Angela Brintlinger

In a 1997 essay for a pre-bicentennial exhibition of Pushkiniana in Paris, Hélène Henry noted the irony of Aleksandr Pushkin’s situation: nicknamed “le Français” when he was at school, Pushkin never set foot on French soil. What’s more, his debt to French philosophy and poetry did little to enhance his reputation in the country of Voltaire and André Chénier. “In current opinion,” writes Henry, “nothing could come from Russia but ‘exotic’ objects, marked by local color and folklore: tales and legends, popular refrains, ‘Muscovite songs of old times’, and other ‘verses of moujiks’, as Mérimée expressed it.” When the French read Pushkin, it was the fantastic elements of “Ruslan and Liudmila” and the exotic locale of “The Fountain of Bakhchisarai” which drew their attention.


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Brintlilnger, Angela. "Pushkinist or P.R. Man? Sergei Lifar in 1930s Europe." Pushkin Review 2 (1999), 45-65.