Books

Fathers and Sons

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

'Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles...useless words! A Russian doesn't need them'

This humane, moving masterpiece of families, love, duels, heartache, failure and the clash between generations caused a scandal in nineteenth-century Russia with its portrayal of youthful nihilism.

A new series of twenty distinctive, unforgettable Penguin Classics in a beautiful new design and pocket-sized format, with coloured jackets echoing Penguin's original covers.

Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands

Ivan Turgenev

"No, no, I've got your word for it, I've got to die ... you promised me ... you told me ..."

Turgenev's accounts of hunting in rural Russia, and the extraordinary characters he meets there.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883). Turgenev's works available in Penguin Classics are Fathers and Sons, First Love, Home of the Gentry, On the Eve, Rudin, Sketches from a Hunter's Album, Spring Torrents and Three Sketches from a Hunter's Album.

First Love

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

When the down-at-heel Princess Zasyekin moves next door to the country estate of Vladimir Petrovich's parents, he instantly and overwhelmingly falls in love with his new neighbour's daughter, Zinaida. But the capricious young woman already has many admirers and as she plays her suitors against each other, Vladimir's unrequited youthful passion soon turns to torment and despair - although he remains unaware of his true rival for Zinaida's affections. Set in the world of nineteenth-century Russia's fading aristocracy, Turgenev's story depicts a boy's growth of knowledge and mastery over his own heart as he awakens to the complex nature of adult love.

Fathers and Sons

Tatyana Tolstaya (and others)

Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons explores the ageless conflict between generations through a period in Russian history when a new generation of revolutionary intellectuals threatened the state. This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by Peter Carson, with an introduction by Rosamund Bartlett and an afterword by Tatyana Tolstaya.

Returning home after years away at university, Arkady is proud to introduce his clever friend Bazarov to his father and uncle. But their guest soon stirs up unrest on the quiet country estate - his outspoken nihilist views and his scathing criticisms of the older men expose the growing distance between Arkady and his father. And when Bazarov visits his own doting but old-fashioned parents, his disdainful rejection of traditional Russian life causes even further distress. In Fathers and Sons, Turgeneve created a beautifully-drawn and highly influential portrayal of the clash between generations, at a time just before the end of serfdom, when the refined yet vanishing landowning class was being overturned by a brash new breed that strove to change the world.

Peter Carson's elegant, naturalistic new translation brings Turgenev's masterpiece to life for a new generation of readers. In her introduction, Rosamund Bartlett discusses the novel's subtle characterisation and the immense social changes that took place in the 1850s Russia of Fathers and Sons. This edition also includes a chronology, suggested further reading and notes.

If you enjoyed Fathers and Sons, you might like Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, also available in Penguin Classics.

'One of the first Russian novels to be translated for a wider European audience. It is a difficult art: in this superb new version, Peter Carson has succeeded splendidly' Michael Binyon, The Times

'If you want to get as close as an English reader can to enjoying Turgenev, Carson is probably the best'
Donald Rayfield, The Times Literary Supplement

Home of the Gentry

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

On one level the novel is about the homecoming of Lavretsky, who, broken and disillusioned by a failed marriage, returns to his estate and finds love again - only to lose it. The sense of loss and of unfulfilled promise, beautifully captured by Turgenev, reflects his underlying theme that humanity is not destined to experience happiness except as something ephemeral and inevitably doomed. On another level Turgenev is presenting the homecoming of a whole generation of young Russians who have fallen under the spell of European ideas that have uprooted them from Russia, their 'home', but have proved ultimately superfluous. In tragic bewilderment, they attempt to find reconciliation with their land.

Sketches from a Hunter's Album

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

Turgenev's first major prose work is a series of twenty-five Sketches: the observations and anecdotes of the author during his travels through Russia satisfying his passion for hunting. His album is filled with moving insights into the lives of those he encounters - peasants and landowners, doctors and bailiffs, neglected wives and bereft mothers - each providing a glimpse of love, tragedy, courage and loss, and anticipating Turgenev's great later works such as First Love and Fathers and Sons. His depiction of the cruelty and arrogance of the ruling classes was considered subversive and led to his arrest and confinement to his estate, but these sketches opened the minds of contemporary readers to the plight of the peasantry and were even said to have led Tsar Alexander II to abolish serfdom.

Spring Torrents

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

Returning to Russia from a tour in Italy, twenty-three-year-old Dimitry Sanin breaks his journey in Frankfurt. There he encounters the beautiful Gemma Roselli, who works in her parents' patisserie, and falls deeply and deliriously in love for the first time. Convinced that nothing can come in the way of everlasting happiness with his fiancée, Dimitry impetuously decides to begin a new life and sell his Russian estates. But when he meets the potential buyer, the intriguing Madame Polozov, his youthful vulnerability makes him prey for a darker, destructive infatuation. A novel of haunting beauty, Spring Torrents (1870-1) is a fascinating, partly autobiographical account of one of Turgenev's favourite themes - a man's inability to love without losing his innocence and becoming enslaved to obsessive passions.

Fathers and Sons

Ivan Turgenev (and others)

When Arkady Petrovich comes home from college, his father finds his eager, naive son changed almost beyond recognition, for the impressionable Arkady has fallen under the powerful influence of the friend accompanying him. A self-proclaimed nihilist, the ardent young Bazarov shocks Arkady's father by criticizing the landowning way of life and by his outspoken determination to sweep away the traditional values of contemporary Russian society.

Turgenev's depiction of the conflict between generations and their ideals stunned readers when Fathers and Sons was first published in 1862. But many could sympathize with Arkady's fascination with the nihilistic hero whose story vividly captures the hopes and regrets of a changing Russia.

Biography

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was born in 1818 in the province of Oryol. After the family had moved to Moscow in 1827 he entered St Petersburg University where he studied philosophy. When he was nineteen he published his first poems and went to the University of Berlin. After two years he returned to Russia and took his degree at the University of Moscow. After 1856 he lived mostly abroad, and he became the first Russian writer to gain a wide reputation in Europe. He wrote many novels, plays, short stories and novellas, of which First Love (1860) is the most famous. He died in Paris in 1883.