Graham Fawcett Poetry Talks: Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
with readings in Russian by award-winning poet/performer Svetlana Savrasova
Thursday 13 June 6pm for 6.30pm talk. Supper from 8pm. Tickets: £10 / £18 with supper. Phone 01308 459511 to book.
“I was royally entertained.” (Annie Freud after Byron Night at Sladers Yard)
Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin, (6 June 1799 – 10 February 1837) was a Russian author of the Romantic era who is considered by many to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was the basis for Tchaikovsky‘s most popular opera (performed at the Royal Opera House in February) and has recently been made into a film, Onegin, starring Ralph Fiennes and Liv Tyler.
Pushkin was born into the Russian nobility in Moscow, published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum.
While under the strict surveillance of the Tsar’s political police and unable to publish, Pushkin wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was serialised between 1825 and 1832.
Notoriously touchy about his honour, Pushkin fought a total of twenty-nine duels, and was fatally wounded in such an encounter with Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d’Anthès. D’Anthès, a French officer serving with the Chevalier Guard Regiment, had been attempting to seduce the poet’s wife, Natalya Pushkina. Pushkin’s early death at the age of 37 is still regarded as a catastrophe for Russian literature.
“I was so uplifted by your lecture on Pushkin that I am now hugely looking forward to the presentation on Baudelaire”. (Sieglinde Ward, after Farnham Pushkin Night)
“How much I enjoyed the evening ! Your lecture was brilliant”. (Valentina Merritt, after Farnham Pushkin Night)
“Thank you for a sensational evening of Pushkin- a great ”performance”. I had read that it can sometimes be difficult to fully appreciate Pushkin in translation. Both your rendering, and the translations that you chose, dovetailing so beautifully with Valentina and her colleague’s reading, proved that Pushkin is most accessible and hugely enjoyable.” (Sue Hicks, after Farnham Pushkin Night)
“A most stimulating evening. I am so glad I came”. (Jennifer Anderson, after the London Pushkin Night)
“Thank you again for an incredibly interesting and informative lecture” (Svetlana Calladine, after the Lewes Pushkin Night)
“Particularly involving and pleasurable”. (Member of the audience after the Lewes Pushkin Night)
Poet/performer Svetlana Savrasova has entertained the audience at Sladers Yard a number of times with show-stopping performances of her own award-winning love poetry in English and Russian. As a child in the Soviet Union, her mother read her Pushkin’s fairytales instead of lullabies. When she was ten she won a poetry reading contest for Soviet Army Day with Pushkin’s ‘Anchar’. Now it is the favourite poem of her son, who is mathematics professor at Melbourne University.
‘I am sure there is not ONE DAY of Alexander Pushkin’s life gone un-investigated in Russia. If you are a believer – read Bible, Koran, Talmud. If you are healthy atheist or a believer with a sense of humour – read PUSHKIN! He is our merciless, sexy, wise and funny Oracle.’ – Svetlana Savrasova
Renowned broadcaster, educator and speaker Graham Fawcett is giving a series of seven lectures at Sladers Yard – the first of which were Pablo Neruda, Geoffrey Chaucer, Byron and Ovid. To follow Aleksandr Pushkin we have Emily Dickinson (Thursday 18 July) & Charles Baudelaire (Thursday 5 September), all of whom became and have remained national and international heroes for their uniqueness of voice, intensity of wonder at the world, formidable output, and prowess on the page. We also look forward to: Read the Japanese Lunch on Tuesday 10 September and Cavafy on Saturday 5 October.
GRAHAM FAWCETT gives courses, seminars, tutorials, lectures, poetry lunches, and other one-day events on reading and writing poetry. He has been a tutor for The Poetry School since 1997, devising and teaching new courses on poetry past and present from around the world. He has written and presented radio programmes about literature and music on BBC Radio 3 for many years. His acclaimed lecture series is on tour throughout 2013.
He has lectured or led workshops at:
- the Aldeburgh Festival (Britten the Illuminator – Benjamin Britten’s settings of poetry)
- the Edward the Confessor Millennial Festival, Islip 2005 (From Beowulf to Bayeux)
- the British Centre for Literary Translation
- the Centre for Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Warwick
- the Postgraduate Interpreting and Translation Department of European Studies & Modern Languages at the University of Bath
- the School of English in the Department of Communication and Philosophy at the University of Cardiff
- the Dulwich Festival
- the Peterborough Festival
- the Benissa campus of the University of Alicante
- the Feltre campus of the University of Milan
- the Guild of Psychotherapists in London
- Middlesex University
- Westmont College, Santa Barbara (in London and Venice)
- the Contemporary Poets Tour
- the Institute of Linguists in Cambridge
- Metroland (Amersham)
- the Russell-Cotes Museum and Art Gallery (Bournemouth)
- the Kent & Sussex Poetry Society (Tunbridge Wells)
- the Children’s Bookshow
- the Guild of Pastoral Psychology (London)
- the Blackheath Poetry Society
- the National Art Fund
Phone 01308 459511 to book your tickets now!