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On the Eve

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,384 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Though essentially a love story with a historical background, On the Eve hints in its title at social and political implications which no Russian reader could miss when it appeared in 1859. Turgenev's study of Elena Stahov, in love with a Bulgarian revolutionary, is a memorable achievement of character-drawing, but the authors artistry is nowhere more clearly shown than in ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 234 pages
Published April 30th 1950 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1860)
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Alex Miteright You can borrow the book from a local library.

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My Reading Life: Or How I went from Reading Turgenev to Reading Mann

The pattern of our reading lives can be as comfortable and predictable as everyday life or as creative and thought provoking as the books we read. Take my own case: I often mosey along well worn tracks quite happily, certain of finding familiar works which will be both pleasurable and rewarding. Then, suddenly, a detail will intrigue me and before I know it, I’ve been propelled sideways onto an undiscovered trail which inevitabl
So, we are on the eve of a new day here on goodreads. We have been batting ideas back and forth about what the giant female warrior will do to our community in a similar way to Turgenev's characters who spend long paragraphs meditating on the issues of their day. Like them, some of us must be asking the question: is it better to muddle through our lives peacefully, concentrating on reading, ideas and art or should we take action?
Some among us have talked about emigrating to a nearby country but
Heba Nouraldeen
هذة الروايه..تعد من الروايات الكلاسيكية التقليدية..
حينما تحب ..فأنت تحب بكل قلبك ..فالقلب ليس تفاحة ممكن قسمتها
قصة حب ..تفيض صدقاُ..وتضحيةً..وجمالاً ورقياً
لم يصادفنى موقفاً واحداً مبتذلاً بين الحبيبين..وهكذا يكون الحب :))
للأسف فى زمننا ..اصبح "الحب" كلمة مُستهلكة..مُرهقة تكاد تفقد بريق معناها..وجمال عُمقها
اولى قراءاتى
Ivan Turgenev
ولن تكون الأخيرة :)
Elizabeth (Alaska)

First, so expressive, the prose makes me swoon. And I am not a swooner (is there such a word as swooner?).
Elena listened to him very attentively, and turning half towards him, did not take her eyes off his face, which had grown a little paler--off his eyes, which were soft and affectionate, though they avoided meeting her eyes. Her soul expanded, and something tender, holy, and good seemed half sinking into her heart, half springing up within it.

Second, how is it a male of the 1860s
Free download available at eBooks@Adelaide.

Opening lines:
On one of the hottest days of the summer of 1853, in the shade of a tall lime-tree on the bank of the river Moskva, not far from Kuntsovo, two young men were lying on the grass. One, who looked about twenty-three, tall and swarthy, with a sharp and rather crooked nose, a high forehead, and a restrained smile on his wide mouth, was lying on his back and gazing meditatively into the distance, his small grey eyes half closed.

3* Spring Torren
Bryn Hammond
Revisited. Turgenev's short novels were second to Dostoyevsky for me, as far as Russians go (and Russians go far). Though I can see why Turgenev's despair of Russia as instanced here might have annoyed D... 'Go to foreign parts'. Anyhow, never mind that. I can also see why this one spoke closely to me as a girl. Yelena is a serious girl who needs an ethical and active life, and finds a freedom fight to throw herself into -- Bulgaria from the Turks. I was always impressed by Turgenev's young wome ...more
Ah, friendship, love, idealism -- in a word, Turgenev!

The "eve" in question is the start of the Crimean war. The setting, however, is provincial Russia (as usual in Turgenev's work) and the characters are a small circle of close friends. They're prone to earnest philosophical discussion. There's a slightly complex romance that drives the plot, and as might be expected things ultimately don't turn out well for the lovers. (This is, after all, a Russian novel.) If that sounds a bit pat, then let m
د. حمدان
في العشية إيفان تورجينيف

خامس عمل أقرؤه لتورجينيف.. وأقر بأنني أحب هذا الرجل. إنه ليس من هؤلاء الذين يكتبون شيئاً رائعاً.. لكنه دون شك يكتب شيئاً مختلفاً ولا أنكر أنه قد مسّ في داخلي شيئاً لربما لم أكن أعلم أنه موجود لولاه.

