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Virgin Soil (New York Review Books Classics)…
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Virgin Soil (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1877; udgave 1980)

af Ivan Turgenev Ivan Turgenev

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
454942,168 (3.65)41
Turgenev's final novel, Virgin Soil traces the destinies of several middle-class revolutionaries who seek to "go to the people" by working on the land and instilling democratic ideas in the countryside's locals. They include the daydreaming impoverished young tutor Nezhdanov - employed by the liberal councillor Sipyagin and his vain and beautiful wife Valentina - the naive young radical Maryanna and the progressive factory manager Solomin. Their liaisons, intrigues and conspiracies, set against the backdrop of Tsarist Russia, form the matter of Turgenev's most ambitious and elaborate work, which cemented the author's place in the West as Russia's foremost novelist while at the same time proving controversial at home - culminating in the arrest of fifty-two real-life revolutionaries barely a month after it was published.… (mere)
Medlem:rtwinter2
Titel:Virgin Soil (New York Review Books Classics)
Forfattere:Ivan Turgenev Ivan Turgenev
Info:NY (1980), Paperback
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Russian Literature

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Virgin Soil af Ivan Turgenev (1877)

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Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
Beware a book declared a failure by its own foreword. ( )
  gordonhart | Dec 13, 2020 |
I was expecting an upper-class-activists-go-to-live-with-the-peasants sort of book.

This is not that at all.

The upper class activists are here. Are they wealthy? Not seemingly, but they also seem to have money. They are not peasants. This book is more of a satire of these sort of people--from Petersburg, they want to improve the lives of peasants. And they run around passing out pamphlets and generally being ignored by the peasants they are "helping". Or they are being turned in by those peasants. The peasants can't read, and they are busy working or drinking. There is even a noble landowner doing the same thing--who is arrested.

Who is sympathetic to this cause but actually doing something? The factory manager. He has succeeded in starting a school at the factory, and has had some adults taught to read. He believes in small steps that are doable.

So this books is a satire, but it is also a romance. And not a great romance--not that I am a fan of romance. It is here that this book is sad and depressing--the missed and nearly missed pairi9ngs are depressing.

So--it's a fine book with a touch too much romance. Just not what I was expecting and hoping for. I'd prefer less nobles and more peasants. ( )
  Dreesie | Oct 7, 2017 |
‘Virgin Soil’ was Turgenev’s last novel and not his best work by any means, but it’s interesting because it presages the Russian Revolution, shows the dynamics of the class groups involved, and satirizes (or holds a mirror up to) the Russian people of the 1870’s. It was condemned when it was published, and Turgenev was deemed prophetic after 52 real-life revolutionaries were arrested shortly afterwards.

Probably the biggest source of discomfort to those in power was the depiction of noblemen with outdated ideas, and their clinging to power and silly customs. They’d endured the emancipation of the serfs, but now exploited them in other ways, such as loaning them money and charging exorbitant interests, thereby keeping them under their thumbs. In one telling scene, the noblemen have no real understanding of the factory they own, but in the words of one character, “for getting concessions for railroads, founding banks, begging some tax-exemption for themselves, or anything of the sort, none are a match for the gentry.”

The would-be revolutionaries have the right intentions, but have difficulty truly connecting to the peasants they seek to uplift, and the peasants in turn don’t seem to have the intellectual capacity to understand them. In one scene the peasants simply get one of them drunk, as he (somewhat symbolically) has no taste for their alcohol, and no ability to hold it.

So you have the outmoded masters of Russia almost inevitably doomed, the peasants as an ignorant mass, and those who would seek change a bunch of disorganized intellectuals. It’s not a very sanguine picture, though Turgenev offers a ray of hope in the character of Solomin, who is not only smart at running a factory, but who is also steady and stable in his march towards progress, without undue revolutionary rhetoric.

There is a love story, but it’s somewhat simple and uninspiring. The more interesting character is Valentina Mihalovna, a beauty who takes enjoyment out of conquering men with her feminine charms, without the intention of loving them in return. Turgenev demonstrates his understanding of psychology in this and other characters, and does give us some nice imagery at times:

“They walked together to the house, pensive, blissful; the young grass caressed their feet, the young leaves stirred about them; patches of light and shade flittered swiftly over their garments; and they both smiled at the restless frolic of the light, and the merry bluster of the wind, and the fresh glitter of the leaves, and at their own youth and one another.”

