Fathers And Sons
Vividly capturing the hopes and fears, regrets and delusions of a changing Russia around the middle of the nineteenth century, ‘Fathers and Sons’ is Ivan Turgenev’s masterpiece.
When Arkady Petrovich returns home from college, his father finds his eager, naïve son changed almost beyond recognition, for the impressionable Arkady has fallen under the powerful influence of the friend he has brought home with him. A self-proclaimed nihilist, the ardent young Bazarov shocks Arkady’s father with his criticisms of the landowning way of life and his determination to overthrow the traditional values of contemporary society.
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?