تورجينيف متمهل في عرض حكايته، يعرض لك من التفاصيل ما يكفي.. ومن المقدمات ما يجعلك تعرف خلفية كل شخصية يتحدث عنها بما يبرر ما يبدر منها فيما بعد.

إن هذه الرواية حكاية بسيطة؛ حكاية حب. وقد لا تثير الإهتمام بشكل عام.. لكن المثير فيها هو طريقة الإستدلال المنطقي للوقوع في الحب ! وقد
This read a bit like a Jane Austen in some ways. Boy meets girl, boy is a Bulgarian revolutionary, girl is from a well heeled family in Russia and stares out of the window a lot. It was a good translation though and managed to put across the story without losing the nuance too much. When one of the characters (Shubin) spoke about the lack of inspiring people in their immediate cirle it made me think of people twittering on social network sites today:

'' ...It's all either minnows and mice and li
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in October 1999.

Turgenev's short novel is based around a memoir written by a friend, who suggested he might like to turn it into a novel. It tells the stories of a small group of upper class teenagers in Russia on the eve of the outbreak of the Crimean War. Elena comes from a home troubled by the infidelities of her father, and this has hardly given her a taste for any kind of marriage that might be arranged by her parents. She is loved by one of a small grou
Karlo Mikhail
On the Eve by Ivan Turgenev is a love story, the plot of which most of us today would find commonplace. When the novel first appeared, however, this story of a young upper class Russian lady falling in love with a Bulgarian revolutionary caused quite a stir among its readers.

With the novel’s publication in 1861, the book’s translator Gilbert Gardiner commented in the introduction, “People argued about the heroes of the story as they might have done about the real people – their characters, their
Set in 1853 "on the eve" of the Crimean war, the central character, Elena, is an aristocratic 20-year-old Russian woman who is suffering from a non-specific need to "do" things (help the poor, write poetry or something).
She finds herself with four suitors who represent a cross-section of young manhood in her world: an aspiring academic, earnest but uninspiring, who will probably go study in Germany; a penniless, brash sculptor who is a cousin of Elena's mother, who supports him; a politically w
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Για άλλη μια φορά δυστυχώς θα πρέπει να επικαλεστώ «δυσανεξία» στους ρώσους κλασικούς με τους οποίους προσπαθώ εδώ και χρόνια για μια καλή σχέση, χωρίς όμως επιτυχία.

Ήταν ένα βιβλίο που δεν θα προσπαθούσα να ολοκληρώσω αν δεν ήμουν γοητευμένη από τον ίδιο το συγγραφέα και κάποιες θέσεις του σχετικά με τη λογοτεχνία. Σε ότι αφορά αναφορές στη φύση, η γραφή του, λιτή πάντα, είναι μαγική σχεδόν ποιητική, μέσα από μικρές καθημερινές παρατηρήσεις σε αναγκάζει να δεις τα πράγματα από μια άλλη οπτική.

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I was a little worried my partiality for Dostoevsky would dampen my ability to appreciate Turgenev, but those worries were dashed right at the opening of the book, On the Eve. Two friends, Berzenyev and Shubin, engage in a conversation on aesthetics in finely polished prose...I was hooked. To my slight disappointment there was much less philosophical dialogue as the novel progressed into a romance. The romance itself is a veil over a passionate summons for the Russian people, an urgent plea for ...more
Between my finishing On The Eve and writing this review, it has turned from a 5 star book to a 3 star, and I shall do my best to explain why this is.

When I finished On The Eve, I was blown away by my sympathy for the characters and their struggles, especially that of Shubin and his egotistical love for himself and Elena. The opening scene of two intellectuals discussing nature and love melted my heart, and I fell in love with the book. Furthermore, the lyrical descriptions of the Russian country
"Смерть как рыбак, который поймал рыбу в свою сеть и оставляет ее на время в воде: рыба еще плавает, но сеть на ней; и рыбак выхватит ее - когда захочет".

