Russian Translations

The Bronze Horseman

Article text
My passion for Pushkin came later than for Akhmatova. Only in the 1970s did I discover him, but then it became true passion. In a real sense he created Russian literature. If he hadn't died, tragically, as a result of a duel, at the age of 37, he might have made Tolstoy and the other great writers unnecessary!

I am currently (2010) translating his great verse novel 'Eugene Onegin', and at the same time exploring my other 'affair' with the Russian language. I am getting to know 'her' --the language-- better, just as a woman reveals herself gradually. Translating such a long (200 pages) poem gives one a marvellous sense of intimacy with the poet.

'Onegin' will appear, from Francis Boutle Publishers, in spring 2011. A short section can be found in the current 'Modern Poetry in Translation (Polyphony)', edited by David & Helen Constantine.

'All my life, my Russian-speaking grandfather raved to me about Pushkin --whom I dutifully read in poor translations, never comprehending his power. Now D.M.Thomas makes this astounding poet available to us as if for the first time. THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is the most exciting and inspiring volume to cross my desk since THE WHITE HOTEL.'
--Erica Jong

'A triumphant success.'
--John Bayley