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Turgenev: Fathers and Children by Ivan…
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Turgenev: Fathers and Children (original 1862; edition 1991)

by Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Avril Pyman (Translator), John Bayley (Introduction)

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5,176None861 (3.86)1 / 216
Member:scott.stricker
Title:Turgenev: Fathers and Children
Authors:Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev
Other authors:Avril Pyman (Translator), John Bayley (Introduction)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf, 1991. Hardcover, 272 pages. Everyman's library: 17.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Everyman's Library, Russian Literature, Novels

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

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English (57)  Dutch (3)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Turkish (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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 |
My main issue with this book: too short. An odd thing to think of when the too short object in question is a Russian novel concerning cultural upheaval and aristocracy and all sorts of young ones running around screeching newfangled ideas at the top of their lungs, but 'tis true.

A while back, someone somewhere on Goodreads coined the term 'soap opera with brains', a literature type that hasn't popped up in my reading since [b:The Age of Reason|10034|The Age of Reason|Jean-Paul Sartre|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1348948865s/10034.jpg|230378] but can be (much more enjoyable, I dare say) applied here with the highest accuracy. Amidst all the generation gaps and work force revolutions and 1860's Russia, there's quite a bit of drama that wears its intellectual trappings well enough to guarantee my enjoyment. And let me tell you, it is a rare thing indeed that guarantees my enjoyment when it comes to lighthearted webs of relationships both familial and romantic, so major kudos to the novel for that (sorry Turgenev, you're probably rolling in your grave at that last part, but it's true! and i'm grateful! you should be happy about that!).

Besides the unexpectedly delightful people with their unexpectedly delightful issues in dealing with each other, there are, of course, the ideas and their tectonic shifts, fully embodied in the young contorting themselves in every shape imaginable in their effort to get their old off their collective back. The word 'nihilism' gets thrown around quite a bit, but is rather a red herring if there ever was one that evokes more of the 'threat' Russia thought it was facing in the 1860's than the true stance lauded by Bazarov and Arkady, sons to their respective fanciful, 'romantic' fathers. Simply put, I understood both sides in both their positive and negative lights, and found their interactions and stances fascinating if not especially conducive to my choosing a side. Call it a preference for a mix and match rather than supposed neutrality, it both sounds better and makes more sense.

Finally, Bazarov. Like him, hate him, tie him to a tree and run far away, he won't leave you alone until you engage with him on some level, and then you'll never escape. There's nothing to more to say on that note.

However, as mentioned, the book was much too short. No sooner had I gotten grasp on all the characters and their respective personal doctrines and settled for a long run of social machinations both entertaining and insightful (Middlemarch, anyone?) boom! Climax, descent, conclusion, authorial note discussing the scandalized reception of the novel (if you can believe it) seven years after publication. Not cool, Turgenev. It's not fair of you to build up so well in such an intriguing manner, and then lop off all that hard won story potential and call it a day. But, you seemed pretty cool, so I will forgive you for it, and award four stars for what you did give us.

The reader is ready to take offense: he has to clear his own path rather than follow an established one. "Why should I trouble myself?" the reader involuntarily begins to think—"books exist for distraction not for breaking on'es head; and what would it cost the author to say how I should think about a particular figure—what he himself thinks of him!"

-Apropos of Fathers and Sons


Also, I can't fault a guy who writes stuff like the above too much. I just can't. ( )
1 vote Korrick | Oct 28, 2013 |
Rather striking, though sometimes comes across a little bit forced and solemn. Which is, in the end, quite okay with characters like Bazarov that bring forward lots of interesting issues and ideas. ( )
  WorldInColour | Oct 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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