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‘Virum praesento vobis’

  • Patrick Waddington

Abstract

However much it may have maddened or frustrated him, Turgenev could not drive this latest visit to England from his mind. For many weeks he talked about it to his French and Russian friends. To Annenkov he said that he had been for a good look and a sniff at the ‘gorgeous isle, wondrous isle’ (this being an ironic allusion to a poem by Khomyakov for which he did not much care), and had come to three conclusions: that the English were undoubtedly a great and original people; that they hated Russia to the point of apoplexy; and that he could never live on British soil, for all the kind attention he received. Some commentators, like the pharisaical ‘M. P. for Russia’, Olga Novikova, have attempted to read ingratitude and double-dealing in this; but Turgenev would not have seen it that way. Although the British hatred for the Russians was both vicious and ingrained, he found it openly exhibited. He liked things to be so, and showed a similar frankness.

Keywords

Virgin Soil Sunday Evening Russian Writer British Soil Original People 
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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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