Read Fathers and Sons Online

Authors: Ivan Turgenev

Tags: #Classics

Fathers and Sons

BOOK: Fathers and Sons
10.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

FATHERS AND SONS

IVAN SERGEYEVICH TURGENEV
was born in 1818 in the province of Oryol, and suffered during childhood from his tyrannical mother. After the family had
moved to Moscow in 1827 he entered St Petersburg University, where he studied philosophy. When he was nineteen he published
his first poems and, convinced that Europe contained the source of real knowledge, went to the University of Berlin. After
two years he returned to Russia and took his degree at the University of Moscow. In 1843 he fell in love with Pauline Garcia-Viardot,
a young Spanish singer, who was to influence the rest of his life. He followed her on singing tours in Europe and spent long
periods in the French house of herself and her husband, both of whom accepted him as a family friend. He sent his daughter
by a sempstress to be brought up among the Viardot children. After 1856 he lived mostly abroad, and became the first Russian
writer to gain a wide literary reputation in Europe; he was a well-known figure in Parisian literary circles, where his friends
included Flaubert and the Goncourt brothers, and an honorary degree was conferred on him at Oxford. His series of six novels,
which reflects a period of Russian life from the 1830s to the 1870s, are
Rudin
(1856),
Home of the Gentry
(1859),
On the Eve
(1860),
Fathers and Sons
(1862),
Smoke
(1867) and
Virgin Soil
(1877); and he wrote a further novel,
Spring Torrents
(1872). He also wrote plays, including the comedy
A Month in the Country
, short stories and
Sketches from a Hunter’s Album
(1852), as well as literary essays and memoirs. He died in Paris in 1883 after being ill for a year and was buried in Russia.

PETER CARSON
learnt Russian during National Service in the Navy at the Joint Services School for Linguists, Crail and London, and at home
– his mother’s family left Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution. His working life has been spent on the editorial side of
London publishing. He has translated Chekhov’s plays for Penguin Classics.

ROSAMUND BARTLETT
has a doctorate from Oxford University. She is the author and editor of many books, among them
Wagner
and Russia
,
Shostakovich in Context
and
Chekhov: Scenes from a Life
. Her Penguin Classics anthology,
Chekhov: A Life in Letters
, is the first uncensored edition of the writer’s correspondence in any language.

TATYANA TOLSTAYA
was born in Leningrad in 1951 to an aristocratic family that includes the writers Leo and Aleksey Tolstoy. She has published,
among other books, a novel,
The Slynx
, and
White Walls: Collected Short Stories
.

IVAN TURGENEV
Fathers and Sons

Translated by
PETER CARSON

with an Introduction by
ROSAMUND BARTLETT

and an Afterword by
TATYANA TOLSTAYA

PENGUIN BOOKS

PENGUIN CLASSICS

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London
WC2R 0RL
, England

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA

Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M4P 2Y3
(a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)

Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
(a division of Penguin Books Ltd)

Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia
(a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd)

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi – 110 017, India

Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand
(a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd)

Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London
WC2R 0RL
, England

www.penguin.com

First published 1862

This translation first published in Penguin Classics 2009

Translation, Chronology, Further Reading and Notes copyright © Peter Carson, 2009

Introduction copyright © Rosamund Bartlett, 2009

Afterword copyright © Tatyana Tolstaya, 2009

Translation of Afterword copyright © Ronald Wilkes, 2009

All rights reserved

The moral right of the translator and editors has been asserted

Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser

ISBN: 978-0-14-193465-5

Contents

Chronology

Introduction

Further Reading

Translator’s Note

Fathers and Sons

Notes

Afterword

Chronology

(Unattributed works are Turgenev’s own.)

1818
28 October (O.S.) Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev born in Oryol, the second son of Colonel Sergey Nikolayevich Turgenev and Varvara
Petrovna Lutovinova

1825
Alexander I dies and is succeeded as Tsar by his younger brother as Nicholas I; 14 December (O.S.): Decembrist uprising

1825–31
Publication of Pushkin’s verse novel
Eugene Onegin

1834ff.
At Universities of Moscow and St Petersburg

1836
Sovremennik
(
The Contemporary
) journal founded by Pushkin

1837
Death of Pushkin

1838
At University of Berlin, where he studies philosophy; friendships with many Russian radical intellectuals, notably Bakunin

1839–41
Travels in Europe

1842
Birth of illegitimate daughter Pelageya (Paulinette) by a serf girl

Gogol’s
Dead Souls
(Part I)

1843
Meets the singer Pauline Garcia-Viardot (1821–1910), the central relationship of his life; friendship with the critic Belinsky

1843–5
Brief career as a civil servant in the Ministry of the Interior

1847–50
Abroad, mainly in France, often with the Viardots, to whom he entrusts his daughter’s education; friendship with Herzen

1850
His best-known play,
A Month in the Country
, completed; death of autocratic mother; inherits family estate of Spasskoye

1852
Sketches from a Hunter’s Album
and obituary of Gogol lead to a short prison sentence and exile to Spasskoye for almost two years

1852–6
Tolstoy’s autobiographical novels
Childhood
,
Boyhood
and
Youth.

