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The Diary of a Superfluous Man (1850)

by Ivan Turgenev

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
80 pagine di cliché letterari e di disperazione! XD XD
Con tanti auguri a tutti gli inferiori di passare una buona domenica da parte di Confindustria, ilSole24ore e dalla razza padrona tutta. ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
The very simple story of a man lying on his deathbed, and recalling mostly the incidents in his life that have to do with a young woman he loved, but did not love him back. He is isolated, awkward, and “superfluous”, treated by life as “an unexpected and uninvited guest”, and endures stinging humiliation again and again from the woman and the man she loves instead. Turgenev knew about failure in love first-hand, and the scenes he renders, including a duel, are pretty good. However, the story is too short and not developed enough to really give it a higher rating. You might try Lermontov’s “A Hero of Our Times” instead. ( )
1 vote gbill | Oct 14, 2016 |
A dying man, Chulkaturin, reflects on his life, without love and importance of any kind. The more he tried to love and be loved, the more he alienated himself from society in general. ( )
  linsleo | May 17, 2016 |
St. Barts 2013 #8 - Very short novella involving the recollections of a young man as he prepares to die of illness, all centering on one dramatic (for him) instance of unrequited love. A rather timid, uninteresting man to begin with, this unexpected one-sided romance ends poorly for him and likely begins his slide into ill-health way before his time. Turgenev certainly can capture all of those emotions one feels when blind-sided by love. A quick read and a good one. ( )
  jeffome | Jan 22, 2013 |
The Diary of a Superfluous Man (1850) is about a "Superfluous Man", a recurring Russian literary meme about upper class nihilistic men who resort to gambling, dueling and women to give meaning to an otherwise disconnected and alienated existence. The story starts of slow but eventually take on a strong narrative direction dealing with "love" lost. Some great imagery and insights on the human condition. I think the 19thC Russian "Superfluous Man" archetypal character is not well known to most English readers, but this is a good introduction (see Wikipedia for other stories), and I believe the origin of the term. Alexsandr Kuprin's masterpiece The Duel (1905) is another Superfluous Man story.

Martin Geeson's passionate narration for LibriVox deserves special attention. It's as good or better than professional and obviously a labor of love. The sort of antique sound quality I believe was done on purpose in-line with the novella's first person diary voice, and the occasional sound of an old typewriter adds to the atmosphere. I'm now a fan of Geeson and would listen to anything he narrated in the future.

--Review by Stephen Balbach, via CoolReading (c) 2008 cc-by-nd ( )
  Stbalbach | Jul 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393319202, Paperback)

A vivid picture of nineteenth-century Russian society, but above all the poignant story of a man whose mortality becomes the only aspect of life that he shares with his fellow man.

When Turgenev published Diary of a Superfluous Man in 1850, he created one of the first literary portraits of the alienated man. Turgenev once said that there was a great deal of himself in the unsuccessful lovers who appear in his fiction. This failure, along with painful self-consciousness, is a central fact for the ailing Chulkaturin in this melancholy tale. As he reflects on his life, he tells the story of Liza, whom he loved, and a prince, whom she loved instead, and the curious turns all their lives took.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A diary by a man who has a few days left to live as he recounts incidents of his life. He is intelligent, well-educated, and informed but incapable, for reasons as complex as Hamlet's, of engaging in effective action. The story has become the archetype for the Russian literary concept of the superfluous man.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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Voland Edizioni

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