Mémoires D'un Chasseur
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Mémoires D'un Chasseur

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  3,168 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Drawn from his first-hand observation of the countryside and its ways of life, Turgenev's anecdotes, portraits and lyrical impressions depict the peasants and the tyranny of serfdom with such immediacy that when the first of these Sketches appeared in book form in 1852 they were read as inflammatory polemic and led to his arrest and confinement at his estate of Spasskoye....more
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Published February 1st 1981 by Gallimard Education (first published 1852)
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Mohit  Parikh
Sep 22, 2012 Mohit Parikh rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Russian Literature Fans, Nature Lovers, Fans of Honest Writing
"Reading this first work of Turgenev's I tried as far as possible to prolong my enjoyment, often laying the book down on my knees; I rejoiced the naive customs and charming pictures of which I was given a delightful collection in each of the stories of this book..."
- Alphonse de Lamartine

Turgenev's portrayal of life of serfs has a distant compassion and admiration, which is some times even (though very rarely and never blatantly) elegiac. This book was apparently a reaction to what he observed i...more
Kinga
Ivan Turgenev is probably the least known of the Russian trio of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Turgenev but nonetheless you should read him if you want to boast that you’ve read ‘the Russians’.

Sketches from a Hunter’s Album is a lesser known work of this lesser known Russian, written before his big novel Fathers and Sons.

“Oh, you think everyone's interesting. That's because you're a Red. I don't. I believe that quite a lot of people were just manufactured when God was thinking of something else," say...more
Vince Donovan
Like a lot of my five-star books, this one has significance to me that extends beyond the words on the page. Years ago I got to talking about books with a really beautiful bartender at the old San Francisco Brewing Company. I said how I hadn't read much of the Russians (echoing something Ezra Pound says in Hemingway's A Moveable Feast. I think Pound actually says Rooskies). The woman put her hands over her heart and looked to heaven: "Oh Turgenev!" she said. "Turgenev!". Obviously that tugged my...more
Lobstergirl
Apr 20, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Borzois
Shelves: own, fiction, russia

I bought this for the cover art. I love everything about Jevgraf Fiodorovitch Krendovsky's 1836 painting Preparations for Hunting (in the Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow). The calm, subdued, but rich color palette, the glances the young hunters, and the young boy on the left, are giving each other, the angles of arms and legs, the devoted hunting dog with its paw on its master's leg, the attention to details of fashion and outerwear. It many ways it's a perfect choice for cover art for the book (so mu...more
James
In his Preface to "The Seasons" the Scottish poet James Thomson wrote, "I know no subject more elevating, more amazing, more ready to poetical enthusiasm, the philosophical reflection, and the moral sentiment than the works of nature. Where can we meet such variety, such beauty, such magnificence?"
This is a theme that runs through the Sketches From a Hunter's Album. The beauty of the sylvan glade or the summer sun glistening off the meadows flowers is brought to life by the prose of Turgenev in...more
Mohit Sharma
This one transported me back the old Russia of 1850s, Russia of my childhood. Turgenev is different from both Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, yet their equal in stature, a true master of prose. Sketches depict life of peasants and landlords in pre-1850(before serfdom was abolished)Russia, from the eyes of a nobleman hunter, always on the move, as he passes through all forms of life, observing with equanimity and keenness, all sorts of cruelty, wretchedness, and quirks and foibles of people around him....more
Mike
I feel like I must give Turgenev four stars—if not five—though in places his stories feel overwrought and the characters seem boring to me; still, he was the greatest writer of fiction of his time and did a lot to inform the future Russian collective psyche of what the life of a nobleman with peasents was like and what rural life in general was about for Russians of his period. Read him, if possible, in the original Russian because there are aspects of language that no translation I've yet seen...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
The Book Report: This edition of "A Sportsman's Sketches" or "Sketches from a Hunter's Album" contains 13 of a possible 25 short fictions published by the tyro writer in Russia's preeminent literary magazine, The Contemporary, from 1847 to 1851. These were his first prose outpourings, designed to sustain his independent life far away from his autocratic and abusive mother. He brought these luminous, beautiful vignettes to life in partial imitation of his beloved's husband's work...Louis Viardot,...more
Luís Miguel
Alguma da melhor prosa em russo escrita no século XIX estará aqui. Com uma leitura pelas primeiras páginas percebemos desde logo que Turguéniev nada deve, em talento literário, aos seus contemporâneos. Convenhamos, no entanto, que a esquemática do livro o favorece: trata-se de uma compilação de contos ou pequenos episódios passados em caçadas. Já como tema ulterior impera a liberdade e natureza, da terra e das pessoas (a dicotomia entre servos e nobres é esplendidamente abordada). Embora seja um...more
Jakey Gee
Five stars, but for one glaring omission which no realist portrait of rural Russia in any century can surely be forgiven: mosquitoes.
Charles Samuels
To read the criticism and blurbs about the political import of Turgenev's masterpiece is to miss the point entirely. This isn't a book about socio-economic inequality or even a book about tyranny and oppression. He makes no judgements other than to say that some habits of society can be a little constricting and sometimes pointless. The real joy of this book is in the reading. Trees, shrubs, birds, serfs, generals, and gentry are all treated with equal love, precision, and delicacy. One gets the...more
Polomoche
One of the finest books I've ever read. It sits on the top shelf with those few select novels that really changed my life. Historically, the book was instrumental in swaying public opinion, particularly among the aristocracy, towards emancipating the serfs.

