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  •  I think we've talked about this, (5+ / 0-)

    but my big problem with the movie is that the novel is really, really funny.  Mirsky (author of the history of Russian literature) compared the first book to a freshly-uncorked bottle of champagne: brilliant and effervescent.  

    Maybe if I hadn't read the book I'd like the movie more, but I wanted champagne, and the movie was more of a brooding scotch.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:05:58 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  the author kept breaking into the book (4+ / 0-)

      to comment and I see what you mean...

      I wonder how they would put that into a movie?

      Would the audience throw rotten tomatoes if the author broke in during the film and made comments?

      I should re-read the book.

      But I did love the movie because so many movies are just trite.  This went deeper.

      Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

      by cfk on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:13:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Definitely true. (4+ / 0-)

        One way of reading the book is that it's about three romances:

        Lensky - Olga
        Onegin - Tatyana
        Pushkin - his Muse

        And only the third one is successful!

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:15:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  one other slightly snarky summary of... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, pico

          ....Eugene Onegin that I've read is that, in effect:

          (a) Tatiana falls in love with Onegin, but nothing comes of that.
          (b) Onegin later falls in love with Tatiana, but nothing comes of that.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:38:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The opera is deadly serious too (5+ / 0-)

      I haven't read the book, though, so I was fine with it.

      I have not seen the movie.  But it's hard for me to imagine Liv Tyler involved in this...

      •  Yeah, Tchaikovsky was much more (5+ / 0-)

        interested in the romance of the thing, which is fine, but it significantly pares down the book's complexity.  Same issue with The Queen of Spades, where his additions to the story eliminate Pushkin's suggestive silence.  Best just to consider them different works altogether - the music's quite good, after all.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:22:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh Boy -- Queen of Spades! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maryb2004, chingchongchinaman, cfk, pico

          I blogged about that rather humorless opera awhile back, and made the following graphic honoring Petipa's ballet in the original, from Ken Russell's evocation of Tchaikovsky -- The Music Lovers (score by Andre Previn !!) :

           title=

          I had literal fun transforming Richard Chamberlain into the hapless tenor trying to interrogate the Queen of Spades. (What a card!)

          It's nice to know that Pushkin's story has a greater range of emotions.

          You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one ...

          by MT Spaces on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:06:58 PM PST

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          •  Very, very complicated story (4+ / 0-)

            that people can't even agree about in terms of what genre it is.  It's part parody - not so much laugh-out-loud funny as quietly subversive - and part enigma, because he refuses to over-explain anything.  Definitely one of the high-water marks in the history of the short story.

            The opera is good for what it is, and at least one scholar (Simon Morrison) makes an argument that there is some really, really interesting stuff in the way Tchaikovsky turns it into a nearly mystical haze of musical allusions.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 08:14:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  having seen the opera and the movie.... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, pico

              ....I confess to being rather surprised at how quick and abrupt the original is, at least in terms of just a story.

              "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

              by chingchongchinaman on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:40:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed, but oh so suggestive! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cfk

                What do you think about the ending?  Is this a supernatural story, or a psychological one?  Is Hermann haunted or obsessed?

                And nary a wasted word.  It's quite something.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:12:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Peter Ilyich also omitted much of the back.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, pico

          ....story for Eugene Onegin in the opera, since he could assume that his contemporary Russian audience could fill in the back story for themselves.  100 years later, that's not automatically the case.  This is why audiences coming to the opera without reading the book see Onegin as a cold fish and a jerk, whereas if they'd read the novel beforehand, they'd understand why he's that way.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:39:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  oh, she was a beautiful (5+ / 0-)

        Tatiana!

        I saw an opera, too, that I liked.

        Liv is ethereal...as always. :)

        The young woman who falls in love and admits it and then marries and is true despite desperate pain...

        Try to see it!!

        Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

        by cfk on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:22:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just for a quick comparison (5+ / 0-)

        here are the opening stanzas of the novel (in the Falen translation).  Deadly serious this is not:

        "My uncle, man of firm convictions . . .
        By falling gravely ill, he's won
        A due respect for his afflictions —
        The only clever thing he's done.
        May his example profit others;
        But God, what deadly boredom, brothers,
        To tend a sick man night and day,
        Not daring once to steal away!
        But, oh, how base to pamper grossly
        And entertain the nearly dead,
        To fluff the pillows for his head,
        And pass him medecines morosely —
        While thinking under every sigh:
        The devil take you, Uncle. Die!"

        Just so a youthful rake reflected,
        As through the dust by post he flew,
        By mighty Zeus's will elected
        Sole heir to all the kin he knew.
        Ludmíla's and Ruslán's adherents!
        Without a foreword's interference,
        May I present, as we set sail,
        The hero of my current tale:
        Onégin, my good friend and brother,
        Was born beside the Neva's span,
        Where maybe, reader, you began,
        Or sparkled in one way or other.
        I too there used to saunter forth,
        But found it noxious in the north.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Wed Jan 19, 2011 at 07:26:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  haven't read that translation (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cfk, pico

          I've read the Babette Deutsch translation some time back, and I have the Charles Johnston translation on the shelf.

          "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

          by chingchongchinaman on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 05:36:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have Johnston, too (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pico

            I am thinking about getting another translation, but I should re-read mine, first.

            Join us at Bookflurries: Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

            by cfk on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 07:41:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I highly recommend Falen as the best. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cfk

            Closest in spirit and meaning to the original, but quite a bit.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu Jan 20, 2011 at 11:11:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

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