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When first published in 1862, this novel of a divided Russia, with peasants set against masters and fathers set against sons, caused great outrage. But its enduring legacy of social insight and conscience mixed with drama has given it universal appeal. Written about a "superfluous" man who was trapped between ideologies in 19th century Russia, when the young "nihilists" were at odds with the old-line liberals, “Fathers and Sons” is relevant in any age. There are always going to be clashes between generations and between those who hope for the "destruction" of an old edifice for an only partially imagined design for a new one. Ivan Turgenev presents us with perhaps the most truthful representation of this timeless, generational conflict. Of the greats in Russian literature--Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, and Pushkin, Turgenev gets his point across best of all. "Fathers and Sons" ranks with Turgenev’s "Sketches from a Hunter's Album" as one of the most perfectly written and deeply moving books ever written. A reader with a good knowledge of Russia will not fail to appreciate this novel, and may not even be able to put it down, not so much from being riveted to an adventurous plot, but from being captivated by the sublime, marvelous beauty of Turgenev's prose. "Fathers and Sons" is a very powerful book, eye-opening and profoundly sad, which every reader will appreciate. The art involved in creating “Fathers and Sons” is what makes it a truly amazing and valuable piece of literature. Each character has characteristics that are very human. The thoughts, ideas, and ideals of the very different characters are the entirety of the plot. Turgenev does such an incredible job of creating conflict, that he doesn't need to place the characters in any action in order to attract the reader. A must read for any fan of Russian literature!
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When "Fathers and Sons was first published in Russia, in 1862, it was met with a blaze of controversy about where Turgenev stood in relation to his account of generational misunderstanding. Was he criticizing the worldview of the conservative aesthete, Pavel Kirsanov, and the older generation, or that of the radical, cerebral medical student, Evgenii Bazarov, representing the younger one? The critic Dmitrii Pisarev wrote at the time that the novel "stirs the mind . . . because everything is permeated with the most complete and most touching sincerity." N. N. Strakhov, a close friend of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, praised its "profound vitality." It is this profound vitality in Turgenev's characters that carry his novel of ideas to its rightful place as a work of art and as one of the classics of Russian Literature.About the Author:
Ivan Turgenev (1818 –1883) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His first major publication, a short story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches, is a milestone of Russian Realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction. Turgenev's artistic purity made him a favorite of like-minded novelists of the next generation, such as Henry James and Joseph Conrad, both of whom greatly preferred Turgenev to Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. James, who wrote no fewer than five critical essays on Turgenev's work, claimed that "his merit of form is of the first order" (1873) and praised his "exquisite delicacy", which "makes too many of his rivals appear to hold us, in comparison, by violent means, and introduce us, in comparison, to vulgar things" (1896). The notoriously critical Vladimir Nabokov praised Turgenev's "plastic musical flowing prose", but criticized his "labored epilogues" and "banal handling of plots". Nabokov stated that Turgenev "is not a great writer, though a pleasant one", and ranked him fourth among nineteenth-century Russian prose writers, behind Tolstoy, Gogol, and Anton Chekhov, but ahead of Dostoyevsky. His idealistic ideas about love, specifically the devotion a wife should show her husband, were cynically referred to by characters in Chekhov's "An Anonymous Story."
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Book Description ReadaClassic.com, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1611044642
Book Description ReadaClassic.com, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111611044642