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Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons (1862)

by Ivan Turgenev

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.com & Bookstooge's Reviews on the Road Facebook Group by Bookstooge's Exalted Permission. Title: Fathers and Sons Series: ------ Author: Ivan Turgenev Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars Genre: Classic Pages: 233 Synopsis: We follow 2 young men, Bazarov and Arkady, as they relate to each other, their fathers and their romantic interests. My Thoughts: I was not expecting to like this so much. This book is a snapshot of the changing of a generation and how it can clash with those before. In Russia. [if you've ever watched Yugioh the Abridged series, you'll know that comes from Bandit Keith and his "In America!" schtick] Honestly, this was melancholy, romance, young silliness, arrogance and then maturity all rolled into one. Bazarov is our main antagonist and he does a good job of being an ass for the whole book. He is a nihilist and simply wants to destroy anything and everything, period. He is well enough off that he doesn't have to work and so has lots of time to think and like many introspective young men,his thoughts are centered on himself. That never turns out well and in the end Bazarov gets what is coming to him. As for protagonists, there didn't seem to be just one and in fact it could be argued that Bazarov is the protagonist as well. Arkady is a young man under Bazarov's philosophical sway until he comes under the sway of Katya, a reserved young lady who is strong as steel but covers it with a modest and demure exterior. The Fathers, of Bazarov and Arkady, don't seem to be strong enough to count as the protagonists as they are afflicted with trying to be their sons best friend instead of their fathers. They typified everything that I associate with Russian men: emotional, philosophical and very melancholic. I really liked the progression of seeing Arkady and Bazarov mature. Arkady takes on responsibility and finds his place and begins to shoulder the burden that his station in life places upon him. Bazarov lives true to his destructive principles and I was glad to see him die. To end, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed this book and am now going to have to search out a hardcover copy in a used book store. On amazon, "good" hard cover copies start at $35. That is to rich for me. " ( )
1 vote BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) was a major Russian novelist, and when I saw Fathers and Sons as an audio book at the library, I grabbed it for my ‘Year of Russian Reading’. It was first published in 1862 and immediately provoked controversy by offending almost all classes of Russian society.

There is not a great deal of action in this most interesting book: it is mainly dialogue, mostly between two young friends dissecting what’s wrong with 19th century Russian society (not long before the Revolution). While studying at the University of Petersburg young Arkady Kirsanov meets Evgeny Bazarov (who is studying to be a doctor), and is so attracted by his intellect that he invites him home to Marino, the family estate in the provinces. What follows is a classic tale of a generation gap: Bazarov is a nihilist who acknowledges no authority, no ideals and no purpose to life. He likes arguing for the sake of it, and he doesn’t care who he offends – he doesn’t agree with old-fashioned ideas about being polite to one’s hosts! His radical attacks on convention appal Arkady’s father Nikolai and uncle Pavel, and while Nikolai seems to nurse his disquiet privately and is willing to overlook Bazarov’s views because he is so pleased to have Arkady at home, his brother Pavel is most indignant about Bazarov’s rudeness. This hostility culminates in the most dramatic scene in the book, which I’ll leave readers to discover for themselves.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2012/07/06/fathers-and-sons-by-ivan-turgenev/ ( )
2 vote anzlitlovers | Aug 15, 2016 |
[From A Writer's Notebook, Doubleday & Company, 1949, "1917":]

Then I read Fathers and Sons, in French; I was too ignorant of Russian things to appreciate its value; the strange names, the originality of the characters, opened a window on romance, but it was a novel like another, related to the French fiction of its day, and for me at all events, it had no great significance. Later still, when I found myself definitely interested in Russia, I read other books by Turgenev; but they left me cold. Their idealism was too sentimental for my taste, and unable in a translation to see the beauty of manner and style which Russians value, I found them ineffectual.

[From Books and You, Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1940, pp. 54-55:]

Then, after another leap across the years, I must draw your attention to three Russian novels of the nineteenth century: Turgenev’s Fathers and Sons, Tolstoy’s War and Peace, and Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Of the three authors, Turgenev is the least considerable. But he was an artist, with a delicate sense of the poetry of life, and he had charm, pathos and humanity. He does not greatly move, but neither does he bore; and in Fathers and Sons, by far his best novel, he has depicted for the first time in fiction the Nihilist who was the forerunner of the Communist of our own day. It is curious to recognize in Bazarov, his hero, many of the traits which we have seen in men who, according to our political opinions, have wrought havoc or opened new vistas on the world we now live in. Bazarov is a brutal creature, but he is strangely impressive and not altogether unsympathetic; his power is manifest, and though he has no opportunity for action and so expends himself in words, you cannot but be convinced that, given propitious circumstances, he is capable of translating into deeds the ideas which his audacious mind has formulated. He has a dark and pitiful greatness.
2 vote WSMaugham | Jul 18, 2016 |
A portrayal of the timeless generational rift where the young thinks the old is living in the past and they know more than the old, while the old thinks the frivolous young is going through a phase where they try to buck the ongoing trends by recycling old ideologies, the novel is relevant, even with the specific context of 1850s Russia, anywhere and anytime where there are people. Any ideology could have been chosen for the plot, but nihilism allowed for the natural clash against order prevalent in different generations. It also allowed the characters to behave rudely and escalate situations in unexpected, but realistic ways. Recommended for anybody who thinks the young/old are unoriginal slackers/fuddy-duddy fossils, not necessarily only for those interested in 19th century Russia.

Aside: In a snobbish, contempt-for-everything way, Bazarov and Pavel should have been best friends. I love the little reveal near the end where Bazarov's previous brag about being to able to connect with the "common" people more than Pavel is mocked. ( )
1 vote kitzyl | Jun 23, 2016 |
Great book especially because of the rebellious Bazarov who is an unapologetic rebel, a nihilist who challenges every Russian traditional value there is to be challenged. This is a great description of generational divide and almost a prophetical novel given the turmoils and destruction russia went trough in the next 100 years after this novel was written. I put this roughly in the same place as [bc:The Idiot|12505|The Idiot|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327865902s/12505.jpg|6552198] By [a:Fyodor Dostoyevsky|3137322|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1456149904p2/3137322.jpg]. However Fathers and Sons moves the story much more quickly and in the end you get the feeling that the book was even too short. A remarkable thing to say about a russian novel in the world of aristocracy and social and political upheaval.

Turgenev is easy to read, despite this book having a character you would like to punch on multiple occasions in the face. The foreword is great the afterword is great and the annotations guiding the modern day reader are great. A great tribute for penguin classics.
( )
1 vote Kindnist85 | May 25, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (425 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Turgenev, Ivanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beckmann, MatthiasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bein, KazimierzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bukowsky, ElsePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bukowsky, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeborn, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Glad, Alf B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodge, AlanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Konkka, JuhaniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Makanowitsky, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary 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—.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
1. Il tempo … vola qualche volta come un uccello e qualche volta striscia come un verme, ma l'uomo si sente bene specialmente quando nemmeno si accorge se passi presto o con lentezza.
2. Spesso è utile che nella vita ricompaia la mediocrità: rallenta le corde troppo tese, disperde i fumi della presunzione e dei cedimenti interiori, mostrando la loro stessa banalità.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:16 -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 12 descriptions

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