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Fathers and Sons

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  36,718 ratings  ·  979 reviews
When Fathers and Sons was first published in Russia, in 1862, it was met with a blaze of controversy about where Turgenev stood in relation to his account of generational misunderstanding. Was he criticizing the worldview of the conservative aesthete, Pavel Kirsanov, and the older generation, or that of the radical, cerebral medical student, Evgenii Bazarov, representing ...more
Paperback, 228 pages
Published November 13th 2001 by Modern Library (first published 1862)
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knig
Fathers and Sons (FS) apparently pleased no one on in Russia on publication, and if not precisely ‘shocked’ the muchadumbre, then surely ruffled feathers and rubbed salt in fresh wounds: that, in any event, is the general promise in the blurb on the back cover of the book. Goody. I like a scandal better than the next person, for sure. So I tore into it with gusto.

Alas, though. There is no scandal to be had here. I mean, not even remotely: not even a whiff of it. The big brouhaha seems to evolve
...more
Aubrey
My main issue with this book: too short. An odd thing to think of when the too short object in question is a Russian novel concerning cultural upheaval and aristocracy and all sorts of young ones running around screeching newfangled ideas at the top of their lungs, but 'tis true.

A while back, someone somewhere on Goodreads coined the term 'soap opera with brains', a literature type that hasn't popped up in my reading since The Age of Reason but can be (much more enjoyably, I dare say) applied h
...more
Tim Wagner
If you want to read a great Russian novel, but your wrists are to weak for Karenina or Brothers K, this is your jam. It's almost allegorical in its deployment of the characters' various philosophies, but they're so human it's like watching Chekhov play across the page. For a book written in the mid-late 19th century, it's amazingly relevant: a pithy study of conservativism, liberalism, radicalism, quietism, and filial love and rebellion. The bad-tempered anarchist, Bazarov, is a character for th ...more
MJ Nicholls
Tremendous. Forget the patchy, barely coherent A Hero of Our Time. This is your pre-Tolstoy, pre-Dostoevsky (almost—excusing a decade or two) Russian masterpiece. Do you want to be a nihilist with a casual interest in botany and medicine? Do you sneer at aristocratic values but have the hots for a milf with a vassal-soaked estate? Do you treat your father’s house like a hotel, and only pay fleeting three-year visits, during which you torment your poor mother and her servants? Do you want to snog ...more
Edward
Chronology
Introduction
Further Reading
Translator's Note


--Fathers and Sons

Notes
Lee
A proto-punk and a proto-metrosexual demand satisfaction from one another because the first macked on the latter's bro's baby mama. The gentry can't really rage against the machine, they're jackdaws, domesticated dogs. Guys in their early twenties have apparently always sort of sucked, albeit in an intellectually sexy way as long as they don't lack confidence. Repudiate, repudiate, repudiate, champion only what's useful, no authority other than oneself. Blame testosterone plus higher education? ...more
Fionnuala
I started reading this looking for clues to William Trevor’s Reading Turgenev but I didn’t really find many - I’ve since realised that Trevor was mostly referring to a different Turgenev novel On The Eve. In fact Fathers and Sons has more in common with another book I read recently, Belinda McKeon’s Solace. Both novels are concerned with the gaps in comprehension between people of different generations, in particular between fathers and sons and the tensions that arise as a result of these gaps ...more
Lit Bug
I suspect ‘Fathers and Sons’ is too deeply a product of its particular time and place to be enjoyable now without a sense of the Russian history that has molded this novel into what it is. I began without a background, and though it was agreeable all the way through, I really didn’t find it gripping enough – surely it was an evergreen conflict, even if not on every count? The struggle between the titular Fathers and Sons is an eternal one, and I was surprised at my reluctance to engage with the ...more
Darwin8u
This is a novel that should probably be read by everybody (fathers, sons, mothers, daughters) at 18 years and again at 50 years. I'm somewhere in between, but it still enchanted me. 'Fathers and Sons' themes are universal, but also very relevant to Russia in the 1860s (post Emancipation Reform of 1861).