هذه رواية تُقرأ ليلة الخميس ..هروبا من العالم اللغوي الكبير، إلى العالم التمجيدي الصغير للمعاني الكبيرة
One Flew
3.5 stars

It took a while to get drawn in to this story, at first I was so annoyed by Shubin who seemed nothing more than a drama queen that I was tempted to drop the book. As the plot devolps there is a lot to like, but in the end I failed to identify who was the 'hero' of the book, all of the characters were all slightly unlikable. It wasn't that I disliked the story, I just failed to grasp any meaning. Towards the end I felt sympathetic to all the characters and attached to their story, but th
One of my favorite Turgenev novels (Smoke is still my favorite). This one (like Smoke) is about Romantic youth on the eve of revolution, and how they're all stupid. Shubin is a florid, overly emotional sculptor. Berzeniev is a student with a stick up his ass. Insarov is a Bulgarian revolutionary. Zoya is a brain-dead German. Turgenev spends a fair amount of time making fun of Germans in this novel, so if you're into that, then you should probably read this book. Elena is at the center of this no ...more

“The duet began, the best thing in the opera, in which the composer had succeeded in expressing all the pathos of the senseless waste of youth, the final struggle of despairing, helpless love.”—page 121

Is there an ambrosia as sweet as the drug of young love? In his novel, ‘On the Eve,’ Ivan Turgenev offers all the ambrosia and pathos of young love, and an excellent study of four character types. The temperamental artist, “…a man of no principles”; the studiously p
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3.5 stars. Turgenev is becoming one of my favourite Russian novelists. His prose is breathtaking and his character drawing is something to behold. This novel is quite dense in parts but if you love Russian novels, philosophy and nature this is not a book that should be missed. The only thing I didn't particularly like about it was Insarov. He just didn't sit well with me. I would have preferred if Bersyenev or Shubin were the main character/s.
three words can sum up this book: beautiful, touching, fantastic!!

one of the few books that leaves a print in your memory, loved it from A to Z
Radwa  Kamal
رواية رائعة برغم صعوبة اسماء أبطالها
إلا انها ذات أسلوب شيق وممتعة إلى أقصى الحدود
تتجلى فيها أسمى أشكال التضحية والحب
أحببتها !
Philip Lane
Beautifully written, wistful and romantic this story of provincial Russia combines history, philosophy and sociology. The characters are distinct and well drawn. The language is beautiful but easy to read. The central story is a fairly typical love story but the background of historic turmoil and the conflict of romantic love and patriotism makes it more interesting.i would think feminists would appreciate as Elena, the heroine, is very strong and whilst brought up in a patriarchal society, is d ...more
За что вы с нами так поступаете, Иван Сергеевич? Это несколько бесчеловечно выпускать в свет такое сильное и чувственное произведение. Сердце щемило в груди и невольно накатывались слезы и счастья и безнадежной тоски и несправедливости во время чтения вашего романа. Вы создаете замечательные, живые образы и чувства, а потом выжигаете их на корню... Инсаров и Елена пополнили для меня список сильных персонажей.

Но насколько он лучше меня! Он спокоен, а я в вечной тревоге; у него есть дорога, есть
Man, I really need to brush up on my history!
Well, this novel wasn't Turgenev at his best, but nevertheless it was an enthralling read. I recommend this to anyone who likes a nice, historic read. I mean, a lot of the book's plot has to do with war. You really have to understand the conditions of that time. (Which is why I have to get rid of the rust on my memory...) But yes. Definitely. Russian literature, classic literature fans, read it. You won't regret it. Oh yeah, half way through you migh
Ashley Cale
To anyone who thinks the Darcy/Lizzy dialogue cannot be surpassed literarily, you must read On the Eve! The scene Turgenev crafts in the meeting between Insarov and Elena in the chapel might sway you... Gorgeous work (at least in Penguin's translation!)...

A beautifully written novel with a lovely cast of characters from the mischievous, often foolhardy sculptor Shubin to the "Spirit of the Black Earth" Uvar Ivanovitch and his "flourishing fingers"...
A slim volume that you can easily finish in tw
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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
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“Death is like a fisherman who has caught a fish in his net and leaves it for a time in the water: the fish still swims about, but the net surrounds it, and the fisherman will take it when he wishes.” 6 likes
“Run along, my friend, Andrei Petrovitch, put a hat on your learned head, and let us go where our eyes lead us. Our eyes are young--they may lead us far.” 2 likes
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