The University of Wisconsin Press

Russian Literature / Women's Studies / Literary Criticism

Pushkin’s Tatiana
Olga Hasty

A Publication of the Wisconsin Center for Pushkin Studies
General Editors: David M. Bethea and Alexander Dolinin

A fresh look at Eugene Onegin’s heroine

Hasty takes an image, Tatiana’s, one that in large part has been frozen in cliche, and dramatically revitalizes our understanding of it and of its deep contiguity with Pushkin’s esthetic-philosophical thought.”
—Robert Louis Jackson, Yale University

A major contribution to Pushkin scholarship on the occasion of the poet’s bicentenary. Olga Hasty rises admirably to the task of re-reading, or perhaps more accurately reading for the first time, Tatiana.”
—David M. Bethea, series editor and author of Realizing Metaphors: Alexander Pushkin and the Life of the Poet

An exceptionally interesting and original study of Russian literature’s best-known heroine. Olga Hasty describes as no one before her Pushkin’s alignment of sexual with creative energy, which in turn sheds new light on his creative process in writing Eugene Onegin.”
—Stephanie Sandler, editor of Rereading Russian Poetry

One of the most discussed and elusive female characters in the Russian literary tradition, Pushkin’s Tatiana Larina is the progenitrix of an impressive list of heroines ranging from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina to Pasternak’s Lara Guishar in Doctor Zhivago. In this provocative new book, Olga Hasty offers the first study of Pushkin’s novel-in-verse Eugene Onegin that focuses systematically on Tatiana.

A major revisionist reading of one of the central texts of the Russian canon, Hasty’s “Tatianacentric” approach to Eugene Onegin revitalizes our understanding of both Pushkin’s heroine and the novel in which she appears. Hasty shows, with elegance and psychological insight, how Tatiana is able to realize her imaginative potential in a context full of real risk and constraint. Tatiana emerges as a new literary, psychological, and cultural model who enacts precisely those creative tensions and possibilities on which Pushkin himself drew. Pushkin’s Tatiana recovers the erotic energy, self-control, and expressivity of Pushkin’s most beloved heroine, freeing her from the clichéd image of self-sacrificial woman. Hasty concludes with an insightful exploration of Tatiana’s subsequent role in the self-presentations of the Russian poets Karolina Pavlova and Marina Tsvetaeva.

Olga Peters Hasty is associate professor of Russian literature at Princeton University. She is the author of Tsvetæva’s Orphic Journeys in the Worlds of the Word and co-author of America through Russian Eyes.

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cover of Hasty's book is beige with a line drawing of a woman on it

November 1999

288 pp.   6 x 9

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Paper $19.95 s
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