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Sucked in by Russian Literature

Updated on October 12, 2014
Ralph Fiennes as Onegin and Liv Tyler as Tatyana (Tanya)
Ralph Fiennes as Onegin and Liv Tyler as Tatyana (Tanya)

Reading a novel can make me get lost in the world created by the writer so easily that most of the times I hurriedly do my daily routine activities just so that I can get back into it, it feels like getting back into my own life. I thank God Almighty for giving me the ability to comprehend novels and enjoy them. It is indeed a blessing to be among those able to read and imagine. However, I also feel happy to be born in this era where numerous famous novels written in the days gone past are depicted in films where it is made accessible for both those who read novels and those who do not, to appreciate and enjoy. I do not consider motion pictures based on famous novels to do full justice most of the time but sometimes it feels good to just relax and let the kaleidoscope of the movie screen do all the imagination for you.

Recently I watched ‘Onegin’ which is based on Alexander Pushkin's, Eugene Onegin with Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler starring. Although I have yet to read Eugene Onegin, I found that the movie was good enough to have drawn me into life in St. Petersburg and Russian country. Liv Tyler as Tatyana (the heroine) was absolutely ravishingly innocent (if two such words go together). Although I have yet to read Eugene Onegin, what I understood from the film, is the fact that Pushkin is very curt when it comes to telling stories yet he tells a great story where even in a motion picture version of his novel, the audience (in this case, I) was left to imagine a number of things. Anyone who has seen the movie will know what I mean when Tatyana was seen in that womanly red gown and makeup after she was last seen as a fresh and innocent country girl with too much interest in books to let her family rest relaxed. I kept on thinking (till I had no reason to think anymore, as the story continued) “what is happening?” “Is this her debutante ball? But something seems odd!” I would not say what it was all about, in fear that I might ruin the ending for those who might watch the movie. Just know that it is a beautiful movie/story/novel about the connection between fiction and real life. The line, however, is a thin one.

Movie Trailer of the film Onegin

Shortly after I watched Onegin, I started reading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy for the first time. I have had this book presented to me on my 18th birthday by two of my friends and after 3 years I have finally come around to reading it. I just finished reading about 120 pages out of 850 pages, and already I find myself being gripped with the outstanding writing style and the story. Tolstoy writes in such a relaxed fashion that I, as a reader, was left knowing almost every tiny detail about each character that I came across. The main character, after whom the novel is titled, enters the story actively after nearly 80 pages of reading! That is almost half the pages of a number of short romances like Mills n Boon!! Tolstoy has given such distinctive characteristics to all his characters that it is impossible to mix up who is who even though the Russian names take a little getting used to.

Both Onegin and Anna Karenina have and are providing me with an insight into life in Russia and the fact that no matter when or where a story takes place, the common human feelings and frailties remain more or less the same. I would suggest that everyone let a little bit of Russian Literature to seep into them…it will only make them more whole!

Anna Karenina starring Anna Karenina -- Sophie Marceaux Count Alexey Vronsky -- Sean Bean, Tobey Maguire Konstantin Levin -- Douglas Henshall

2012 adaptation of Anna Karenina

In the year 2012 another adaptation of Anna Karenina came out starring Keira Knightly as Anna Karenina and Jude Law as Karenin.

Trailer of Anna Karenina 2012


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    • kalinin1158 profile image

      Lana Adler 

      3 years ago from California

      "everyone should let a little bit of Russian Literature to seep into them" - I second that! Russian literature definitely stands out culturally, philosophically and psychologically, and once you learn that Sashenka is Alexander and Olenka is Olga and Grushenka is Agrafena, it's really a pleasure to read :) Voted up!

    • K Kiss profile imageAUTHOR

      K Kiss 

      8 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      a belated thanks to Karina S ....

      @ moncrieff .. oui to that

    • moncrieff profile image


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Eugene Onegin is definitely a plesure to read.

    • Karina S. profile image

      Karina S. 

      8 years ago from USA

      I love you hub about Russian literature. I like to read and Love Russian poetry. Pushkin is my favorite poet.


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