|Pushkin’s sketch of his title character|
Welcome to the first part of our reading of Eugene Onegin! Please add your blog post link(s) in a comment (directly below the title of this post). Also, if you would rather leave a comment than write a full post, that works great, too! Chapters 1 & 2 discussion is “current” for the next week or so – please see the schedule for an update on this – but of course you can join in at anytime.
I came up with a couple of optional questions, while trying to leave it as open-ended as possible. The book is full of ambiguity, making it ideal for diverse opinions.
Chapters 1 & 2 Questions
– First impressions of Eugene?
– What do you make of the narrator’s commentary?
– Thoughts on the characters sketched out in Chapter 2?
– Reactions and/or predictions?
– Any quotes or passages that stand out?
~ One of Mrs. Larina’s favorite authors is Samuel Richardson, an 18th century English writer who was popular well into the 19th century. He is best known for Pamela (1740), Clarissa (1748) and The History of Sir Charles Grandison (1753). (Wikipedia)
~ There are numerous references in Eugene Onegin to French language and culture. The Russian upper class was, in fact, as much French-speaking as they were Russian-speaking (this article, by the Gale Encyclopedia of Russian History, goes into the details as to why). Additionally, at the time of Eugene Onegin‘s publication, the Slavophilism movement was just beginning (Wikipedia), so you still see a lot of English/French influences throughout the book.
Feel free to comment with any additional notes that you find interesting!