Slider Belkin's Stories and A History of Goryúkhino Village

Belkin’s Stories is a set of five crisp and entertaining short stories of contemporary Russian life, told with Pushkin’s hallmark concision and irony.  They were Pushkin’s first completed work of prose fiction.  The stories are presented in the Editor’s foreword as having been related to the late Iván Petróvich Belkin, an obscure landowner of Goryúkhino village, by various acquaintances; but Belkin, his village and the foreword itself are all figments of Pushkin’s humorous imagination.

A History of Goryúkhino Village is a separate work, composed at the same time as Belkin’s Stories, but left unfinished and unpublished by Pushkin .   Its purported author is the same Iván Petróvich Belkin who compiled the Stories.  On the surface it is a comic work, a spoof history of a fictitious rural community, preceded by an “autobiography” of the imagined author, but it also parodies the pretentiousness of contemporary historical and ethnographic writing, and offers a veiled but scathing critique of social conditions in rural Russia.

See Books above for more information and extracts from my translations.

The translation (ISBN 978-1-84749-351-4) can be ordered from any highstreet bookshop, from the publisher’s website, or from the main electronic booksellers.

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