Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/11/09

“November 9, 1818” by Rick Sanders

English: Portrait of Turgenev by Vasily Perov,...

English: Portrait of Turgenev by Vasily Perov, 1872 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Photograph of Turgenev after receivin...

English: Photograph of Turgenev after receiving his Honorary Doctorate in Oxford in 1879 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1818, Ivan Turgenev is born. He is a Russian author and playwright who dies in 1883. Wikipedia speaks of his legacy with the following:

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).[7] 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.[8] 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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