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Pares i fills (1862)

de Ivan Turgenev

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8,714128934 (3.86)1 / 366
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Clashes and conflicts between fathers and sons are a story as old as humanity itself. Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev uses the turbulence of familial relations as a symbolic lens through which to explore the changing of the ideological guard in his native country. Turgenev's best-known work, Fathers and Sons is widely regarded as the first Russian novel to gain prominence and critical acclaim in Western literary circles.

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I'm always excited when I begin to read a title from Russian literature to read, because despite initially looking daunting and portentous, all of them (but particularly Tolstoy and Dostoevsky) prove to be deep and layered, cultured and weighty and yet surprisingly easy to read. Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons was much the same way, particularly in being easy to read, and yet having finished it I find myself with less to say about it than I expected I would.

Whereas Tolstoy and Dostoevsky would root powerful themes deep within their stories, and their characters and structure would successfully embody these themes, Turgenev's attempts to do so here are more mixed. My English translation by Rosemary Edmonds, first published (perhaps not coincidentally) in the mid-1960s, emphasises the generational gap between Bazarov and Arkady and their fathers, the obvious 'fathers and sons' of the book's title. The youthful dissidence of Bazarov and Arkady latches on to the trendy ideology of nihilism, which stands at odds with the less exciting conservatism of their fathers' generation.

This is the obvious interpretation, but the society Turgenev paints – he does some fine character work – swirls so that one could also see it as the difficulty for anyone to understand another person: their emotions, feelings, ambitions and fears, particularly when they come into conflict with other people. "Possibly every human being is an enigma," Bazarov says on page 174, while in discussion with Madame Odintsov, and the frustrating romantic relationship the two share could be seen as another complement to the 'fathers and sons' generational narrative; that is, two people failing to understand another. "I did not understand you – you did not understand me," Madame Odintsov says a few pages later, before continuing: "I did not understand myself either" (pg. 183). This seems to recognise what drives Turgenev's novel: a cast of well-drawn characters who both clash and complement one another, all under the lens of the writer's microscope.

It leads to a lot of perfectly able writing, much of which is also narratively satisfying, but it denies the book a sharpness found in, for example, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. Tolstoy would bring out the characters as a reflection of their time and his themes with more vivacity, whereas in Turgenev's novel the fact that events play out against the backdrop of the emancipation of the serfs (the peasant 'sons' becoming free of their patriarchal 'fathers') often seems incidental. And whereas Dostoevsky would strengthen the conflicting viewpoints of the characters so that their resulting clash was more profound, Turgenev, in contrast, doesn't seem to hold much respect for the nihilist viewpoint held by some of his younger characters, and waters it down. Some of his writing decisions seem almost satirical, such as Bazarov falling in love (an irony for a nihilist) or Arkady saying he accepts no authority in the same breath he names Bazarov as his mentor (pg. 138), though the book shies away from anything as pointed as satire.

The frustration Turgenev's characters feel in one another, then, is a frustration I also found myself in reading about them. Bazarov in particular is a wretched being, though Turgenev does bring a liveliness to both him and the other characters which justifies the book's continued status as a classic. This novel was the first major piece of Russian literature which found success in the West, and paved the way not only for his storied countrymen but also proved an influence in how later authors, such as Hemingway, explored their characters' emotions and reserve as an end in itself, rather than as subservient to a plot or adventure. But for all that I enjoyed its readability and its drawing of character, I couldn't help feeling that the novel hit limiters that greater literature would have burst through. Whereas Tolstoy and Dostoevsky still seem fresh and dynamic, even timeless, Fathers and Sons feels very much like 19th-century literature. ( )
  MikeFutcher | Jan 28, 2024 |
Ivan Turgenev's book is a classic. Many Russian classics can be gloomy, and this one is no exception. The story deals with inter-generational conflict and the conflict between the differing ideologies of the young and old.
The narrative is simple. Arkady returns home with his friend, Bazarov. Bazarov's nihilistic philosophy upsets Arkady's uncle. In time, a gap grows between Arkady and his father. Towards the end, Arkady and his father find love and marital bliss. Arkady takes over the farm, which then prospers. I won't tell you what happens to Bazarov.
In true classic style, Ivan Turgenev creates unforgettable characters and scenes. You can feel the atmosphere and almost smell the Russian countryside. But you have to read slowly. We are used to shorter sentences these days, and the old style takes some getting used to.
However, please read the book and savour it.
I recommend a print edition over a digital one. ( )
  RajivC | Jan 17, 2024 |
Um livro sobre o choque de gerações vivido na Rússia durante a Reforma Emancipadora de 1861.