I wish there had been more of that sort of thing, which you see in earlier works by Turgenev.

Just one other quote:
“It is a well-known fact, though by no means easy to understand, that Russians are the greatest liars on the face of the earth, and yet there is nothing they respect like truth – nothing attracts them so much.” ( )
1 stem gbill | May 14, 2016 |
Virin Soil is both a love story and social commentary about Russia in the 1800s. Protagonist Nejdanov is a young man trapped between two worlds. He is the illegitimate son of an aristocrat and member of Populism movement. Nejdanov’s struggles parallel the struggles of his county. He is inducted into the movement as a result of his background but he struggles with this identity throughout the book.

I enjoyed this book. I felt great empathy toward Nejdanov and thought that Turgenev was able to present a compassionate picture of a man struggling with his identity and purpose. Turgenev’s frustration with the socio-political climate in Russia at the time is evident throughout the book. He criticizes both the naiveté of the young revolutionaries and the greed and corruption of the aristocrats. The descriptions of both the people and the countryside are rich and beautiful. Overall a very enjoyable book, written in a style that blends humor, compassion, & social commentary. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
I really enjoyed this although I was quite surprised to find that it was actually published and got through the censors in 1871. I was impressed with just how free the writing was on the subject of uprisings and the attempt to bring about a revolution, albeit a doomed one. Put in a historical context, Russia has a history of censorship and those who wished to enlighten others as to the plight of the ordinary peasant or the corruption of the aristocracy had to do so in fairly veiled terms. Dostoevsky was sent to Siberia for being part of a political group (the Petrashevsky circle) only 20 years prior to the publication of Virgin Soil and works of literature were still being scrutinised and censored at the time this was written. A month after the publication of this novel, there was a trial for members of the Populist movement - which certainly gave Turgenev's critics something to attack as he seemed to know an awful lot about it...
Back to the novel. This covers so much and is incredibly dense in subject matter, essentially portraying all strands of society and throwing in love, the importance of belief (to the self as well as to a cause or to religion), sacrifice, honesty, truth and doubt. And yet, it is for the most part light-hearted and flows quickly. I felt this characterised the problems faced by would-be revolutionaries and showed just how quickly doubt can creep in. Nezhdanov starts the novel as the most promising character, disillusioned with Petersburg but true to the nihilist cause. He meets two intriguing women, both of whom captivate him (or at least try to) with different ways. It becomes a love story and Nezhdanov begins to feel torn. His identity struggles become a focus on the book with ideas of belief, sacrifice, the plight of Russia and the Russian peasantry and whether the Russian peasantry actually want to do anything about it all becoming themes. A wide-sweeping, satirical novel that I really enjoyed. I haven't taken any quotes as it was a library book but I definitely feel this belongs on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and would happily read it again (once I've recapped on my history of the 1870s!). ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
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» Tilføj andre forfattere (19 mulige)

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Ivan Turgenevprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Garnett, ConstanceOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hobson, CharlotteIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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At one o'clock on a spring day of 1868, in Petersburg, a man of twent-seven carelessly and shabbily dressed, was mounting the back stairs of a five-storied house in Officers' Street.
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He obviously was trying to lay his hand on their clasped hands, but his hands were dead already.
Fomushka brought out and showed the visitors his favorite carved wood snuff-box, on which it had once been possible to distinguish thirty-six figures in various attitudes; they had long ago been effaced, but Fomushka saw them, saw them still, and could distinguish them and point them out.
The old manservant, Kalliopich, clad in a jerkin of extraordinarily stout cloth with a stand-up collar and tiny steel buttons, announced in a sing-song chant that "dinner is on the table," and dozed standing behind his mistress's chair, all quite in the old style.
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Turgenev's final novel, Virgin Soil traces the destinies of several middle-class revolutionaries who seek to "go to the people" by working on the land and instilling democratic ideas in the countryside's locals. They include the daydreaming impoverished young tutor Nezhdanov - employed by the liberal councillor Sipyagin and his vain and beautiful wife Valentina - the naive young radical Maryanna and the progressive factory manager Solomin. Their liaisons, intrigues and conspiracies, set against the backdrop of Tsarist Russia, form the matter of Turgenev's most ambitious and elaborate work, which cemented the author's place in the West as Russia's foremost novelist while at the same time proving controversial at home - culminating in the arrest of fifty-two real-life revolutionaries barely a month after it was published.

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