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On the Eve

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  2,499 ratings  ·  114 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 June 28th 1973 by Penguin Books Ltd (first published 1860)
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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. However, it can happen that an obscure detail catches my attention and before I know it, I’ve been propelled sideways onto an undiscove
Dec 07, 2012 marked it as non-review
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
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
Bryn Hammond
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing

This was the Turgenev that spoke most directly to me when I was young, which makes for a peculiarly intense reading experience now: Yelena and Insarov are as if people known to me, I believe in them entirely; and indeed the whole novel comes alive to me in that rare way…

A dangerous novel to do this with, as it is Turgenev at his most gloomy. Although he took the plot from life, he wants to use it to dash our spirits with the futility of effort – for he had these moods of pessimistic metaphysics
Pontus Presents
4,5* (Translator: Gilbert Gardiner).

What a great introduction to Turgenev!
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017, favorites
BRILLIANT! Too good to be true. Tragically romantic and deep and everything else. I'm glad I have read it. OMG, I can't even start explaining how good this book is. Short, unexpected, fast-paced, intense... I couldn't put it down. Unforgettable. Please, bring me more Ivan Turgenev! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽
Amedine Amedine
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arabic-books


:احبك حيا او ميتا

من اروع القصص التي قرأت

من الكتب التي انستنى الزمان والمكان

حملتني الى روسيا.. موسكو.. حملتني الى عائلة متدينة محافظة

عرفتنى على يلينا وبرنزيف وشوبين.. جعلتني اعجب بالبلغارى دمترى

تأملت فيها قصة العشق الآخاذة.. بين ازقة موسكو ودروبها

تقاليد تلك المدينة.. طلات ذلك الشعب.. وانتمائاته.. صدى الحرب وحرقاته

تركيا وصربيا والنمسا وروسيا.. كلمات وردت ووصفت.. اعطت وبفكرى سبحت

لكن لا شىء يؤلم اكثر من سكرات الحب والعشق.. لاشئ يؤلم اكثر من النهاية الغير سعيدة

احسست بدفئ شخصيات موسكو رغم برودتها الم
aya Abdalaziz
القضيه قضيه رائعه
الشجاعه .. ففيها الموت والكفاح من اجل الحياه والهزيمه والنصر والحب والحريه والوطن
شعور فذ
Karlo Mikhail
Aug 27, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Daniel Villines
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Writing a novel about love must be one of the most risky endeavors that a writer can undertake. Love is such a powerful emotion that it is easy for such novels slip into the realm of melodrama. This takes place when humans are depicted in ways that step beyond reality. It doesn't take much. The call for a duel between rivals, the admission of love one too many times, or self-pity that goes on and on are all gateways to the melodramatic.

Turgenev manages to write about love in On the Eve without
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
Aug 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-lit, fiction
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
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
Jackson Cyril
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Turgenev ranks with Hawthorne, James and Flaubert for the faultless purity of his style-- though this particular work is written in a prose style singularly beautiful, even for him. The story too, populated by characters worthy of Tolstoy's pen, is most impressive. A vastly underrated work.
د. حمدان
Nov 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
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
Simon Mcleish
Mar 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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
*Read for class.

I actually enjoyed this one! It wasn't boring almost from the very beginning and felt somehow different from his other novels. Seems like it was based on real events, left in writing to the author by another man.

