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An Ordinary Story by Ivan Goncharov
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An Ordinary Story

by Ivan Goncharov

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Dal titolo "Una storia comune" potrebbe sembrare l'ennesimo discreto mattoncino serioso russo :-) invece fa tanto sorridere, il protagonista è un "bamba" romantico con la testa piena di fesserie e lo zio ha il suo bel da fare a instillargli un po' di senso pratico! Noi assistiamo e sorridiamo, possiamo prendercela comoda. E imparare a non essere né troppo aridi né "bamba" :-) Buon divertimento! ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
Extreme youthful idealism clashes with middle-aged realistic cynicism, Goncharov explores the causes and consequences of possessing an excess of one particular trait, and all in his trademark style, casual but insightful, a bit silly and funny all at the same time. The plot is indeed the as described eponymously - we have all lived and read it time and time again -, but the real delight lies in the characterisations.

The author captured the exuberance and inexperience of youth with its full potentials by detailing the protagonist's excessive sensitivities, which were at times painfully naive to read. However, it was only a necessary evil as it made it a joy to read his eventual slow disillusionment with love and life. I cannot help but relate to the growing cynicism, already present in the uncle and siphoning to the nephew, that is such an accurate psychological side effect of growth. The uncle is presented as the nephew's foil, albeit one who is the experienced knowledgeable authority on the fickleness human natures. However, to prevent this as just a silly-young-people story, the uncle's practicality is dialed to severe, just for some interesting contrast of the two extremes.

In the end, as is the case with Olga in Oblomov, the best character is the less explored female protagonist, the aunt. Her first physical, or at least vocal, appearance immediately showcases her shrewdness in handling the pride of the uncle and her tactful empathy to the protagonist's growing pains. Recommended for anybody who has ever been disillusioned with the world, so... everybody. ( )
  kitzyl | Apr 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ivan Goncharovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bloemen, YolandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hart, Maarten 'tAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiebes, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0875010881, Hardcover)

A fresh translation of an important work by the author of Oblomov, An Ordinary Story describes the coming of age of a romantic young man from the provinces who moves to Petersburg in search of love and a career. Psychologically acute in its delineation of his relationship with his mentor uncle, this work has a great deal of charm as well as interest. Since Goncharov himself had worked as a bureaucrat in the civil service, his depiction of this world and the compromises it exacted from his heroes is genuinely compelling. A work that retains its relevance for Russians even today (it has been staged several times as a play in the Soviet Union), An Ordinary Story marked the debut of a major Russian novelist.

This edition also includes the first English-language translation of Viktor Rozov's famed stage adaptation, which premiered at the Sovremennik Theater in 1966, and was considered one of the best plays of the era.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:31 -0400)

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