The stories are really the account of a cultural anthropologist disguised as a 'sportsman'. He isn't really terribly interested in hunting; no, his true fascination is with the peasants that accompany him and that he encounters along the way....more
Fred
i don't know turgenev's more famous books, novels. they seem to be dryly witty dramas of aristocratic families. this book, by contrast, concerns the peasantry - the serfs - the slaves - but through the eyes of a young and very observant aristocrat supposedly surveying the vast estates he has recently inherited.

it's a book of linked short stories with a consistent narrator who generally stays out of the way, except in the sense that the stories he witnesses so often lay bare the depredations of h...more
Newengland
Suggested to me by Hemingway, who was reading it in A Misspelled Moveable Feast, and I had to read it, too. And I took it on a deer-hunting trip to Maine, and we got snowed in, and the Franklin wood-burning stove glowed in the kitchen for days as I read and I read and was completely submersed in Turgenev's magical world of peasants and hunting noblemen. Sometimes where you read a book stamps it forever in your heart.
Ivan Mulcahy
I found this book thanks to the Turgenev character in Tom Stoppard's epic three-part play about pre-revolutionary Russia and it's exiled dissenters and the disconnect between reasoning reformers like Herzen and the Bolsheviks. Turgenev is all aristo bearing and get mocked for his devotion to an opera singer but Stoppard shows his kindliness that means more than rhetoric. So I read this book and found it moving
Hadrian
A truly excellent collection of short stories. I confess that Turgenev's most popular work left me cold, but this more than made up for it. Excellent stories and parables about the nature and beauty and tragedy of life across all layers of society. The only fault I could find was almost certainly due to the clunkiness of the translation, which I won't let detract from my admiration this time. Excellent stuff.
Ashley
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this. Turgenev's style is very lyrical and he paints a beautiful landscape of the Russian countryside, but he also, through the strength of his narrator's observations, turns a critical eye upon the injustice and inhumanity of Russian serfdom. It's a book that I've thought a lot about since finishing, and I can't help but quote Harold Bloom here: "To achieve Turgenev's apparent simplicity as a writer of sketches you need the highest gifts, something...more
J.M. Hushour
Turgenev (or Turgy) tends to get overshadowed by his frequent rivals/bitch-slappers Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, and yes, in many ways they are superior artists, but only by a few degrees. Dosty and Turgy never got along very well and I've come to the latter much later than the former so it was hard to shake that predetermined you-aren't-that-great-fool vision of T-Bag.
He's a fine writer, T-Bone is, and perhaps excessively so in this collection of 20-some odd stories, loosely linked only by the narr...more
Bill
This is not Turgenev's best work, but it is worth a read. The Sketches are just that - short pictures of life in the Russian countryside from the point of view of a narrator who wanders across it on hunting trips. His writing about the scenery - the sky, the seasons, the land - is beautifully descriptive and lyrical:

And a summer morning in July! Has anyone but a hunter eve experienced the delight of wandering through bushes at dawn? Your feet leave green imprints in grass that is heavy and white...more
Tony
This is the first Russian author I read, on recommendation from one Guy de Maupassant (who came to me by way of recommendation from one E. A. Poe), and served as my entrance to literature beyond the $5.99 paperback.
Þróndr
One reason I decided to read Turgenev's Sketches is because I very much appreciated his colorful and vivid character descriptions in the novels by him that I had already read, and he makes full use of that particular talent of his in this collection of short-stories. It's not just simply a collection of short-stories though since the narrator stays the same and there’s also his constant hunting companion Yermolay, who figures in several of these stories. Turgenev's descriptions of the landowning...more
Jorge García
Puede ocurrir que alguien como yo, un ser complaciente y apegado a sus rutinas, se recoja en su sillón favorito a dejar morir las horas leyendo un viejo libro de la biblioteca, y que en esas horas alguien llame a tu puerta cuando menos dispuesto estás a que algún conocido te comprometa, o te moleste algún vendedor ambulante.