And this book really surprised me. It was gripping, interesting, easy to read and I actually cared for the characters more, than I usually do in classics. Which is a "must" factor for me to enjoy a book. I was also pleasantly surprised by one moment, where the Elena says
Emiliya Bozhilova
Честно да си призная, четвъртата звезда е заради българската “следа” в романа. Много е приятно да усетиш разбиращ поглед във времето, в което сме излизали от ъгълчето на Османската империя, което сме заемали 5 века. Главният герой е идеалист, и все ми се струваше твърде крехък да понесе цялата бясна борба, вихреща се и предстояща оттук насетне. Такива след Освобождението, ако са оцелели, не са имали голям късмет... Хареса ми и главната героиня Елена - нежна, деликатна, но непоколебима в преценка ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pre-1900
I struggled with this story, at the beginning. The characters were not very likable. I thought Shubin was really strange, he almost seemed like a court jester. He was silly, played leap frog with strangers he met on the street. His sculptures were rather odd, I was not sure he was serious about his art. I stayed with the story. I have read Ivan Turgenev and I knew he could write a great story. This turned into a beautiful love story. Elena was from a well to do Russian family. She met Insarnov, ...more
See Min Lim
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Herbst lied
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
تنشأ أحداث هذه القصة من تفاعلات ثنائي حبّ الذات والإيثار، كما تُفتَتح بمشهد شوبين المستلقي برأسه على بيرسينيف تجسيداً أولياً لهذا الثنائي المجرَّد ثم تستمرّ في سلسلة من العلاقات التي تقود أحداث القصة إلى تعقيدات أكبر.

- ”أما أنا فأعتقد أن كل هدف حياتنا هو في أن نجعل أنفسنا الرقم الثاني.“
هكذا آثر بيرسينيف إحياء حبّ أينساروف في قلب يلينا على حبّه لها، بينما أخذ شوبين يتخبّط بينهما كاليتيم الفاقد للحب. أما يلينا التي أجدها أبرأ تجسيد للإيثار على الذات من بين الجميع، وهي تنقذ الحيوانات والمساكين، فقد
hossein Babadi
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ترجمه ای از کتاب با عنوان "قبل از ماجرا" توسط عباس خلیلی (نشر نوین سال 1361) خوانده شد و نسبت به دو اثر خوانده شده نویسنده(رودین و آشیانه اشراف) بهتر بود
Nov 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
So, this is one of those novels for which an understanding of the historical context is essential for a full appreciation of its significance. The era is the early 1850s and Russia stands on the brink of the Crimean War as it manoeuvres to take advantage of weakening Ottoman Empire. Also standing to gain are those who dream of independence from Ottoman oppression.

One such is the hero of On the Eve, Insarov, a Bulgarian who, though in Russia, makes forays back to his homeland and is part of a net
May 30, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Natasha's Dance

Opening: 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. The other was lying on his c
Alhaytham Alawdi
في العشية,
في العشية,

رواية كلاسيكية تدور حول قصة حٌب عنيفة بين "يلينا" و"أينساروف" البلغاري الحامل قضية تحرير وطنه من الأتراك بعد ان قٌتل والداه, ولكنه يجعل الأمر قضية تحرير شعب وليس ثأر شخصي,
ويتصادف أن تتعرف يلينا على أينساروف عبر صديقهما "بيرسينيف".

والأهم هٌنا أن الرواية تحمل معاني التضحية المشروعة من اجل الحٌب والأسمى من ذلك أن الحٌب يتجاوز كل الحدود الجغرافية والعرقية والثقافية لتنبت علاقة إنسانية بالدرجة الأولى
فقد كانت يلينا تلهج بمناداته دائما: يا أخي, يا صديقي , يا حبيبي.
وكأنهما قد اصبحا
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Monty Milne
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a poignant tale which has the three ingredients that make Turgenev so satisfying: first, his ability to open a window into another time and place so vivid we feel we too are walking in contented companionship along the green and summery Russian river bank, or drinking champagne just as the coachman cracks his whip and the sleigh starts over the frozen snow. Second, the sunlight of the prose illuminates far more than the surface lives of the characters, but also sends shafts of illuminati ...more
Janith Pathirage
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow... how did I miss this amazing book all this time !. I thought I knew one or two things about Russian literature. This story has everything I ever wanted to read from a romantic novel. Couldn't have asked for more. Its so beautiful and heart warming. Don't think I've ever read another romantic Russian novel which can match its beauty. This is how love stories should be like. No cheating, no lust. Just pure love and devotion coming form understanding your partner. Yet Its a very simple story. ...more
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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
“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.” 19 likes
“How sad that youth, with all its power,
Was given us in vain, to burn;
That we betrayed it every hour,
And were deceived by it in turn;”
More quotes…