephanie de Montalk. «The Fountain of Tears»

Stephanie de Montalk. The Fountain of Tears. Victoria University Press, Victoria University of Wellington. Wellington, 2006. 240 p. ISBN 0-86473-531-6.


     The Fountain of Tears is a high-quality work of intellectual fiction, a novel about the relation of personal consciousness and imagination to reality (temporal, spatial, human). It is also an elaborate and intimate dialogue between the author and Alexander Pushkin, interwoven with two other important dialogues: one between the author and the archetypal myth of Philomela, the other with the imaginary figure of Maria Potocka, the heroine of Pushkin’s Fountain of Bakhchisarai. The novel explores the twists and turns of the interrelationship between subconscious impulses and conscious decisions as these play out in struggles for personal and creative identity in the face of hard realities.

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