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Virgin Soil

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  701 ratings  ·  22 reviews
VIRGIN SOIL by Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818-1883) is his last and longest novel. In it he finally says everything yet unsaid on the subject of social change, idealism and yet futility of revolutions, serfs and peasants, and the upper classes. The hero, Nezhdanov -- the disillusioned young son of a nobleman -- and the Populist movement are young idealists working to brid...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published 1877)
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Joseph Pinchback
If I had to come up with a slogan for Ivan Turgenev, it would be, "Turgenev - For God's sake, would somebody read something besides Fathers and Sons?" Granted, Fathers and Sons is his best novel, but he's got some other good stuff. I dare you to read First Love and tell me that it isn't moving. It's a short story, so quit complaining and just go read it. As for this novel, Virgin Soil, those of you who have read Fathers and Sons will find a lot of similar things. It's another book about Nihilism...more
Virin Soil is both a love story and social commentary about Russia in the 1800s. Protagonist Nejdanov is a young man trapped between two worlds. He is the illegitimate son of an aristocrat and member of Populism movement. Nejdanov���s struggles parallel the struggles of his county. He is inducted into the movement as a result of his background but he struggles with this identity throughout the book.

I enjoyed this book. I felt great empathy toward Nejdanov and thought that Turgenev was able to p...more
B. Morrison
Virgin Soil, Turgenev’s last novel, is about the Populist movement in Russia in the late 1860s and 1870s, a hundred years before my experiences in the social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Turgenev's idealistic revolutionaries want to awaken the slumbering people and help them take back their country from the ruling classes. The story focuses on Alexey Nezhdanov, a young student in St. Petersburg, who wants to devote his life to the cause, condemning as elitist the poetry he cannot keep himse...more
Mark Sacha
Conventionally plotted but politically savvy, Ivan Turgenev's last novel follows a group of would-be radicals in late Imperial Russia. The class tensions that would culminate in the catastrophic revolutions of 1917 are tangible here, but premature. The young rebels are zealous, even if they can't adequately explain the cause they are fighting for, much less convince the peasantry that it is worthwhile. Delays lead to frustration, and any hint of solidarity is effaced by their lack of skill. For...more
I don’t know what was in the water around the time these guys in Russia were writing. Turgenov has such clarity. This book helped me see I had to move beyond my phase of focusing on all the things that weren’t working for me in this society.
واقعیت اینه که کتاب بدبختیه! زیادی کوبونده شده؛ چون تم سیاسی داره و نویسنده ش طبق نقدها؛ عاشقانه نویس قهاری بوده و گوئیا این کتابش رو زیاد دوست ندارند.
ولی به زعم من خوب بود؛ روسیه ی نیمه ی دوم قرن بیستم رو خوب توضیح داده. من خوشم اومد.
Gemma Williams
Turgeneyev's novel about a group of rather clueless revolutionaries trying to propagandise the Russian peasantry, who just get them drunk and beat them up. The characters are idealistic, noble and riven by self doubt. Very readable.
Philip Lane
I found this quite an easy read as it has a lot of dialogue in it and not too many characters to confuse me with the Russian names. I found the main characters of Marianne and Nejdanov very sympathetic and so I was rooting for them as times got more difficult. I found it quite revealing that the undercurrent of revolution was present in Russia for many decades before it actually broke out. I was particularly taken with the element of plans going awry as we continue to live in a world of conspira...more
Einstein tells us that the purpose of time is so that everything does not happen at once. This novel is about that time expansion and the conflict of events happening outside of the time frame, Turgenev writes in The Virgin Soil that the future belongs to Anonymous Russia and this novel was a tale of a future that over time came to be, alas not as easily as smoothly as perhaps he would have wanted. There is a deep arc in the story that may in fact have a contemporary application.

Passages are lo...more
Ramping up on Russia books in prep for my trip to St.Petersburg in May. Thsi book is very much like Fathers and Sons,depicting the clash of generations and the emerging radical underground movements. It has a sharp critique of the landed class, but also the foibles and naviete of the radicals. So he made everyone mad at him. Dostoyevsky said he was a Westernizer, whihc he was but I don't think of it as a negative. I think he is a wonderful writer -like Dickens, he can combine social commentary...more
Anais Fawache
This book explores the personnal experience of ideology and social activism. Through describing the different characters' motivations for joining the cause, the author explores the hesitations, deceptions, setbacks and outbreaks inherent in ideological engagement.
Having not read much from the nineteenth century Russian novelists, I hope this will set me well down the path.

A good story and an excellent portrait of the Russian countryside.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the sendup of the revolutionaries romanticizing and idealizing "The People." The ending was disappointing, though.
Dramatic vision of the "age of nihilism" for later 19th century Russia. Lays the foundation for the revolution to come.
Interesting study of the early nihilist/revolutionary movement, and what problems it had to face in its very early stages.
با نام "خاک بکر" به فارسی برگردانده شده و در سری انتشارات کتاب های جیبی در سال های دهه ی 40 چاپ و منتشر شده است.
I believe that this novel is the perfect finale for the study of the Nihilist Movement in Russian Literature.
Los libros de Turgenev siempre parecen saber algo de nosotros que nosotros no queremos saber...
Ahmad Sharabiani
842. Virgin Soil, Ivan Turgenev
خاک بکر - ایوان‌سرگی‌یویچ تورگنیف (امیرکبیر) ادبیات روسیه
a heavy read, but well done. takes a bit of concentration.
Julia Hope
Very good insight into pre-revolution Russian history.
A lesser known Turgenev, probably for a reason.
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NYRB Classics: Virgin Soil, by Ivan Turgenev 1 3 Oct 30, 2013 09:38PM  
  • Born in Exile
  • Castle Richmond
  • The Enchanted Wanderer: Selected Tales
  • The Monastery
  • Ormond
  • The Golovlyov Family
  • Albigenses
  • The Case of Comrade Tulayev
  • The Temptation of St. Antony
  • Marius the Epicurean
  • Summer in Baden-Baden
  • The Queue
  • Röda rummet
  • The Stechlin
  • The Road: Stories, Journalism, and Essays
  • Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.
  • The Artamonov Business
  • White Walls: Collected Stories
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 Sketches from a Hunter's Album First Love Spring Torrents

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“He went to bed early, but could not fall asleep. He was haunted by sad and gloomy reflections about the inevitable end— death. These thoughts were familiar to him, many times had he turned them over this way and that, first shuddering at the probability of annihilation, then welcoming it, almost rejoicing in it. Suddenly a peculiarly familiar agitation took possession of him… He mused awhile, sat down at the table, and wrote down the following lines in his sacred copy-book, without a single correction:” 2 likes
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