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Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
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Fathers and Sons (1862)

by Ivan Turgenev (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
Unquestionably, a classic. Different in its substance from the gripping and heart-rending prose of Dostoyevsky, but a classic nevertheless. Apart from the main plot and the ever-existing question of a generation gap, Turgenev brings to light such relevant to that day and age issues as the peasant question (with all its tormenting difficulties just prior to abolition of serfdom in Russia), the highly controversial idea of nihilism, and description (even though in a slightly caricature form) of a burgeoning feminism trend. Some minor characters are stereotypically comical, but the main ones are given a thoroughly thoughtful and serious portrayal. Bazarov's father impressed me the most.

I read this book in the original years ago (it was a part of high school curriculum and was required reading, thus making it less appealing at the time) and now refreshed my memory, with deeper understanding of the book, in translation, which is quite adequate, though, naturally, cannot quite be a substitute for the original - but it fell into my hands at a used books shop and grabbed my nostalgic attention. ( )
1 vote Clara53 | Jul 7, 2014 |
A fine, tender, evocative short novel portraying "liberal" Russian landowners and their nihilist sons mid-19th century, on the eve of the (troubled) emancipation of the serfs. Marvelous writing as translated here by Richard Hare. A book to re-read. ( )
  pieterpad | May 2, 2014 |
This novel is interesting for its depiction of the lives of various social classes in 1830s/1840s Russia as well as its psychological insight. Arkady and Bazarov are university students who visit Arkady's father and uncle in his hometown. Tension soon arises over the new nihilistic philosophy espoused by the youngsters. While the cynical Bazarov's nihilism holds up well in arguments with the more traditionalist older men, it is completely demolished when Bazarov falls in love and is in turn rejected by the wealthy and beautiful Madame Odintsova. As in Tolstoy's "War and Peace", some of the characters end up living happily ever after and others meet tragic ends. ( )
  ninefivepeak | Dec 21, 2013 |
Snoozed. And I'm a Russian history major. Go figure. ( )
  TheInvernessie | Nov 26, 2013 |
Finished Fathers and Sons yesterday, another quickly devoured novel. Don't think I'll take the time to properly review it, but I will say that while I worried I wouldn't be thrilled by a novel in which one of the main characters is an unpleasant Nihilist with an attitude to match, I was on the contrary pleasantly surprised to find this novel touch on a variety of other subjects I ended up finding quite engrossing indeed, so that even Bazarov, the unpleasant proponent of Nihilism in question became, if not appealing exactly, essential to a masterful whole. Some of the topics broached are the major shift going on in Russia during the mid-19th century, with landowners 'freeing' their serfs and allowing them to become paid tenants and the attendant class conflicts; the concept or what makes up a true Russian identity; the generation gap and how the old guard is always relegated to obsolescence by the young. In other words, social conflicts seem to be at the heart of this novel, but these subjects became all the more interesting to me thanks to the deft hand of Turgeniev, who presents these from the unique standpoints of young student Arkady Nikolaevich Kirsanov, who brings his friend and Nihilistic hero Yevgeny Vasilyevich Bazarov on a visit to his family farm to meet his father and uncle. Arkady Nikolaevich's father Nikolai Petrovich is excited to get together with his grown son again, looking forward to a forging a close friendship with him based on intellectual equality, and thinks himself to be 'with the times' by embracing modern socioeconomic concerns (having among other things recently emancipated his serfs and removed himself to a smaller house with few paid servants) and keeping up with all the latest authors (but at heart a great lover of the Romantic Old Guard Pushkin). However, his hopes are fairly dashed when Bazarov is introduced into the household with his uncouth, brusque manners and disdain for art, tradition, and sentimentality. Arkady has become Bazarov's disciple and parrots his older friend's ideas, though all the while he is made uneasy by Bazarov's repeated critical sallies and generally disrespectful attitude toward his beloved father and his uncle Pavel Petrovich, a gallant aristocrat very much attached to tradition and keeping up appearances, which Arkady nevertheless sees as a tragic hero. Through this prism we see a whole nation shifting toward what laid the ground for the inevitable Russian Revolution and the Communist USSR, though again, Turgeniev, far from making his protagonists all black or all white, lets them evolve throughout the novel and experience conflicting emotions and motivations. Here, together with a large dose of philosophical doctrine, there is also love and romance and it's deceptions, there is even an unlikely duel which ends rather unexpectedly. In other words, it is a mix of intellectual ideas and romantic concerns and for this reason, still feels incredibly modern and shows us once again that human nature never really changes much.

So much for NOT writing a review. :-) ( )
1 vote Smiler69 | Nov 21, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (164 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Turgenev, IvanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bein, KazimierzTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckmann, MatthiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeborn, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garret, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodge, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nitschke, AnneloreÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reavy, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saalborn, Arn.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thiergen, PeterAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Посвящается памяти
Виссариона Григорьевича Белинского
Dedicated to the memory of Vissarion Grigor'evich Belinsky
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"Well, Piotr, not in sight yet?" was the question asked on May the 20th, 1859, by a gentleman of a little over forty, in a dusty coat and checked trousers, who came out without his hat on to the low steps of the posting station at S—.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140441476, Paperback)

When Arkady Petrovich comes home from college, his father finds his eager, naive son changed almost beyond recognition, for the impressionable Arkady has fallen under the powerful influence of the friend accompanying him. A self-proclaimed nihilist, the ardent young Bazarov shocks Arkady's father by criticizing the landowning way of life and by his outspoken determination to sweep away the traditional values of contemporary Russian society. Turgenev's depiction of the conflict between generations and their ideals stunned readers when "Fathers and Sons" was first published in 1862. But many could sympathize with Arkady's fascination with the nihilistic hero whose story vividly captures the hopes and regrets of a changing Russia.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:11 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Considered one of the world's greatest novels, this controversial classic offers modern readers a vivid, timeless depiction of the clash between the older Russian aristocracy and the youthful radicalism that foreshadowed the revolution. Includes a new introduction. Reissue.… (more)

» see all 11 descriptions

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