S. Annette Moran Faculty Research Forum, 2016-present


Lost in Translation: Seeking Art and Science in Poetry Translation through Pushkin's Eugene Onegin


College of Arts & Sciences


English and Communication

Academic Year



Fall 11-7-2018


Board Room (Library)

Document Type



Alexander Pushkin, widely considered the father of Russian literature, published serially over the 1820’s his magnum opus, Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse composed of 389 idiosyncratic sonnets. Covering the life and loves of a foppish young aristocrat, Onegin is at once a microcosm of Tsarist Russia and a meditation on love, art, and death. It is also beautiful poetry, but particularly difficult to render into English under the poetic constraints of Pushkin’s language and form. Chris is at work on a metrically faithful translation, and in this discussion he will explore the artistic, cognitive, and even metaphysical question that arise from translation—particularly poetry. Just what is it that makes it into English? Is it Pushkin? Is it a 21st Century American’s reading and experience filtered through an Imperial Russian lens? Or is poetry, as Robert Frost suggested, that which gets lost in translation?

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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