Ivan S. Turgenev (1818-1883), Russian poet, playwright and author wrote Fathers and Sons (1862). Its central character Bazarov and his friend Arkady represent the nihilistic tendencies of the younger generation given to western free-thinking and revolt; "A nihilist is a man who does not bow to any authorities, who does not take any principle on trust, no matter with what respect that principle is surrounded." while fathers Vassily and Nikolai, and Pavel represent the older staid and traditional figure of Russia pre Revolution. Love and marriage enters the picture and causes much confusion and re-thinking of old and new values.
Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev was born in Orel province, Russia, on 9 November, 1818. The Turgenevs were wealthy landowners, and when Ivan's father died his domineering and abusive mother oversaw the running of the farms and their serfs. After attending University of St. Petersburg, Turgenev moved to Germany and entered University of Berlin. There he concentrated on studies of history and the philosophy chiefly of Georg W. F. Hegel (1770-1831). After a time working as a civil servant he met French singer Pauline Viardot with whom he had a lifelong affair. He set up residence in France and it was there that he began writing in earnest. Travelling often between Europe and Russia, Turgenev was arrested and imprisoned for suspicious revolutionary activities.
Unlike his contemporaries Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy who wrote on matters of the church and religion, Turgenev focused more on the movement toward social reform. His depictions of Russian 19th century provincial life and its turbulent times of political upheaval were lauded by many fellow authors including Joseph Conrad and Henry James; he was also a great friend to many including French author Gustave Flaubert.
Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev died in exile in Paris on 4 September 1883. As a last wish his remains were taken home and buried in the Volkoff Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Other Turgenev works include;
A Conversation on the Highway (1851),
Recordings Of A Hunter (1852),
A House of Gentlefolk (1859).
Spring Torrents (1872), and
Virgin Soil (1877)
Biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc 2006. All Rights Reserved.
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