Beginning, or less talented, writers often consciously or subconsciously imitate the style of earlier creators.

Are any works by Pushkin (past the age of 20) known to copy someone else's style, especially on purpose - as a tribute, or any other reason.

(I want to exclude parodies where the copying was done for satirical reasons).

1 Answer 1


There are some examples.

The first translation from Chénier was made by Pushkin in 1823. This is a translation of the first twenty-five verses of Chénier's idyll "L'aveugle", and remains in Pushkin's papers in a rough, unfinished form. Russian translation of "The Blind Man" was for Pushkin a kind of study in the field of stylistics and a study of new poetic meter, not only an experience of transmitting the French alexandrine into Russian hexameter, but also the first experience of studying Russian hexameter, the properties of which - expressiveness, richness and diversity - aroused the poet's admiration

  • Inspired by Chénier’s imitations of ancient poets, Pushkin wrote some imitations of his own: for example, On the Recovery of Lucullus (“На выздоровление Лукулла. Подражание латинскому”) imitated Horace, and From Anacreon (“Из Анакреона”) – well, Anacreon.

  • Pushkin tried to translate Shakespeare and used a lot of Shakespearean elements in Boris Godunov" The poet wrote of the play:

I imitated Shakespeare in his broad and free depictions of characters, in the simple and careless combination of plots

Pushkin's imitations of the forms of folk poetry date to the years of exile in the village of Mikhaylovskoye, from where in the autumn of 1826, after receiving Czar’s pardon, Pushkin brought to Moscow his "Songs about Stenka Razin"

Viktor Vinogradov’s book Pushkin’s Style (Стиль Пушкина, 1941) sums up the matter of imitation this way:

Pushkin comes into possession of the most diverse styles of Russian and Western European literature through parody…

…by the mid-twenties, Pushkin's mastery of styles, demonstrated by the original "imitations" of Batyushkov, Parny, Chénier, Ovid, Byron, the Koran, the Bible, acquires extraordinary acuteness and variety.

Pushkin creatively used the style of the Russian folk poetry, the style of the chronicles, the style of the Bible, the Koran. Styles of Tredyakovsky, Lomonosov, Sumarokov, V. Petrov, Derzhavin, Khvostov; styles of Zhukovsky, Batyushkov, Baratynsky, Vyazemsky, Kozlov, Yazykov, V. Küchelbecker, Den. Davydov, Delvig, Gnedich; the styles of Byron, Chenier, Horace, Ovid, Wordsworth, Shakespeare, Musset, Béranger, Dante, Petrarch, Hafez, and other writers of the world literature served as raw material for his original work. Pushkin proved the ability of the Russian language to master creatively and independently and to reflect in the distinctive way all the verbal and artistic culture of the West and the East, accumulated over many centuries.

  • I guess that Yevgeni Onegin by Pushkin is also Byronic, it loosely reminds of Byron's Don Juan. Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 14:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.