8 best works of Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev – a famous classic of Russian literature, publicist, poet and talented translator. He made a considerable contribution to the cultivation of Russian literature in Europe – thanks to him Western European society met with domestic writers. Being a wealthy nobleman, Turgenev a lot spent time abroad, making important contacts in literary environment and showing his writing talent. Each the work of this prose master is worth reading and careful analysis, because Turgenev laid in his characters something more than just human passions.

The great realist writer: 8 of the best works of Turgenev

Nomination a place Composition rating
Overview of the best works of Turgenev 1 “Notes of the hunter” , 1852 год 5.0
2 “Noble Nest” , 1856-1858 годы 4.9
3 “Fathers and Sons” , 1962 год 4.8
4 “Asya” , 1857 год 4.7
5 “Mu Mu” , 1854 год 4.6
6 Rudin , 1855 год 4.5
7 “First love” , 1860 год 4.4
8 “On the eve” , 1859 год 4.3

“Notes of the hunter” , 1852 год

Rating: 5.0

Записки охотника

Speaking of this cult work of the Russian master of realism, it is necessary to take into account several factors that had a significant impact on his worldview: the attitude of the mother and her despotism towards serf, as well as his valet, who, by the way, was also serfs. Although Turgenev’s mother was a well-read woman, enlightened in many matters, distinguished by a tyrannical character, which was manifested in the physical punishment of their own children and cruel relationship with serfs.

Little Ivan deeply absorbed the negative experience of those difficult years, remembered how hard it was for ordinary peasants, and when this forever fell in love with the works of venerable Russian classics literature, such as Pushkin, Lermontov, Zhukovsky, etc. And for that thanks must be given to his mother, who, from childhood, instilled future genius of prose, love of literature.

The title of the work is not accidental: Turgenev himself was passionate hunter and was considered one of the best in this matter in the whole empire. Many kilometers were emptied by him along the Oryol, Tula, Kaluga provinces with a gun and a hunting bag behind his back. The writer talked with ordinary people without hesitation, listened carefully about life in those parts, remembered the advice of experienced hunters, I enjoyed the beauty and diversity of Russian nature.

The basis of the “Notes of the hunter” lay the life of the Russian people: without embellishment, exaggeration or speculation. Traced here the style is incredibly original: it is simple, concise, interesting. Turgenev practically does not evaluate what is happening in the work events, he only shows real realism, tragedy serfdom.

The cycle is represented by 25 stories, some of which can be call, rather, essays. Each has its own heroes, its own events. But one theme is clearly traced in all – the beauty of Russian nature and incredible love for her author.

“Noble Nest” , 1856-1858 годы

Rating: 4.9

Дворянское гнездо

The first mention of the novel appeared in October 1856, when Turgenev wrote to publisher Panaev about his idea to create a new composition. But the writer’s illness brought its own corrections: all winter he lay in bed, and then completely destroyed the first drafts, starting work on a completely different story.

The novel is based on the author’s thoughts on the most worthy representatives of the Russian nobility and their family “nests”. Turgenev perfectly understood and wanted to convey the idea that such “nests” with their elevated atmosphere are gradually fading into the past. No wonder the genealogy of the heroes is given in detail in the novel. In the main of them – Fedor Lavretsky – Turgenev partially saw himself. Generic the nest – a symbol of the homeland – is abandoned. Contemporaries of the writer also preferred to live long abroad, quickly adopting strangers traditions.

The plot focuses on the nobleman Fedor Lavretsky: honest, sincere loving his homeland, seeking to rationally use his opportunities. “Spartan” parenting and the influence of a power-hungry, brutal aunt contributed to the fact that Lavretsky acquired good health and a harsh appearance, but at the same time remained shy and simple inside.

His prudent wife Barbara sees in him only a fool, wealth which can be easily used. For him, she is the first deep feeling and, in a fit of which he agrees to move to France, where Barbara cheats on him with a Frenchman.

Learning about this by pure chance, Fedor makes a decision come back, trampled, disappointed in women, not trusting anyone. And this is only halfway, because in the family estate a new test awaits him, a new love – Lisa, and a new collapse.

The novel is built absolutely straightforwardly. This is, first of all, the story of the deep and miserable love of Lisa and Fedor, their downfall hopes that clearly echoes the social collapse of the nobility in Of Russia.

The novel was widely recognized: it was warmly received as simple readers and critics, deeply influencing Russian society in whole. In fact, do not read the “Noble Nest” at that time was considered bad manners.

“Fathers and Sons” , 1962 год

Rating: 4.8

Отцы и дети

In Russia, the 60s of the XIX century became a real test. It was the period marking the beginning of global changes in society: going to the people, revolutionary democrats, etc. These are just such important moments and touched in the work of the great classic. It is noteworthy that the novel was published during the period of exacerbation class struggle. In St. Petersburg, then mass unrest began, fires, arrests – the release of the book has become another subject of fierce disputes.

