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First skirmishes with England

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

Everything and nothing can be said for sure about Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev. He was at once the frankest and most reticent of men. He spoke of everything and everyone, yet always held something in reserve. He was old beyond his years, but eternally a child; strong-minded but weak-willed; altruistic but withdrawn upon himself. No one was nobler or more generous than he; but he inspired distrust in others and made many enemies. In everything a liberal and a non-conformist, he engaged himself in nothing without effort. Much, of course, is known of his external life: his birth at Oryol in 1818; the ancient Tartar origins; the passionate yet callous mother, who had serfs whipped for letting food get cold; the ineffectual, gallivanting father who died young; the pastoral upbringing at Spasskoye; the brilliant early career, in the Russian capitals and at Berlin; the poet who became a story-teller, then a playwright, then a novelist; the squabbles with Nekrasov’s Sovremennik (the Contemporary), with Goncharov, with Herzen, Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy; Turgenev’s travels and residence abroad, and his death near Paris in 1883. Some but not all of this has relevance to our study, and will be discussed where appropriate. It is, however, important to establish now what sort of man it was who went to England so often, and came to revere her literature and her civilisation.

Keywords

English Culture English Poet Scotch Whisky Russian Writer British Periodical 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Patrick Waddington 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Waddington
    • 1
  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonNew Zealand

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