Modern Library Classics

Fathers and Sons

Publisher: Modern Library
When Fathers and Sons was first published in Russia, in 1862, it was met with a blaze of controversy about where Turgenev stood in relation to his account of generational misunderstanding. Was he criticizing the worldview of the conservative aesthete, Pavel Kirsanov, and the older generation, or that of the radical, cerebral medical student, Evgenii Bazarov, representing the younger one? The critic Dmitrii Pisarev wrote at the time that the novel "stirs the mind . . . because everything is permeated with the most complete and most touching sincerity." N. N. Strakhov, a close friend of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, praised its "profound vitality." It is this profound vitality in Turgenev's characters that carry his novel of ideas to its rightful place as a work of art and as one of the classics of Russian Literature.

READ AN EXCERPT

“Well, Petr, no sight of him yet?” asked a gentleman about forty years old wearing a short, dusty coat and checkered trousers, standing hatless on the low steps of an inn on the road. It was the twentieth of May 1859. He was addressing his servant, a round-cheeked young man with whitish down on his chin and...
Read More

READING GUIDE

1. How does Arkadii and Bazarov?s relationship change over the course of the novel? Why does Arkadii look up to Bazarov in the beginning? How does he see him by the end?

2. What are the attitudes of Pavel Kirsanov, Anna Odintsova, and Evgenii Bazarov toward notions of time: the past, the present, and the future?...

Read More

PRAISE FOR

"No fiction writer can be read through with a steadier admiration."
--Edmund Wilson