1853–6
Crimean War between Russia and an alliance of Great Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire

1855
Nicholas I dies and is succeeded by his son, Alexander II

1856
Rudin

Flaubert’s
Madame Bovary

1856–61
Travels in Germany, England, France, Italy, Austria

1857–67
Herzen’s journal
Kolokol
(
The Bell
) published from London

1859
Home of the Gentry

Goncharov’s
Oblomov
; Wagner’s
Tristan und Isolde.

1860
On the Eve
; the novella
First Love
; maps out characters of
Fathers and Sons
while staying on the Isle of Wight George Eliot’s
Mill on the Floss

1860–61
Dickens’s
Great Expectations

1861
Quarrel between Turgenev and Tolstoy Emancipation of the Serfs

1861–5
American Civil War

1862
Fathers and Sons

Dostoyevsky’s
The House of the Dead
; Verdi’s
La Forza del

Destino
launched in St Petersburg

1863
Viardots settle in Baden-Baden; Turgenev follows them and eventually builds a house there (1868)

Chernyshevsky’s
What Is to Be Done?

1865
Leskov’s
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk

1867
Smoke
; quarrel with Dostoyevsky Zola’s
Thérèse Raquin

1868
Saltykov-Shchedrin’s
Golovlyov Family

1869
Tolstoy’s
War and Peace

1870–71
Franco-Prussian War; the Viardots and Turgenev leave Baden-Baden for London

1871–83
The Viardots and Turgenev return to France, living in Paris and Bougival; friendships with Flaubert, George Sand, Zola

1877
Virgin Soil

1878
Reconciliation with Tolstoy

1879
Oxford honorary degree, the first ever conferred on a novelist; passionate friendship with the actress Maria Savina Tchaikovsky’s
opera
Eugene Onegin

1880
Dostoyevsky’s famous speech in Turgenev’s presence about the universality of Pushkin’s poetry reconciles him with Turgenev

1881
Last visit to Russia and Spasskoye

1883
3 September: dies aged sixty-five from cancer, at Bougival, near Paris, and later buried in the Volkovo cemetery, St Petersburg

Introduction

‘Never was a writer so profoundly, so whole-souledly national’

Joseph Conrad

Turgenev was forty-four years old when he published
Fathers and Sons
. He had already penned three slim novels and would write two more over the next two decades, but from the moment
Fathers and Sons
appeared in 1862, this was the work with which his name was primarily and irrevocably associated. The sensation it caused
was unprecedented in the history of Russian letters, both in terms of the intensity of the reactions it provoked and the longevity
of the ensuing arguments. Certainly no other Russian novel in the nineteenth century was surrounded by greater controversy.
All this is somewhat ironic given how shy and retiring Turgenev was in his private life, as recorded in numerous affectionate
memoirs written by contemporaries such as Guy de Maupassant, for whom the writer’s imposing physical stature was utterly at
odds with his gentle nature. But however self-effacing Turgenev was, he was also a brave man who did not shrink from setting
his fiction in present-day Russia and creating characters who responded to and reflected its rapidly changing social and political
reality. What is more, Turgenev had the courage to acknowledge that his own generation was essentially a spent force. In a
country whose rulers had invested so much for so long in preserving a barbaric social system which depended on the connivance
of the gentry, sympathizing intellectually with those members of Russia’s younger generation whose very existence posed a
threat to the survival of his own unfairly privileged class was a noble – and foolhardy – undertaking. Combining an interest
in the contemporary political scene with an essentially poetic vision almost guaranteed that Turgenev’s work would be criticized
and misunderstood. His unshakeable artistic integrity
obliged him to obey laws of nature on the creative level and thus remain open to unpredictable narrative outcomes – but it
also produced fiction of the highest order.
Fathers and Sons
contains a remarkably balanced treatment of topical themes, but it is first and foremost a work of art. Turgenev’s unshakeable
artistic integrity obliged him to obey laws of nature and thus remain open to unpredictable narrative outcomes, producing
fiction of the highest order.

BOOK: Fathers and Sons
10.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Death of a Ghost by Margery Allingham
The First Ladies by Feather Schwartz Foster
Lie with Me by M. Never
Goodbye Sister Disco by James Patrick Hunt
Red Delicious Death by Sheila Connolly
The Road to Winter by Mark Smith
Hell Bound by Alina Ray
Sleeping with the Playboy by Julianne MacLean