Ivan Goncharov, David Magarshack (Introducer), Milton Ehre (Introducer), David Magarshack (Translator)
Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is a member of Russia's dying aristocracy - a man so lazy that he has given up his job in the Civil Service, neglected his books, insulted his friends and found himself in debt. Too apathetic to do anything about his problems, he lives in a grubby, crumbling apartment, waited on by Zakhar, his equally idle servant. Terrified by the bustle and activity necessary to participate in the real world, Oblomov manages to avoid work, postpone change and - finally - risks losing the love of his life. Written with sympathetic humour and compassion, Oblomov made Goncharov famous throughout Russia on its publication in 1859, as readers saw in this story of a man whose defining characteristic is indolence, the portrait of an entire class in decline.