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Fathers and Sons

Ivan Turgenev

Book Overview: 

The fathers and children of the novel refers to the growing divide between the two generations of Russians, and the character Yevgeny Bazarov has been referred to as the “first Bolshevik”, for his nihilism and rejection of the old order.

Turgenev wrote Fathers and Sons as a response to the growing cultural schism that he saw between liberals of the 1830s/1840s and the growing nihilist movement. Both the nihilists (the “sons”) and the 1830s liberals sought Western-based social change in Russia. Additionally, these two modes of thought were contrasted with the conservative Slavophiles, who believed that Russia’s path lay in its traditional spirituality. (Summary from Wikipedia)

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ce helped my father out of difficulties, given him all his money—the property, perhaps you don't know, wasn't divided—he's glad to help any one, among other things he always sticks up for the peasants; it's true, when he talks to them he frowns and sniffs eau de cologne.' ...

'His nerves, no doubt,' put in Bazarov.

'Perhaps; but his heart is very good. And he's far from being stupid. What useful advice he has given me especially ... especially in regard to relations with women.'

'Aha! a scalded dog fears cold water, we know that!'

'In short,' continued Arkady, 'he's profoundly unhappy, believe me; it's a sin to despise him.'

'And who does despise him?' retorted Bazarov. 'Still, I must say that a fellow who stakes his whole life on one card—a woman's love—and when that card fails, turns sour, and lets himself go till he's fit for nothing, is not a man, but a male. You say he's unhappy; you ought to know . . . Read More

Community Reviews

(Book 874 From 1001 Books) - Отцы и дѣти = Fathers and Sons = Fathers and Children, Ivan Turgenev

Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, and ties with A Nest of Gentlefolk for the repute of being his best novel.

Arkady Kirsanov has just graduated from the University of Petersburg and retu

I re-read Fathers and Sons for a couple reasons; 1) I have been on a small Rereading Great Russian Novels kick the last couple years and 2) I was interested in what the book might have to say about the relationships between fathers and sons. As to #1, this novel was the first Great Russian Novel to

[Edited for typos]
A ‘classic’ classic. Written in 1862, Wikipedia suggest this can be considered the “first modern Russian novel.” The plot revolves around two sons and two fathers who are meant to show political change in Russia reflecting generational differences. We are told in the introduction t

"Per quanto appassionato, peccatore e turbolento sia il cuore nascosto in una tomba, i fiori che vi crescono sopra ci guardano serenamente (...): non dell'eterno riposo soltanto essi ci parlano, di quella gran pace della natura indifferente; essi ci parlano anche di un'eterna riconciliazione e di un

In the quiet, sleepy, out of the way areas of rural Russia under the autocratic Czars, during the mid nineteenth century, nothing happens, still reality will show its unpleasant dark aspects as other things appear, the catalyst , two university educated arrogant young men return home, they believe t

A delightful and charming, warm and friendly, life-affirming novel. The perfect summer vacation book for anyone who likes to read.

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