IT is about the struggles between generations. It is is a novel about beauty, love, relationships, power, social etiquitte, etc. The duality of the generations in 'Fathers and Sons' allowed Turge
...more
Ali
To begin with, I never intended to read 'Fathers and Sons' by Turgenev in the first place; rather, it was one of the lesser known works of this lesser known Russian master, 'Sketches from a hunter's album' that I sought so eagerly. But after searching for the latter endlessly, my efforts proved futile as I was unable to get my hands on it. Later, I remember stumbling upon an excerpt of 'Fathers and Sons', and it piqued my curiosity. The excerpt was such:

“Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a hays
...more
·Karen·
In the first 58 pages, up to the end of Chapter XI, the ideas are clear black and white, no equivocation or ambiguity. Arkady and Bazarov arrive at Arkady’s father’s estate, where the father, Nikolay Petrovich lives with his brother Pavel and Nikolay’s charming, extremely youthful what? lover? mistress? common-law wife? In any case they have a son together, but everything is sweetness and light, because Arkady is not resentful of the new heir: he is a thoroughly modern man, not nearly as scandal ...more
Simona
Quando penso alla Russia e ai suoi scrittori mi vengono in mente Dostoevskij e Tolstoj, ma posso dire che Turgenev può entrare a pieno titolo in questo trittico e questo romanzo ne è un esempio.
Ho viaggiato nella campagna russa, assaporando gli odori ed i profumi di questa terra, a contatto con personaggi come Bazarov, l'incarnazione del nichilismo, che mi ha accompagnato in questo percorso.
"Padri e figli" si concentra, non solo sul contrasto tra la conservazione dei primi e la contestazione de
...more
Chrissie
I REALLLLLY, really, really, really liked this. I fell in love with Yevgeny Vasil'evich Bazarov – yeah, the nihilist. I am not one to favor nihilism; it is the wrong philosophy to have in life. But you know how it is - the way you love your children. You love them regardless of their silly ideas, regardless of what they do, regardless of the mean things they may say to you. You still love them with all your heart. You would do anything to save them. Well, I fell in love with Yevgeny in that way. ...more
Evan
"Every single man hangs by a thread, a bottomless pit can open beneath him any minute, and yet he still goes on thinking up unpleasantness for himself and making a mess of his life." -Bazarov, in Fathers and Sons

Finally, a dusty old classic that lives up to its reputation. Turgenev's Fathers and Sons is pleasingly warm and crisply distilled vodka, a rich and pungent family saga that even a mildly disappointing heart-tugging finale can't ruin. It's like Russia's Catcher in the Rye but from way wa
...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Cheap and ubiquitous. I bought a copy once for the price of a newspaper. Months later, forgetting that I already have a copy, I bought another one because it was priced so low that it was practically a giveaway. Recently, seeing my two almost identical copies I decided to finally read it already, fearing that if I don't do so, I might forget again and be lured into buying another copy, cheaper and more handsome.

About halfway through the novel was where it lost a lone star from me. And 'twas not
...more
Kalliope
This is not a review.

But today there have been many exchanges on several of the reviews on this book at GR, and I just found this link to an essay by Henry James on Turgenev, and I did not know where to hang it.

http://www.eldritchpress.org/ist/hjam...
Dorcas
As beautifully as Turgenov writes (and he is a master of his craft),and as much as I love Russian Lit, I cannot give this book three stars because that would mean that I enjoyed it, and I didn't.

I can't tell you how many times I wanted to mark this as did-not-finish and toss it across the room it was sooooo frustrating to me. I'm not keen on philosophy in general, and couple that with a philosophy I can't disagree with more strongly and, well, you have a rather disagreeable experience.

Nihilism:
...more
Lavinia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ivana
If Candide was a critique of a philosophical system that is unrealistically positive, Fathers and Sons is a critique of one that is overly negative. Student Bazarov is a nihilist, a person who does not believe in anything. His young friend Kirsanov is heavily influenced by him. Moreover, Kirsanov is not the only one since Bazarov seems to posses a fair amount of charisma.

Both young men come into conflict with their parents and the world that surrounds them. Both young men are well developed cha
...more
Kathaileen
This novel could also be called “Generations” It’s how two different sons and fathers deal with the changes happening around them. The book starts when Arkady returns home from school with his friend Bazarov to the home of his father, Nicholas. His uncle Pavel also lives there. Nicholas is trying to stay with the times and has set his serfs free, but his estate has fallen into disrepair. He also has been having a relationship with a former servant, Fenichka, and has fathered a child.
Bazarov is v
...more
Dan
Some thoughts:

1. Every time I pick up a Russian novel I'm always surprised by how leisurely the term prince and princess are thrown around, and I can never remember why. I am done looking for the answer so I am just going to assume it’s because there is a shit-ton of royalty in that vast country.

2. It feels weird when the narrator addresses the reader. It happens a few times. It's strange but charming.

3. Why the hell are Russian's always obscuring place and street names? I can't think of (m)an
...more
Wil
Jun 25, 2007 Wil rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: bookgroup
Turgenev's Fathers and Sons deals with the return of a son to his father's estate, after graduating from university. Nikolai, the father, has attempted to be liberal and progressive, but can not help feel that his son's new ideas have dated his own. This ideological struggle between generations begins the story that brought about one of the biggest literary controversies in Russia.

