This last and most brilliant narrative poem by Russia's greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin, should form an essential part of all courses in Russian literature. It combines praise of Peter the Great and his city of St Petersburg with a dramatic account of the devastating flood of 1824 and a lowly individual's resultant insanity. The political, historical, religious, ecological, and metaphysical-existential questions which Pushkin formulates with dazzling power and concision have been the subject of endless critical debate. This new student edition includes an interpretative introduction which seeks to accommodate conflicting critical readings, copious linguistic and literary commentary, and a separate short essay on the poem's St Petersburg background.
Michael Basker is Senior Lecturer in Russian at the Universityof Bristol. He is published widely, in both English and Russian, onearly twentieth-century Russian poetry and its connections with earliertraditions. He has also written articles on Puskin's lyric andnarrative verse.