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Fathers And Sons
by Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev, Trans. By Richard Hare
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From Library Journal
Dover's wonderful "Thrift" line now offers Turgenev's 1862 chestnut on the cheap.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Turgenev's masterpiece about the generation gap gives us endless philosophizing in the Russian style and endearing, unforgettable characters. British actor David Horovitch wonderfully impersonates the dramatis personae, communicating their full dimension. As in the novel, Bazarov, the arrogant, young nihilist with a heart of gold, steals the show. Anyone intrigued but daunted by those weighty Russian novels should start with this tape. Y.R. (c) AudioFile, Portland, Maine
The Boston Globe, January 6, 1999
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Deirdre Donahue, USA TODAY, December 3, 1998
"These Cover to Cover tapes offer up a delectable feast for fans of the spoken word. We're talking class act here - from the elegant covers to the accomplished readers."
"David Horovitch is brilliant, in the heated exchanges between Arkady and his revolutionary friend Bazarov, it is hard to believe there are not two separate voices. This is not a reading but a nine-hour performance from Horovitch."
"Turgenev's eye for absurdity, irony and pathos, in his novel Fathers And Sons, is emphasized in this superb reading by David Horovitch."
FATHERS AND SONS was the most closely studied of Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev's works in the Soviet high school curriculum. An inadvertent political agenda favorite, juxtaposing two generations, "the fathers," or the fading aristocracy, and "the sons," or the new fresh blood of the middle class and the nihilists, the novel seemed a perfect vehicle for portraying the brewing unrest of the pre-revolutionary era, and introduced the character of Bazarov -- the spirited nihilist who was seen as a brilliant idealistic rebel, the new kind of perfect man who rejected the old notions of class and came to disrupt nobility's status quo. Growing up, Turgenev witnessed much class injustice in Russia, and his themes reflect his overwhelming concern with the suffering of the poor and the voiceless serfs. But FATHERS AND SONS is not merely a convenient socio-political piece; Turgenev is a lyrical romantic. At the novel's heart lies the ultimately tragic human story of Bazarov's flippant kiss of a servant girl and the bizarre tension it causes in a cozy country gentry household where he is a guest. An important period classic.
The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
Novel by Ivan Turgenev, published in 1862 as Ottsy i deti. Quite controversial at the time of its publication, Fathers and Sons concerns the inevitable conflict between generations and between the values of traditionalists and intellectuals. The physician Bazarov, the novel's protagonist, is the most powerful of Turgenev's creations. He is a nihilist, denying the validity of all laws save those of the natural sciences. Uncouth and forthright in his opinions, he is nonetheless susceptible to love and by that fact doomed to unhappiness. In sociopolitical terms he represents the victory of the revolutionary nongentry intelligentsia over the gentry intelligentsia to which Turgenev belonged. At the novel's first appearance the radical younger generation attacked it bitterly as a slander, and conservatives condemned it as too lenient in its characterization of nihilism.
From the Inside Flap
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
Ann Pasternak Slater is a Fellow of St. Anne’s College, Oxford. She is the author of Shakespeare the Director and the translator of the memoirs of Alexander Pasternak, A Vanished Present.
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