Traditionalists felt vindicated in their beliefs by the book, while the new 'nihilists' felt ridiculed in the charac
...more
Julie Bozza
Wow. Just really excellent. Terrific characters and story from Turgenev, served very well (I think) by a lively translation by Freeborn. While I have to admit to being more in sympathy with Arkady than Bazarov, the latter is one of those vivid characters who seem both so very real and so very much larger than life. As with Home of the Gentry, Turgenev manages to convey entire ways of life within a short, easy-to-read novel. I look on in awe.
Annchen
Obwohl der Roman inzwischen 150 Lenze zählt, staunte ich bis zur letzten Seite über den recht modernen Erzählstil. Natürlich liegt die Zeit der Leibeigenschaft, Aristokratie und Duelle in Russland lange zurück und dennoch wirkt die Handlung nie angestaubt. Turgenjews Sprache ist klar, beinahe schnörkellos, und skizziert mit wenigen Worten plastisch realistische Bilder der russischen Landschaft und der damaligen Lebensart. Die Handlung plätschert munter vor sich hin, hält keine großen Überraschun ...more
Anis Sniha
تقوم هذه الرواية على المقارنة في الظاهر على عالمين فالمدن فيما تمثله من حضارة وتقدم يركز الكاتب على شخصيتين وما يمثلانه من مبدا الرفض عموما وهما بازاروف واركادي والارياف وما تمثله من خرافات واساطير ومختلف المشاعر الانسانية مع التركيز على العادات الارستقراطية وتمثلاه بقية الشخصيات صراع بين ماهو علمي وما هو اخلاق ومشاعر مبدا الرفض عند الابناء يقوم على العدمية فلا افكار بديلة لما هو سائد في مقابله الاباء يعتبرون كل هذا لموروث بحسنه و سيئه ميزة الهوية الروسية عموما فالكاتب عموما يسخر من الاثنين فالا ...more
Hajer Elmahdi
You know how sometimes when reading a really mind blowing book you keep wondering how it's all going to end while having your fingers crossed wishing the author wont ruin the masterpiece for you with a mawkishness ending? Well you don't have to worry about this when reading Fathers and Sons, it's a page turner realistic family drama that portrays the rise of nihilism with a hint of romance and humanity with one of the greatest endings i've ever encountered in literature, all in a really short no ...more
Cosmic Arcata
I am rereading this book. I have stopped to read Kraft Und Stoff. I didn't realize how significant this would be to my understanding of this book and of Russian History in general. Not just Russian History but also modern history. The role that schools played that led up to the Bolshevik revolution. So I may com back and update my review after I read Kraft Und Stoff.

Some questions I would answers to. Was Arkady representing "force" and Bazarov representing "matter"? If so how are these different
...more
Mohnish
19CRW(19th century Russian writers) can't seem to stop reproaching the younger generation as it indulged in nihilism, so as to save humanity from falling into the sinful pit of depraved degeneracy.

Guess what?...They failed. But at least the world is not inhabited by PHP's(Pushkin hating philistines).

Theorizing a world of nihilists:

1)There would be no wars because subversive egocentric people wouldn't part with their lives for the benefit of rich old capitalists, petty squabbles like religious
...more
Skylar Burris
At times, Turgenev's use of the language borders on poetry. The characters are intriguing and sympathetic. The novel deals beautifully with man's inability to live without holding something sacred, and its tragic "hero" goes to the grave realizing that he has been trying to fill that void with "straw" instead of something more meaningful--like faith, or family, or true love. Some critics have said that Turgenev supported the "nihilists," the young men who scoffed at all things sacred. They say ...more
Sophie
Turgenev's Fathers and Sons mainly deals with the subject of different ideologies and the struggle to remain true to our beliefs. Simultaneously, the plot is full of characteristics that express everlasting emotions, such as love, pride, obligation, an aspect that brings complexity to the novel.
All in all, an amazing book, one of the best novels I've read this year, and an excellent food for thought, about having absolute standards and worldviews.
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Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. 4 24 Dec 10, 2014 11:49AM  
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Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (Cyrillic: Иван 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 portrayals of the ...more
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“We sit in the mud my friend and reach for the stars” 165 likes
“Whereas I think: I’m lying here in a haystack... The tiny space I occupy is so infinitesimal in comparison with the rest of space, which I don’t occupy and which has no relation to me. And the period of time in which I’m fated to live is so insignificant beside the eternity in which I haven’t existed and won’t exist... And yet in this atom, this mathematical point, blood is circulating, a brain is working, desiring something... What chaos! What a farce!” 83 likes
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