Brian's Reviews > Fathers and Sons

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
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's review
Mar 14, 2011

really liked it
Read in March, 2011

I am a huge fan of Russian literature from this period, but I had never read any Turgenev before. I will definitely read more of his work now. He is considered the most Westernized writer of his contemporaries, but he still has a distinctly Russian voice. Because of this, I would now recommend starting off with Turgenev for someone interested in reading Russian literature from this period, as Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy can be quite intimidating to newcomers.

The story follows Yevgeny Bazarov, a nihilist and superfluous man, and his friend and mentee Arkady Kirsanov. Throughout the book, they struggle with their relation to the previous generation. Bazarov never gives up his conviction that the old society and its institutions need to be destroyed. However, he can't quite kill all his sentimentality and ends up falling in love with (and being rejected by) Anna Odintsova. Kirsanov ends up softening his nihilistic views and reconciles with the older generation.
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