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Fathers and Children, Page 1

Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev




  FATHERS AND CHILDREN

  [Frontispiece: AVENUE AT SPASSKOE, TURGENEV'S ESTATE]

  The Harvard ClassicsShelf of Fiction[From Vol. 19]Selected by Charles W. Eliot Ll.D.

  FATHERS AND CHILDREN

  by

  IVAN TURGENEV

  Translated by Constance Garnett

  Edited with Notes and Introductions by William Allan Neilson Ph.D.

  P. F. Collier & SonNew York

  Published under special arrangement withThe Macmillan Company

  Copyright, 1917By P. F. Collier & Son

  CONTENTS

  BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

  CRITICISMS AND INTERPRETATIONS: I. BY EMILE MELCHIOR, VICOMTE DE VOGUE II. BY WILLIAM DEAN HOWELLS III. BY K. WALISZEWSKI IV. BY RICHARD H. P. CURLE V. BY MAURICE BARING

  LIST OF CHARACTERS

  CHAPTER I

  CHAPTER II

  CHAPTER III

  CHAPTER IV

  CHAPTER V

  CHAPTER VI

  CHAPTER VII

  CHAPTER VIII

  CHAPTER IX

  CHAPTER X

  CHAPTER XI

  CHAPTER XII

  CHAPTER XIII

  CHAPTER XIV

  CHAPTER XV

  CHAPTER XVI

  CHAPTER XVII

  CHAPTER XVIII

  CHAPTER XIX

  CHAPTER XX

  CHAPTER XXI

  CHAPTER XXII

  CHAPTER XXIII

  CHAPTER XXIV

  CHAPTER XXV

  CHAPTER XXVI

  CHAPTER XXVII

  CHAPTER XXVI

  BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

  Ivan Sergyevitch Turgenev came of an old stock of the Russian nobility.He was born in Orel, in the province of Orel, which lies more than ahundred miles south of Moscow, on October 28, 1818. His education wasbegun by tutors at home in the great family mansion in the town ofSpask, and he studied later at the universities of Moscow, St.Petersburg, and Berlin. The influence of the last, and of thecompatriots with whom he associated there, was very great; and when hereturned to Moscow in 1841, he was ambitious to teach Hegel to thestudents there. Before this could be arranged, however, he entered theMinistry of the Interior at St. Petersburg. While there his intereststurned more and more toward literature. He wrote verses and comedies,read George Sand, and made the acquaintance of Dostoevsky and thecritic Bielinski. His mother, a tyrannical woman with an ungovernabletemper, was eager that he should make a brilliant official career; so,when he resigned from the Ministry in 1845, she showed her disapprovalby cutting down his allowance and thus forcing him to support himselfby the profession he had chosen.

  Turgenev was an enthusiastic hunter; and it was his experiences in thewoods of his native province that supplied the material for "ASportsman's Sketches," the book that first brought him reputation. Thefirst of these papers appeared in 1847, and in the same year he leftRussia in the train of Pauline Viardot, a singer and actress, to whomhe had been devoted for three or four years and with whom he maintainedrelations for the rest of his life. For a year or two he lived chieflyin Paris or at a country house at Courtavenel in Brie, which belongedto Madame Viardot; but in 1850 he returned to Russia. His experienceswere not such as to induce him to repatriate himself permanently. Hefound Dostoevsky banished to Siberia and Bielinski dead; and himselfunder suspicion by the government on account of the popularity of "ASportsman's Sketches." For praising Gogol, who had just died, he wasarrested and imprisoned for a short time, and for the next two yearskept under police surveillance. Meantime he continued to write, and bythe time that the close of the Crimean War made it possible for himagain to go to western Europe, he was recognized as standing at thehead of living Russian authors. His mother was now dead, the estateswere settled, and with an income of about $5,000 a year he became awanderer. He had, or imagined he had, very bad health, and the eminentspecialists he consulted sent him from one resort to another, to Rome,the Isle of Wight, Soden, and the like. When Madame Viardot left thestage in 1864 and took up her residence at Baden-Baden, he followed herand built there a small house for himself. They returned to Franceafter the Franco-Prussian War, and bought a villa at Bougival, nearParis, and this was his home for the rest of his life. Here, onSeptember 3, 1883, he died after a long delirium due to his sufferingfrom cancer of the spinal cord. His body was taken to St. Petersburgand was buried with national honors.

  The two works by Turgenev contained in the present volume arecharacteristic in their concern with social and political questions,and in the prominence in both of them of heroes who fail in action.Turgenev preaches no doctrine in his novels, has no remedy for theuniverse; but he sees clearly certain weaknesses of the Russiancharacter and exposes these with absolute candor yet withoutunkindness. Much as he lived abroad, his books are intensely Russian;yet of the great Russian novelists he alone rivals the masters ofwestern Europe in the matter of form. In economy of means,condensation, felicity of language, and excellence of structure hesurpasses all his countrymen; and "Fathers and Children" and "A Houseof Gentlefolk" represent his great and delicate art at its best.

  W. A. N.

  CRITICISMS AND INTERPRETATIONS