The Diary of a Superfluous Man

The Diary of a Superfluous Man

by Ivan Turgenev


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"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 Details

ISBN-13: 9783732637287
Publisher: Outlook Verlag
Publication date: 04/07/2018
Pages: 152
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818 - 1883) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, translator and popularizer of Russian literature in the West. His first major publication, a short story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches (1852), was a milestone of Russian realism and his novel Fathers and Sons (1862) is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction. Turgenev's artistic purity made him a favorite of like-minded novelists of the next generation, such as Henry James and Joseph Conrad, both of whom greatly preferred Turgenev to Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. James, who wrote no fewer than five critical essays on Turgenev's work, claimed that "his merit of form is of the first order" (1873) and praised his "exquisite delicacy", which "makes too many of his rivals appear to hold us, in comparison, by violent means and introduce us, in comparison, to vulgar things" (1896). Vladimir Nabokov, notorious for his casual dismissal of many great writers, praised Turgenev's "plastic musical flowing prose", but criticized his "labored epilogues" and "banal handling of plots". Nabokov stated that Turgenev "is not a great writer, though a pleasant one" and ranked him fourth among nineteenth-century Russian prose writers, behind Tolstoy, Gogol and Anton Chekhov, but ahead of Dostoyevsky. His idealistic ideas about love, specifically the devotion a wife should show her husband, were cynically referred to by characters in Chekhov's "An Anonymous Story".

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The Diary of a Superfluous Man 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
wrmjr66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago