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Fathers and Children (Second Edition)…
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Fathers and Children (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions) (original 1862; édition 2008)

par Ivan Turgenev (Auteur)

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This Critical Edition of Fathers and Sons, translated and edited by Michael R. Katz, is accompanied by a selection of Turgenev's letters, illustrating his involvement in the critical storm that surrounded Fathers and Sons upon its publication in 1862. It also includes 16 critical essays that cover various themes such as: the issue of translation; Turgenev's liberalism and his attitude towards nihilism and revolution; Turgenev's use of imagery; the role of women; the conflict of generations and the impact of science. A chronology and selected bibliography are also provided.… (plus d'informations)
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Titre:Fathers and Children (Second Edition) (Norton Critical Editions)
Auteurs:Ivan Turgenev (Auteur)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2008), Edition: Second, 432 pages
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Fathers and Sons [Norton Critical Edition] par Ivan Turgenev (1862)

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The novel was a little less than I expected, but the point of interest is the letters and literary criticism that comes at the end of the book. Top-notch! ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Rereading Turgenev is such a pleasure, keen observations. He published "Fathers and Children" just after the liberation of the serfs in Tsarist Russia, very much the same time as the emancipation of the slaves in the US. The story takes place just before Tsar Alexander II emancipates the Russian peasants but one can see the change coming in the generational shift from the autocratic aristocrats to the enlightened landowners. They are already anticipating the shift and experimenting with shared use of the land, so basically sharecropping. And it has problems, just like in the US. The younger generation is aware that there has been some phenomenal change. Arkady is optimistic and his parents are trying to go with the changes. Bazarov is cynical and nihilistic, his parents are well meaning but confused. Worst of all, Bazarov is unkind to his mother, for a Russian a grave sin. If serfs and slaves are no longer chattel what does that mean for women? The early translations distorted the Russian by making the title "Fathers and Sons," so patrilineal. The Russian is clearly "Fathers and Children"--women play a key role in the Russian. The emancipated women are not very appetizing, Kukshina is pretty disgusting. Anna is charming, but has no children. The only positive women are Fenechka, a peasant but so orderly and such a good mother, they at first think she must be German, and Katya, Anna's younger sister, who has combined the best of the old ways with the best of the new. Bazarov is revolutionary but sterile, he does not die in a duel, but succumbs to an infectious disease, and his ideas die with him. Arkady marries Katya and presumably establishes a real Russian family. Order prevails, nihilists fade away. Traditional women carry on the culture. A lovely prediction that did not come true. Instead, Turgenev did not realize, the Bazarovs would prevail. Alexander II was murdered by revolutionary anarchists, and his grandson Nicholas II saw him die and was terrified the rest of his life, distrusting the Russians he ruled. Turgenev was a keen observer and knew the destructive force of nihilism, but he overestimated the strength of the ruling system and overestimated its ability to reform with time from within. Life in Russia would have been much more rational if Turgenev's vision of reform from within had prevailed. But it is all so lovingly described, the countryside, the manners of the peasants and landowners, such a lovely portrait of a lost world on the brink.... ( )
  ElenaDanielson | Oct 25, 2015 |
I read this mainly to get some more Russian lit background to fill in the gaps. It was pretty good in some ways, weak in others. It’s basically just an episodic collection of character sketches(albeit excellent ones)... nothing much happens and nobody changes overmuch. Historical context makes it better, as it makes you realize what an archetype Bazarov was at the time… kind of like an 1860’s Russian equivalent to Holden Caulfield in 1950’s America. Worthwhile, but you’d be better served to read the more well-known Russians first. ( )
  jddunn | Nov 13, 2010 |
During the late 50s and early 60s, Russian intellectual life was characterized by a radical split between the ‘old’ men – the generation of writers who had reached maturity during the heavily oppressive 40s (among them Dostoevsky, who was imprisoned and exiled for his ‘revolutionary activities’) for whom the new Tsar Alexander II’s reforms were a breath of fresh air; and the ‘young’ men, the new generation of students and younger intellectuals, for whom these reforms were not fast or far-reaching enough. Fathers and Sons situates this generational conflict within family relations. A young medical student, Bazarov, accompanies his friend Arkady on a visit to the latter’s family home in the provinces, and then later the two friends visit Bazarov’s family. The two young men describe themselves as ‘nihilists’. Although Bazarov himself never defines what this means, his younger friend Arkady defines it for him: a person who approaches everything from a critical point of view… a person who doesn’t bow down before authorities, who doesn’t accept even one principle on faith, no matter how much respect surrounds that principle. A collection of Bazarov’s sayings helps to give the character of this nihilism:

➢ At present the most useful thing is to deny, so we deny.
➢ A decent chemist is twenty times more use than any poet.
➢ Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles,…what a lot of foreign, useless words. A Russian would not want them as a gift.
➢ I have conceived a loathing for this peasant. I have to work the skin off my hands for him, and he won’t so much as thank me for it.
➢ The tiny space I occupy is so small compared to the rest of space, where I am not and where things have nothing to do with me; and the amount of time in which I get to live my life is so insignificant compared to eternity, where I’ve never been and won’t ever be, yet in this atom, this mathematical point, blood circulates, a brain functions, and desires something as well. How absurd! What nonsense!
➢ The only thing I’m proud of is that I haven’t destroyed myself, and no woman is going to destroy me.
➢ What’s important is that two times two makes four. The rest is nonsense.
➢ Nature’s not a temple but a workshop where man is the laborer.


Read the full review on The Lectern:

http://thelectern.blogspot.com/2009/03/fathers-and-sons-turgenev.html ( )
7 voter tomcatMurr | Mar 15, 2009 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Ivan Turgenevauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionscalculé
Katz, Michael R.Directeur de publicationauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé

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This Critical Edition of Fathers and Sons, translated and edited by Michael R. Katz, is accompanied by a selection of Turgenev's letters, illustrating his involvement in the critical storm that surrounded Fathers and Sons upon its publication in 1862. It also includes 16 critical essays that cover various themes such as: the issue of translation; Turgenev's liberalism and his attitude towards nihilism and revolution; Turgenev's use of imagery; the role of women; the conflict of generations and the impact of science. A chronology and selected bibliography are also provided.

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