Jansy Mello Alexey, do you happen to know in what language did Pushkin read sonnets by Camões?  Sir Richard Burton's biography of the Portuguese poet and his translation of "The Lusiads" to the English was only published in 1880. There must have been some other translations, sonnets included and probably in French...

Edmund Wilson once wrote that:  "Mr. Nabokov seems really to have done his best to read everything that Pushkin could possibly have read, and has shown that he took over from poetry and fiction a good many current phrases." It would be interesting to know if V.Nabokov had ever read anything by Camões (who wrote about the feats of Vasco da Gama in his famous epic).

E.Wilson added that Nabokov "underrates Pushkin’s knowledge of English and quite disregards the evidence. There is a tradition—I have not been able to trace it to its origin—that Pushkin, in the early Twenties, began to read Byron with the young Raevskys, who had an English governess. Mr. Nabokov scoffs at this, but it seems extremely plausible. It was at this time that Pushkin began to write his Byronic tales, The Prisoner of the Caucasus andThe Fountain of Bakhchisara. and he could hardly have given them this form if he had not known something of them in the original. And though Nabokov finds the rhyme pattern of the stanza of Onegin occasionally embedded in La Fontaine’s Contes, it would hardly have been possible for Pushkin to have arrived at this stanza—though it is, of course, not identical with Byron’s—if he had not had some firsthand acquaintance with Don Juan. He could certainly not have got this, as Mr. Nabokov seems to suppose, entirely from Pichot’s French prose translation. Nabokov himself notes that Pushkin had English books in his library, but asserts that he could not read them. Of the most important evidence he says nothing at all." (Cf. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1965/07/15/the-strange-case-of-pushkin-and-nabokov/ )

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