Style and Technique

(Comprehensive Guide to Short Stories, Critical Edition)

Pushkin stands as an example of the transition from Romanticism to realism; his poetry, especially his early verse, is usually viewed as part of Romanticism, while his prose is seen as the beginning of Russian realism. In this story, Pushkin employs the precision and economy of words that serve as ingredients of realism, but he also begins with a windy introduction that is completely irrelevant to the story. Perhaps Pushkin wanted to demonstrate the two styles within one story in order to point out the great difference between them and to show the superiority of a precise style, telling a story quickly, over a list of irrelevancies.