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Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was born in in the Province of Orel, and suffered during his childhood from a tyrannical mother. After the family had moved to Moscow in he entered Petersburg University where he studied philosophy. When he… More about Ivan Turgenev. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book!

Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Read An Excerpt. Paperback —. Add to Cart. About Fathers and Sons When Fathers and Sons was first published in Russia, in , it was met with a blaze of controversy about where Turgenev stood in relation to his account of generational misunderstanding.

Also in Modern Library Classics. Also by Ivan Turgenev.

Historians think that radical movements might have set fires across the city. Ivan Turgenev was also the first author in Russian literature who openly raised the topic of the generational divide. Turgenev basically caught and summed up the turbulent spirit of his time, which not every critic agreed with. The novel engendered controversial and heated responses, to the extent that Turgenev issued his own statement to clear the air with his critics.

Turgenev thought that negative feedback was caused by the nature of his main character, Bazarov, who was completely new for Russian literature. The audience expected the author either to justify the revolutionary or to judge him — and nothing in between. But Turgenev rejected both of these paths, and instead he simply portrayed his nihilist as realistically and objectively as possible. Turgenev does not justify the cause of any generation; he merely shows the changes that ripened in conservative 19th century Russia.

At the present time , negation is the most beneficial of all — and we deny… Everything. If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material. This website uses cookies. And Nikolai Petrovich began to toss him almost up to the ceiling, to the vast delight of the baby, and to the considerable anxiety of his mother, who each time he flew upwards stretched out her arms towards his little bare legs. Meanwhile Pavel Petrovich had gone back to his elegant study, which was decorated with handsome blue wallpaper, and with weapons hanging from a multicolored Persian carpet fixed to the wall; it had walnut furniture, upholstered in dark green velvet, a Renaissance bookcase of ancient black oak, bronze statuettes on the magnificent writing desk, an open hearth.

He threw himself on the sofa, clasped his hands behind his head and remained motionless, looking at the ceiling with an expression verging on despair. Perhaps because he wanted to hide even from the walls whatever was reflected in his face, or for some other reason, he rose, drew the heavy window curtains and again threw himself on the sofa.

The arbor there has grown up well," he added, "because it's acacia and lilac; they're good shrubs, they don't need looking after. In the arbor Fenichka was sitting with Dunyasha and Mitya. Bazarov stopped and Arkady nodded to Fenichka like an old friend. I like your father; ay, ay! He's a good fellow. But we must make friends," he added, and turned back towards the arbor.

Going up to Fenichka, he took off his cap. Why are his cheeks so flushed? Is he cutting his teeth? It's nothing, he'll have a good set of teeth. If anything goes wrong you just tell me. And are you quite well yourself?

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Dunyasha, who behaved very primly inside the house and was frivolous out of doors, only giggled in reply. He tried to entice Mitya into his arms, but Mitya threw back his head and screamed, much to Fenichka's confusion. What I like about her is that she's not too embarrassed. Some people, I suppose, would think ill of her on that account. But what rubbish! Why should she be embarrassed?

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She's a mother and she's quite right. So you still attach significance to marriage; I didn't expect that from you. The only good quality of a Russian is to have the lowest possible opinion about himself.

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What matters is that twice two make four and the rest is all rubbish. Nature is not a temple but a workshop, and man is the workman in it. At that moment the long drawn-out notes of a cello floated out to them from the house. Someone was playing Schubert's Expectation with feeling, though with an untrained hand, and the sweet melody flowed like honey through the air. A man of forty-four, a father of a family, in this province, plays on the cello! Bazarov went on laughing, but, much as he revered his friend's example, this time Arkady did not even smile. Everyone in the house had grown accustomed to Bazarov, to his casual behavior, to his curt and abrupt manner of speaking.

Fenichka indeed, felt so much at ease with him that one night she had him awakened; Mitya had been seized by convulsions; Bazarov had gone, half-joking and half-yawning as usual, had sat with her for two hours and relieved the child. On the other hand, Pavel Petrovich had grown to hate Bazarov with all the strength of his soul; he regarded him as conceited, impudent, cynical and vulgar, he suspected that Bazarov had no respect for him, that he all but despised him--him, Pavel Kirsanov!

Nikolai Petrovich was rather frightened of the young "Nihilist" and doubted the benefit of his influence on Arkady, but he listened keenly to what he said and was glad to be present during his chemical and scientific experiments.

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Bazarov had brought a microscope with him and busied himself with it for hours. The servants also took to him, though he made fun of them; they felt that he was more like one of themselves, and not a master. Dunyasha was always ready to giggle with him and used to cast significant sidelong glances at him when she skipped past like a squirrel. Pyotr, who was vain and stupid to the highest degree, with a constant forced frown on his brow, and whose only merit consisted in the fact that he looked polite, could spell out a page of reading and assiduously brushed his coat--even he grinned and brightened up when Bazarov paid any attention to him; the farm boys simply ran after "the doctor" like puppies.

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Only old Prokovich disliked him; at table he handed him dishes with a grim expression; he called him "butcher" and "upstart" and declared that with his huge whiskers he looked like a pig in a sty. Prokovich in his own way was quite as much of an aristocrat as Pavel Petrovich.

The best days of the year had come--the early June days. The weather was lovely; in the distance, it is true, cholera was threatening, but the inhabitants of that province had grown used to its periodic ravages. Bazarov used to get up very early and walk for two or three miles, not for pleasure--he could not bear walking without an object--but in order to collect specimens of plants and insects. Sometimes he took Arkady with him. On the way home an argument often sprang up, in which Arkady was usually defeated in spite of talking more than his companion.

One day they had stayed out rather late. Nikolai Petrovich had gone into the garden to meet them, and as he reached the arbor he suddenly heard the quick steps and voices of the two young men; they were walking on the other side of the arbor and could not see him. After all he's not a boy, it's high time he got rid of such rubbish.

And what an idea to be romantic in our times! Give him something sensible to read.