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Six cheers at Six Mile Bottom

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

The Turgenev who next came to England’s shores, in October 1878, was very different from the one that left them seven years earlier. He had settled with the Viardots at the rue de Douai in Paris and lived no longer metaphorically, but literally now, on the edge of Pauline’s nest. It was not that everything had suddenly become idyllic: there were spiritual and moral problems as before, and he was plagued by illness — especially by gout — of an intensity never yet experienced. Nor was this final phase unusually productive: the urge to write came upon him only in fits, and he forgot the time when it had been obsessive. Some modern readers are beginning to appreciate Turgenev’s ‘prose poems’ and ‘mysterious tales’ more highly than his contemporaries. The same is true of his last novel, Virgin Soil. But his reputation during the 1870s and right up until his death depended more on the works of his first maturity: the Sportsman’s Sketches, A Nest of the Gentry, Fathers and Sons. It was these that made him the grand old man of Russian — and indeed of European-letters. His gradual reconciliation with Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and other compatriots who had spurned him was matched by a sort of canonisation among the leading novelists of France. This was the time of his great friendship with Flaubert and George Sand, his association with Zola, Daudet, Maupassant and Edmond de Goncourt. In the June of 1878 he was elected working president, under Victor Hugo, of the first International Literary Congress.

Keywords

Virgin Soil Modern Reader Sunday Evening Balliol College Prose Poem 
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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References

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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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