Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The Queen of Spades by Alexander Pushkin (3/5)

First published: 1834
Original title: Pikovaya Dama
Original language: Russian
Translation to English by: H. Twitchell

Page count: 16
The back says: The Queen of Spades (Russian: Pikovaya dama) is an acclaimed short story by Alexander Pushkin about human avariciousness. Pushkin wrote the story in autumn 1833 in Boldino and it was first published in literary magazine Biblioteka dlya chteniya in 1834. It was turned into the opera The Queen of Spades by Tchaikovsky.

I say: This is a short story that didn’t really do it for me.

Hermann is a German who likes to watch others gamble without taking part himself. One night, one of the gamblers tells him of his grandmother who once lost everything during a card game, only to later win it back with a secret of three winning cards. Hermann becomes obsessed with the secret and finds a way to wring it out of the old lady, and then...

I cannot say more because that would be spoiling it for anyone who wants to read it. However, you should be able to guess it because it is quite obvious and that is the reason why I wasn’t that impressed with this story. Pushkin was building up to something that could have been magnificent if it were a full novel, but as a short story it left me with a feeling of meh. 

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