Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age

Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age

Unstudied Words That Wove and Wavered

By Anatoly Liberman

Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age is the first metrical and rhymed translation of nearly all the lyrics by Evgeny Boratynsky (1800–1844), one of the greatest poets of the Golden Age of Russian poetry. A long introduction and a detailed commentary, which includes multiple poems by Pushkin and many of Boratynsky's contemporaries, provide a unique background for appreciating the poet’s achievements.

Hardback, 330 Pages


March 2020

£80.00, $125.00

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About This Book

Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age is the first metrical and rhymed translation of nearly all the lyrics by Evgeny Boratynsky (1800–1844), one of the greatest poets of the Golden Age of Russian poetry. Also included is the translation of two narrative poems (Banqueting and Eda) and the most characteristic passages from The Gypsy and The Ball. Each work is followed by a full annotation, in which, in addition to the background necessary for the understanding of the work, one finds an analysis of its form. In many cases, the poems on similar themes by Pushkin, Lermontov, Tyutchev, Yazykov and some later poets are included. In its entirety, the commentary provides a glimpse into Boratynsky’s literary epoch, his ties with his environment (Russian, French and German) and the influence he exercised on later poets. A special feature of Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age is the translator’s strict adherence to the form of the original. In all cases, Anatoly Liberman attempts to reproduce not only the rhyming and the metrical scheme of the poems but also the sound effects and some of the special features of Boratynsky’s vocabulary, while remaining as close to the poet’s wording as possible. A long introduction provides the expected biographical information and acquaints the reader with the poetic climate of the Golden Age and with the history of translating Boratynsky into English.


Professor Liberman is a wide-ranging scholar and an experienced translator both from Russian into English (with volumes of Lermontov’s and Fyodor Tyutchev’s poetical works and selections from the works of folklorist Vladimir Propp) and from English into Russian (the complete sonnets of Shakespeare). He has clearly taken time with these poems and thought a great deal about them: many feel polished, well-rubbed, warm from the hand of the translator. Readers may be confident that he approached each of the verses with care and subtlety, deploying a rich and varied vocabulary to do them justice. — “Unchangeably Appealing”: On Anatoly Liberman’s “Evgeny Boratynsky and the Russian Golden Age”, by Sibelan Forrester, Los Angeles Review of Books, https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/unchangeably-appealing-on-anatoly-libermans-evgeny-boratynsky-and-the-russian-golden-age/, accessed 23 November 2020."

Author Information

Anatoly Liberman is professor of Germanic philology at the University of Minnesota, USA. He has published over 650 works, including 15 books, of which he is the author or editor.


Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements and a Few Editorial Remarks; 1. Introduction; 2. Poems; Part One, 3. Embarrassed to Be Merry; Part Two, 4. My Gift Is Faint; Part Three, 5. Poetry’s Mysterious Grief; 6. Commentary; Titles and the First Lines in English Transliteration; The First Lines in Russian; The Principal Themes and Motifs of Boratynsky’s Poetry; Name Index; Subject Index.


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