Para un pobre de espíritu como yo, rebelarse ante las circunstancias no es posible, por lo que me levanté con desdén, la zapatilla de andar por casa burlándome, los gatos rié...more
Paul
A Sportsman’s Sketches by Ivan Turgenev is a collection of short stories or observations (sketches) from the viewpoint of a Russian nobleman traveling his lands to both survey them and hunt for sport. [Note that this book is sometimes titled Sketches from a Hunter’s Album.:]

When you can’t enjoy a novel in the original language, then the book is only as good as the translation you have at hand. This particular edition was translated by Constance Garnett who did an excellent job of making Turgenev...more
Katie
Feb 12, 2009 Katie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Chekhov short-story fans, people-watchers
This book drew me into a whole world very remote from my own, as though he were telling me about it--the morning dew, the hours spent waiting for birds to flush, the jolt of the droshky (and I don't even know what a droshky is, exactly). Nothing much happens. The narrator hunts and talks to people he meets in the countryside, drawing out their stories, most of which are sad. This book feels so true to life that I kept conflating the narrator with the author. It might make you want to write some...more
michael
More proof that the 19th century Russians are in a class all their own. And Turgenev brings an esprit, nonchalance and poetry that Dosty and Tolstoy never bothered themselves with.

What's wonderful about this book is that you don't have to deal with a novel. Only a loose collection of sights, sounds, characters and stories of a sensitive narrator - "dear reader! dear reader!" - a sportsman who never even shoots a single animal. Writers today haven't the courage and self-assurance to match the ge...more
Eli A
For many, Turgenev is primarily a great descriptor of nature. His eye for the sky above and the ground below is like no other I've encountered, and is the reason I embarked on his Sketches, having previously only read the monumental Fathers and Sons.

His brilliance is in full flow in many of the short tales related, a montage of life woven through the gentry's land and the serfdom that populates it. Turgenev was one of the first literary Westerners to emerge in Russia, and it shows. Cast as the s...more
Helmut
Getarnte Systemkritik in schöner Landschaft

Über das Werk selbst, das seine sehr offene und stellenweise recht brutale Kritik am russischen Leibeigenheitssystem kaum hinter dem unauffälligen Titel und der gediegenden, blumigen Sprache verstecken kann, äußere ich mich hier nur am Rande - in dieser Rezension möchte ich die neue Übersetzung von Peter Urban in den Mittelpunkt stellen. Lassen wir doch zum Vergleich der älteren, inzwischen gemeinfreien Übersetzung von Eliasberg mit dieser neuen hier d...more
Rita
Apr 24, 2013 Rita marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
KINGA's review

Ivan Turgenev is probably the least known of the Russian trio of Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Turgenev but nonetheless you should read him if you want to boast that you’ve read ‘the Russians’.

Sketches from a Hunter’s Album is a lesser known work of this lesser known Russian, written before his big novel Fathers and Sons.

“Oh, you think everyone's interesting. That's because you're a Red. I don't. I believe that quite a lot of people were just manufactured when God was thinking of someth...more
Matthew
I seem to pick this up when the seasons change. It is not really a book about hunting, it is about wandering and noticing things. Since Turgenev noticed so much, this notebook is dense, but in a good way, like a thick forest.

The most exceptional sketch concerns peasant boys guarding horses outside in the dark. He listens to them talk while pretending to sleep. The boys talk about dead friends, ghosts, their fears. What he achieves is a perfect evocation of amateur confessions in the open air, it...more
Jamyang Phuntsok
I think this book deserves its own unique place among the classics of Russian literature. As the titles suggests, these are nothing but sketches of hunting expeditions that Turgenev undertook on his and neighbouring estates (after returning from Europe, if I am not wrong). In these episodes, we get a realistic glimpse into the common life of the Russian serfs and hunters who accompany him. They are sometimes poignant, sometimes a bit morose and tedious (like life is) but Turgenev never exaggerat...more
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Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (Cyrillic: Иван Сергеевич Тургенев) was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His major works include the short-story collection A Sportsman’s Sketches (1852) and the novels Rudin (1856), Home of the Gentry (1859), On the Eve (1860), and Fathers and Sons (1862). These works offer realistic, affectionate portray...more
More about Ivan Turgenev...
Fathers and Sons Mumu First Love Spring Torrents  Home of the Gentry

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“the deep, pure blue stirs on one’s lips a smile, innocent as itself; like the clouds over the sky, and, as it were, with them, happy memories pass in slow procession over the soul” 3 likes
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