"The doctor has just left me. At last I have got at something definite! For all his cunning, he had to speak out at last. Yes, I am soon, very soon, to die. The frozen rivers will break up, and with the last snow I shall, most likely, swim away . . . whither? God knows! To the ocean too. Well, well, since one must die, one may as well die in the spring. But isn't it absurd to begin a diary a fortnight, perhaps, before death?" Thus begins DIARY OF A SUPERFLUOUS MAN by Russian classical author Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883).
|Product dimensions:||5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.35(d)|
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This is a moving novella. The premise is that the diarist is on his deathbed and resolves to write about his life to prove that he is superfluous. He doesn't make it far before he gets to the issue that really bothers him--a love affair from earlier in his life. As he recounts the story over a series of diary entries, his present condition casts a pall over the tale, and he comes off as maudlin rather than tragic.This is my first work by Turgenev, and I found it to be an interesting psychological study. The novella plays on the concept of the deathbed confession or the "unfinished business" that many people who are dying need to resolve. It's a quick read, and there aren't a ton of characters to confuse (as can sometimes happen in Russian novels). I recommend it very much.