A história começa com a chegada do jovem recém formado, Arkadi Kirsanov, na casa do pai, uma propriedade rural russa. Arkadi trazia o amigo e mentor Bazarov, um niilista, que recusava as tradições da sociedade aristocrática russa.

Turgueniev mostra em Bazarov a decadência de uma vida niilista, extremamente materialista, positivista e racional. Que, sem amor se torna vazia, sem propósito, e onde até a razão de viver perde o sentido. ( )
  jgrossi | Nov 12, 2023 |
An amazing story. ( )
  lschiff | Sep 24, 2023 |
On the surface this is a novel of manners depicting life among the upperclasses in rural 19th century Russia.
At a deeper level it is about the generations and about the role of beliefs/ideas vs passion. Two young men return from the city to visit their respective parents. They pit their ideas against the traditions of their roots, betraying all the self-certainty of youth.
On the other side, the parents must come to terms with the fact that their sons are individuating.
Simultaneously, the young men wrestle with the role of passion and desire in their lives.
It is a subtle tale that sticks with the reader well after the last page is turned. ( )
  brianstagner | Aug 27, 2023 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 127 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Turgenev was advancing, novelistically, a line of thought that runs through all his work. Beliefs are admirable, strong beliefs perhaps even more so. But there is a point at which belief can tip over into fanaticism. Turgenev had seen this with Belinsky, and in Bazarov he re-created and dramatized it. Bazarov loves nature but turns it into a science project, loves Odintsova but feels bad about it, and loves his parents but refuses to indulge this affection by spending time with them. All of this, from Turgenev’s perspective, is a mistake. It’s well and good, in other words, to talk about the existence of God and the future of the revolution, but you need to take a break for lunch.... When I first read “Fathers and Sons,” I was in college; all I cared about were the sons, their willingness (in Bazarov’s case) to die for their beliefs, their certainty. Reading the book again, twenty-five years later, I found myself rooting for the fathers. What might they do to bridge the divide? And why were their sons so mean to them, after all the fathers had done? Sure, they weren’t perfect, but they were doing their best!

That, of course, I see now, is what the book is about. This rupture between parents and their children is what happens, over and over, with every new generation; there is nothing for it, no remedy, no answer. Who is right in “Fathers and Sons”: the fathers or the sons? They’re both right, and they’re both wrong, and neither will ever understand the other.
afegit per danielx | editaThe New Yorker, Keith Gessen (Aug 27, 2022)
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (157 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Turgenev, Ivanautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Bayley, JohnIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Beckmann, MatthiasIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bein, KazimierzTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bukowsky, ElseTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Bukowsky, ElsePrefaciautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Edmonds, RosemaryTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Freeborn, RichardTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Garnett, ConstanceTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Glad, Alf B.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Guerney, Bernard GuilbertTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hodge, AlanPròlegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Isaacs, Bernardautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Konkka, JuhaniTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Makanowitzky, Barbara NormanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Muller, Herbert J.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Nitschke, AnneloreÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pankow, AngeloEinleitungautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pyman, AvrilTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Reavy, GeorgeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Reed, Johnautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ropp, Manfred von derÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Saalborn, Arn.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Thiergen, PeterEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tolstoy, AlexandraIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Clashes and conflicts between fathers and sons are a story as old as humanity itself. Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev uses the turbulence of familial relations as a symbolic lens through which to explore the changing of the ideological guard in his native country. Turgenev's best-known work, Fathers and Sons is widely regarded as the first Russian novel to gain prominence and critical acclaim in Western literary circles.

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