Scene from Faust

My translation of Pushkin’s “Scene from Faust” was published in the April 2010 issue of New Criterion, along with an introduction giving some background on the work. The translation is also to be included in a forthcoming anthology of Russian poetry, edited by Robert Chandler, Irina Mashinski and Boris Dralyuk (Penguin Classics).

At the moment of writing, there are at least two video clips on YouTube of filmed performances of this scene (in Russian). One is taken from M. Shveitser’s very fine 1979 film Malenkie Tragedii (Little Tragedies), which includes this scene and some other Pushkin material in addition to the four plays traditionally referred to by that title. And the “Scene from Faust” as performed there also includes a couple of additional lines that, though they are Pushkin’s, he did not include in his text of the scene. A few lines are also cut towards the beginning. Subtitles are from my translation.

The other performance is by the great Innokenty Smoktunovsky, who played Salieri and the Old Baron in the Shveitser film. Here he plays both Faust and Mephistopheles. This was part of the 1982 film Vnov ya posetil (I Visited Once More), directed by A. Proshkin, in which Smoktunovsky gives dramatic readings of a number of Pushkin poems.

If you are interested in performing my translation of this scene, please email me for permission.

Update: The PDF at the New Criterion site is now available only to subscribers. A current PDF of the translation (with one line corrected) is available for download here:
download Scene from Faust

Update 2: This translation is now available also in the new (2015) Penguin Book of Russian Poetry