Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev Books

Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev [October 28 (November 9) 1818, Oryol – August 22 (September 3) 1883, Bougival, near Paris; buried at the Volkovo cemetery in St. Petersburg], Russian writer. According to his father, Turgenev belonged to an old noble family, his mother, nee Lutovinova, was a wealthy landowner; in her estate Spasskoye-Lutovinovo (Mtsensk district of the Oryol province) spent the childhood of the future writer, who early learned to subtly feel nature and hate serfdom. In 1827 the family moved to Moscow; at first, Turgenev studied in private boarding schools and with good home teachers, then, in 1833, entered the verbal department of Moscow University, in 1834 he transferred to the history and philology faculty of St. Petersburg University. One of the strongest impressions of early youth (1833) – falling in love with Princess E. L. Shakhovskaya, who was experiencing an affair with Turgenev`s father at that time – was reflected in the story “First Love” (1860). In 1836, Turgenev showed his poetic experiments in a romantic spirit to the writer of Pushkin`s circle, university professor P.A.Pletnev; he invites the student to a literary evening (at the doorway, Turgenev ran into Alexander Pushkin), and in 1838, in Sovremennik, he published Turgenev`s poems “Evening” and “Towards the Venus of Meditation” (by this time, Turgenev had written about a hundred poems, mostly not preserved , and the dramatic poem “Steno”) In May 1838, Turgenev went to Germany (the desire to replenish his education combined with rejection of the Russian way of life based on serfdom). The catastrophe of the steamer “Nicholas I”, on which Turgenev sailed, will be described by him in the essay “Fire at Sea” (1883; in French). Until August 1839, Turgenev lived in Berlin, listened to lectures at the university, studied classical languages, wrote poetry, communicated with T.N. Granovsky, N.V. Stankevich. After a short stay in Russia, in January 1840 he went to Italy, but from May 1840 to May 1841 he was again in Berlin, where he met M. A. Bakunin. Arriving in Russia, he visits the Bakunins` estate Premukhino, converges with this family: soon an affair with T.A. Bakunina begins, which does not interfere with the connection with the seamstress A.E. Ivanova (in 1842 she gave birth to Turgenev`s daughter Pelageya). In January 1843, Turgenev entered the service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In 1843, a poem appeared on the basis of modern material “Parasha”, highly appreciated by VG Belinsky. Acquaintance with the critic, which turned into friendship (in 1846, Turgenev became the godfather of his son), rapprochement with his entourage (in particular, with Nekrasov) change his literary orientation: from romanticism he turns to an ironic-moral-descriptive poem (“Landowner”, “Andrey “, both 1845) and prose, close to the principles of the” natural school “and not alien to the influence of Lermontov (” Andrei Kolosov “, 1844;” Three portraits “, 1846;” Breter “, 1847). On November 1, 1843, Turgenev met the singer Pauline Viardot (Viardot-Garcia), whose love for whom would largely determine the external course of his life. In May 1845, Turgenev retired. From the beginning of 1847 to June 1850, he lived abroad (in Germany, France; Turgenev was a witness of the French Revolution of 1848): he took care of the sick Belinsky during his travels; closely communicates with P. V. Annenkov, Alexander Herzen, meets Georges Sand, Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset, Frederic Chopin, Charles Gounod; writes the novels “Petushkov” (1848), “Diary of an Extra Man” (1850), the comedy “Bachelor” (1849), “Where it is thin, there it breaks”, “Provincial” (both 1851), the psychological drama “A Month in the Country” (1855). The main work of this period – “Notes of a Hunter”, a cycle of lyrical sketches and stories, which began with the story “Khor and Kalinych” (1847; the subtitle “From the Notes of a Hunter” was invented by I. I. Panaev for publication in the “Mix” section of the “Contemporary “); a separate two-volume edition of the cycle was published in 1852, later the stories “The End of Tchertop-hanov” (1872), “Living Relics”, “Knocks” (1874) were added. The fundamental diversity of human types, first distinguished from the previously unnoticed or idealized masses of the people, testified to the infinite value of every unique and free human personality; serfdom appeared as an ominous and dead force, alien to natural harmony (detailed specifics of heterogeneous landscapes), hostile to man, but unable to destroy the soul, love, creative gift. Having discovered Russia and the Russian people, having laid the foundation for a “peasant theme” in Russian literature, “Notes of a Hunter” became the semantic foundation of all further work of Turgenev: from here the threads stretch to the study of the phenomenon of “an extra person” (the problem outlined in “Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky district”) , and to the comprehension of the mysterious (“Bezhin Meadow”), and to the problem of the conflict between the artist and the mundane that suffocates him (“The Singers”). In April 1852, for his response to the death of Nikolai Gogol, banned in St. Petersburg and published in Moscow, Turgenev was imprisoned at the exit by imperial command (the story “Mumu” was written there). In May he was exiled to Spasskoye, where he lives until December 1853 (work on an unfinished novel, the story “Two Friends”, acquaintance with Afanasy Fet, active correspondence with Sergei Aksakov and writers from the circle of Sovremennik); Alexei Tolstoy played an important role in the efforts to free Turgenev. Until July 1856, Turgenev lived in Russia: in winter, mainly in St. Petersburg, in the summer in Spassky. His next Wednesday is the editorial office of Sovremennik; they met Ivan Goncharov, Leo Tolstoy and Alexander