As many of my friends and followers will know, I am a big fan of Russian literature. From Pushkin, Chekhov and Dostoyevsky to Tolstoy, Turgenev and Bulgakov, the country has long seduced me with its books from a young age.
Now Karl Ove Knausgaard over at the New York Times has penned a great piece titled “A Literary Road Trip into the Heart of Russia.”
If you like/love Russian literature, read this piece. It goes out to my friend elisabethm at A Russian Affair.
I loved you; and perhaps I love you still,
The flame, perhaps, is not extinguished; yet
It burns so quietly within my soul,
No longer should you feel distressed by it.
Silently and hopelessly I loved you,
At times too jealous and at times too shy.
God grant you find another who will love you
As tenderly and truthfully as I.
— Alexander Pushkin, “I Loved You”
Although most readers are familiar with the Russian Literary Triumvirate that is Anton Chekhov, Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, in many ways Pushkin is seen as the mack daddy of Russian literature. No small feat, indeed.
Today, he is probably most famous for the novel Eugene Onegin, but Pushkin – aside from being considered the father of his nation’s canon of modern literature – is better known inside the frozen borders of that limitless country as its greatest poet. The poem I chose today for the QOTD is one example of his brilliance, though you’ll see countless translations of the same poem all over the interweb.
Per the Wiki entry on this:
“I Loved You” is a poem by Pushkin written in 1829 and published in 1830. It has been described as “the quintessential statement of the theme of lost love” in Russian poetry, and an example of Pushkin’s respectful attitude towards women.