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An Ordinary Story

by Ivan Gontsjarov

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1442137,898 (4.03)3
The Same Old Story (1847) tells the story of Alexander Aduyev who leaves the idyllic setting of his home in the country to seek his fortune and make a career in St. Petersburg under the guidance and protection of his uncle, a government official. Such is the beginning of this "ordinary story". Alexander Aduyev, a "romantic three times over" (to quote Vissarion Belinsky) gradually sheds his idyllic notions and develops into a heartless and calculating climber.… (more)



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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
Gontsjarov, Ivanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bloemen, YolandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hart, Maarten 'tAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiebes, MarjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Publisher Series

Grote ABC (nr. 436)

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Book description
Filled with dreams of pursuing a career as a poet, the young Alexander Aduev moves from the country to St Petersburg, where he takes up lodgings next to his uncle Pyotr, a shrewd and world-weary businessman. As his ideals are challenged by disappointment in the fields of love, friendship and poetical ambition, Alexander must decide whether to return to the homely values he has left behind or adapt to the ruthless rules and morals of city life.

Told in the author’s trademark humorous style and presented in a sparkling new translation by Stephen Pearl, The Same Old Story – Goncharov’s first novel, preceding his masterpiece Oblomov by twelve years – is a study of lost illusions and rude spiritual awakening in the modern world. [ https://almabooks.com/product/the-same... ]
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