Ostrovsky; Turgenev takes part in the publication of Fyodor Tyutchev`s Poems (1854) and provides it with a preface. Mutual cooling with the distant Viardot leads to a short, but almost ended in marriage, romance with a distant relative, O. A. Turgeneva. The novels “Lull” (1854), “Yakov Pasynkov” (1855), “Correspondence”, “Faust” (both 1856) are published. “Rudin” (1856) opens a series of Turgenev novels, compact in volume, unfolding around the hero-ideologist, journalistically accurately fixing the current socio-political issues and, ultimately, putting “modernity” in the face of the invariable and mysterious forces of love, art, nature … The “superfluous person” Rudin, who inflames the audience, but is incapable of acting; Lavretsky, dreaming of happiness in vain and coming to humble self-sacrifice and hope for happiness for the people of modern times (“Noble Nest”, 1859; events take place in the atmosphere of the impending “great reform”); the “iron” Bulgarian revolutionary Insarov, becoming the chosen one of the heroine (that is, Russia), but “alien” and doomed to death (“On the Eve”, 1860); “new man” Bazarov, hiding a romantic rebellion behind nihilism (“Fathers and Sons”, 1862; post-reform Russia is not liberated from eternal problems, but “new” people remain people: “common” people will live, and those captured by passion or an idea will perish) ; the characters of Smoke (1867) sandwiched between “reactionary” and “revolutionary” vulgarity; the revolutionary populist Nezhdanov, an even more “new” person, but still unable to respond to the challenge of the changed Russia (“Nov”, 1877); all of them, together with minor characters (with individual dissimilarity, differences in moral and political orientations and spiritual experience, different degrees of closeness to the author), are closely related, combining in different proportions the features of two eternal psychological types – the heroic enthusiast, Don Quixote, and a self-absorbed reflector, Hamlet. After leaving abroad in July 1856, Turgenev finds himself in a painful whirlpool of ambiguous relations with Viardot and his daughter, who was brought up in Paris. After the difficult Parisian winter of 1856-1857 (the gloomy “Trip to Polesie” was completed), he went to England, then to Germany, where he wrote “Asya”, one of the most poetic stories, which, however, lends itself to interpretation in a public vein (article by Nikolai Chernyshevsky “Russian man on rendez-vous”, 1858), and spends autumn and winter in Italy. By the summer of 1858 he was in Spassky; in the future, Turgenev`s year will often be divided into “European, winter” and “Russian, summer” seasons. After “On the Eve” and the article devoted to the novel by N. A. Dobrolyubov “When Will the Present Day Come?” (1860) Turgenev broke with the radicalized Sovremennik (in particular, with Nikolai Nekrasov; their mutual hostility persisted to the end). The conflict with the “younger generation” was aggravated by the novel “Fathers and Sons” (a pamphlet article by M. A. Antonovich “Asmodeus of Our Time” in Sovremennik, 1862; the so-called “split in nihilists” largely motivated the positive assessment of the novel in the article by D. I. Pisarev “Bazarov”, 1862). In the summer of 1861, there was a quarrel with Leo Tolstoy, which almost turned into a duel (reconciliation in 1878). In the story “Ghosts” (1864), Turgenev condenses the mystical motives outlined in “Notes of a Hunter” and “Faust”; this line will be developed in “The Dog” (1865), “The Stories of Lieutenant Ergunov” (1868), “Dream”, “The Story of Father Alexei” (both 1877), “Songs of Triumphant Love” (1881), “After Death (Klara Milich ) “(1883). The theme of the weakness of a person who turns out to be a plaything of unknown forces and doomed to non-existence, to a greater or lesser extent, colors all of Turgenev`s later prose; it is expressed most directly in the lyric story “Enough!” (1865), perceived by his contemporaries as evidence (sincere or coquettishly hypocritical) of Turgenev`s situationally determined crisis. In 1863, there was a new rapprochement between Turgenev and Pauline Viardot; until 1871 they live in Baden, then (at the end of the Franco-Prussian war) in Paris. Turgenev closely converges with Gustave Flaubert and through him with E. and J. Goncourt, Alphonse Daudet, Emile Zola, Guy de Maupassant; he assumes the function of an intermediary between Russian and Western literature. His pan-European fame is growing: in 1878, at the international literary congress in Paris, the writer was elected vice-president; in 1879 he is an honorary doctor of the University of Oxford. Turgenev maintains contacts with Russian revolutionaries (P. L. Lavrov, G. A. Lopatin) and provides material support to emigrants. In 1880, Turgenev took part in the celebrations in honor of the opening of the monument to Pushkin in Moscow. In 1879-1881, the old writer experienced a stormy passion for the actress Maria Savina, which colored his last visits to his homeland. Along with stories about the past (“King Lear of the Steppe”, 1870; “Punin and Baburin”, 1874) and the above-mentioned “mysterious” stories in the last years of his life, Turgenev turns to memoirs (“Literary and Life Memories”, 1869-1880) and “Poems in Prose” (1877-1882), where almost all the main themes of his work are presented, and the summing up takes place as if in the presence of impending death. Death was preceded by more than a year and a half of a painful illness (spinal cord cancer). The funeral in St. Petersburg turned into a mass demonstration.

Fathers and Children

A House of Gentlefolk

A Lear of the Steppes and Other Stories

Dream Tales and Prose Poems

On the Eve

The Jew and Other Stories

Knock, Knock, Knock and Other Stories


The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories

A Desperate Character and Other Stories

The Torrents of Spring. First love. Mumu

A Sportsman`s Sketches

First Love

A Month in the Country