Alexander Pushkin Elisabeth Van Der Meer  Podcast TTT Russia Russian Literature Season 2 Tea Toast & Trivia Writers

Season 2. Episode 18: Elisabeth on Alexander Pushkin’s Duel

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

Elisabeth van der Meer from the extraordinary blog, A Russian Affair, has once again joined me from the far distance of 7,514 km or 4,669 miles. We are connecting Finland and Canada via Russian Literature. Elisabeth has come back to discuss Alexander Pushkin, poet, playwright and novelist of the Romantic era. He is considered the father of modern Russian literature and some say that he was the greatest of all Russian writers. Bold, impetuous and daring, he lived with enthusiasm.

So, put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation. I am your host Rebecca Budd and I’m looking forward to sharing this moment with you.


I highly recommend Elisabeth’s  “The Eugene Onegin Challenge” that is happening on her blog, A Russian Affair.  Right now, I am reading Alexander Pushkin’s masterpiece, Eugene Onegin, which he wrote over the course of eight years.  Elisabeth has introduced the characters, Onegin, Lenski, Tatyana, Olga, and yes, Pushkin.  The adventure is ready to begin…

Elisabeth van der Meer, Instagram (photo credit Elisabeth van der Meer)

“With this challenge I hope to add something extra to your reading experience that will make it more interesting, intense, attentive, and (even more) enjoyable. I will be eating, dreaming, thinking, hearing Eugene Onegin for the next four months and I can’t wait to find out what the end result will be!”

Elisabeth van der Meer

Elisabeth van der Meer (Photo Credit Elisabeth van der Meer)



Music by Leimoti, “Jeanne in a Waltz” Epidemic Sound

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

11 replies on “Season 2. Episode 18: Elisabeth on Alexander Pushkin’s Duel”

A wonderful and educational conversation, Rebecca and Elisabeth! Among the many things I found interesting in this podcast was hearing about the great Pushkin’s part-African background — a heritage also shared by two other great writers usually thought of as “white”: Alexandre Dumas and Colette.

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I did not know about Colette!!! And I just read a couple of years ago that Alexandre Dumas was the son of General Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, who was born in present day Haiti. I continue to learn. I am so glad that you listened in, Dave, and am grateful for your comments. I am now reading Onegin. Another thing I learned was that Onegin is in the form of a poem. Elisabeth is an excellent mentor in my adventures into Russian literature. She is a most gracious and patient guide. I finally figured out how to pronounce Turgenev!!!

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Yes, Colette’s great-grandfather was partly black. And Dumas’ part-black father was a military officer under Napoleon!

And while I won’t be reading “Eugene Onegin” along with Elisabeth and her fans, I do have it on my future list thanks to her enthusiasm for it. 🙂

Last but not least, Rebecca, there are indeed so many things to learn — and it’s so nice to learn those things!

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Great podcast Rebecca and Elisabeth! So very interesting, especially the duel! Love the Pushkin quote you closed with, Rebecca! I wonder if he knew how long that sentence would last, and still will?

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Every tea drinker is most grateful for Pushkin’s endorsement and pronouncement. I just purchased a stash of Russian Caravan tea. As I steep my tea, I will think of the 18th century camel caravan that facilitated the transcontinental tea trade, from tea-producing areas to Russia. So many stories in a cup of tea. Hugs!!!

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Oh this is wonderful background for our reading of Eugene Onegin! What a beloved embodiment of “Russian Soul” along with Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and several modern writers as well. Obviously some of them paid a high price for that authenticity.

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They did indeed. I’m very excited to be able to explore Pushkin through Eugene Onegin. Even more exciting that Elisabeth will be guiding the study and providing excellent commentary as we go along. Stephen Fry’s voice is perfect for the reading on Onegin. So glad we are on this journey together.

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