Download Oblomov and His Creator: The Life and Art of Ivan Goncharov by Milton Ehre PDF

By Milton Ehre

Goncharov's novels were renowned in Russia due to the fact their booklet, and Oblomov, the critical personality of his most famed novel, has turn into the prototype of a fats and lazy guy. Milton Ehre bargains new interpretations of the advanced character of Goncharov and exhibits how in lots of methods Oblomov was once a self-portrait of his author. The introductory bankruptcy neither idealizes Goncharov nor glosses over his weaknesses yet exhibits a delicate knowing of this significant nineteenth-century Russian writer.

the writer is going past the normal severe clichés approximately Goncharov to a latest interpreting of his complete inventive creation. continuing from the idea that meanings in artwork are in detail concerning varieties, he discusses Goncharov's works with shut awareness to type, constitution, and differences of style, to reach at an figuring out of Goncharov's subject matters and his view of expertise. Milton Ehre's vast wisdom of the Russian literature on Goncharov and his personal literary sensitivity mix to supply a brand new knowing of Goncharov and his novels.

Originally released in 1974.

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Additional info for Oblomov and His Creator: The Life and Art of Ivan Goncharov (Studies of the Russian Institute)

Sample text

However, since radical criticism in Russia wielded an influence over the reading public disproportionate to the actual number of committed revolutionaries, writers of Goncharov's generation could now anticipate a reception that was at least wary when it was not hostile. In the politically overheated atmosphere of the period, a writer's politics or "tendency" became of prime importance not only for the young radicals but for their enemies on the right as well. Confronted with a radical criticism and its social demand that literature serve the cause of progress and revolution, surrounded in the government service by conservatives and some reactionaries who exerted pressure from the opposite direction, Goncharov felt increasingly isolated: " T h e young do not forgive you for remaining a man of ycur age, epoch, upbringing, and customs.

H e gives up many of his best moments and joys in exchange for griefs, dry labors, and endeavors which are alien to the soul. As much as one might like to, how boring it is to live for others! . T h e other half is not like that. There is no antlike bustling or mouselike scurrying about for the common good in it. There you cease to live for all and live for yourself, not with your head alone, but with the soul and the heart and the mind together. T h a t half is the esthetic: there is expanse for the heart in it, which is opened to tender impressions, expanse for sweet thoughts, for disquieting sensations and tempests, which are also not intellectual and political, but tempests of the soul that freshen the burden of a dull existence.

For one, Goncharov had to work for a living. I n 1834, the year of his graduation from Moscow U n i versity, he began a career in the Russian bureaucracy that almost paralleled his literary career. T h e bureaucrat finally retired from the service in 1867 after steadily rising through its ranks, and the writer completed his final novel a year later. *5 His responsibilities in the service turned him into a part-time writer, working mostly during his summer vacations and spending many years on a relatively small corpus.

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