The novel was written a year after the abolition of serfdom, but it describes the events of the period when serfdom only survived the crisis. Turgenev not in vain used on the pages works exact dates – May 1859 and winter 1860. Exactly then a new type of leader appears in the empire – a democrat who prefers to promote change in society not in word but in business.

The protagonist of the novel – Evgeny Bazarov – in fact, a representative just the nascent kind of “people of business.” He is fundamentally different from all the other characters (and it’s not just that he non-noble origin) and this is immediately noticed in the details. Despite the deliberate rudeness of manners, he is committed to change, acts – unlike the surrounding nobles who are mired in emptiness, licentiousness, as if frozen.

The hero is gradually revealed, even for himself. Falling in love with rich widow Odintsova, he finds in her faithful companion and excellent companion. Having failed in love, Bazarov plunges headlong into work, but here he is alone: he has students, but they are more like imitators – with joyfully accepted nihilism, but they are not building anything new.

The fate of the protagonist ends tragically – it caused many contemporaries are perplexed. But, according to the author himself, Bazarov is a man of the new era, whose representatives are still old not ready to accept. And the death met by Bazarov with dignity – that’s where is the true manifestation of his character.

Asya , 1857 год

Rating: 4.7


The Test of Love is one of the most powerful and often touched upon in Russian literature. After all, few understand that to fall in love means not only to immerse oneself in one’s feelings, but also accept responsibility for the future life of his chosen one. “Asya” is a deeply sad story – after all, this is a story about failed love. In the center of the plot are two characters: Asya and a nameless young man whose life she breaks into swirl.

From the first minute of meeting the protagonist is amazed Anna’s amazing character: she is incredibly agile, changeable in your behavior. Until the age of 13, the girl did not suspect about its origin. After her mother’s death, she is taken to the master’s house and make a young lady out of her: dress, teach science, respectfully relate. Asya is gradually accepting her new position, but begins to be ashamed of his mother and father-lord. It flows into distrust of all and growing pride. She seeks solace in books.

The main character of the story N.N. is at the beginning of his life ways: everything is new to him, everything is interesting. But life and life of other people pass by without touching him deeply … before meeting Asya. After spending only a few days with her, the hero feels happiness and does not realizes that this is a harbinger of love.

But, having felt the need to be close to Asey, N.N. begins to feel annoyed: he is too much devotes time to her. And after the girl’s half-brother declares that she loves the main character, but that will never be her husband, and does say: “Marry a seventeen-year-old girl with her temper, how can this be! “After that, Asi’s love ceases him to please and on a date that the girl herself appoints him, he directly accuses her of everything: she did not allow his feeling to develop, and in vain the first told about everything to the brother.

Shocked by such accusations, Asya runs away, and the hero suddenly realizes that he made a mistake and really loves it. But change nothing is impossible: the next day the girl leaves and N.N. never can find her. And although after that he had hobbies, feelings, like this, he never experienced again. “Convicted on loneliness … “the hero lived out his years sadly, miserable.

“Mu Mu” , 1854 год

Rating: 4.6


Ivan Turgenev was the son of an imperious and cruel woman. His mother Varvara Petrovna experienced in her childhood the early death of her mother, dislike stepfather, quarrel with uncle. Nevertheless, he bequeaths to her considerable inheritance, and after his death she becomes a full-fledged mistress a huge estate and many serf souls. And then she gives complete freedom to all his whims, avenging for ruined youth, Hard childhood. But her children and forced laborers suffer from this. people.

Turgenev himself recalled that in the house almost no day passed without punishment with rods: they beat both serfs and children mistresses. In the future, the writer used it as prototype of the main character of the story – Saltychikha. And this not surprising, because a similar story happened on really.

Turgenev’s younger sister recalled that once her mother saw in field of a strong man plowing the earth, and wished to take him to her janitor. The name of this man was Andrei (he was given the nickname Mute). Andrei quickly became the lady’s favorite, wore cum shirt, and he really had a little dog that he drowned by the order of the lady. That’s just the end of this story is absolutely not such as it is shown in the story.

In reality, Andrei was a clogged, limp creature that It was quite enough of its existence, albeit a slave. AND when the mistress ordered to take the life of a little four-legged friend, the serf not only did not hesitate to do this, but remained continue to live on the estate, having forgiven the lady for a minute of anger.

Turgenevsky Gerasim, after drowning Mumu, did not want to to remain there as a slave dutifully demolishing any bullying. He chose the path of a free, worthy man, self-aware personality. 21st Century People May Be Hard understand what it meant at that time to leave the owner who could sell, beat, lose to cards, and in case of escape to shackle in shackles or even kill.

Gerasim’s departure from Saltychikha is a peculiar gesture of the author, showing how a slave stopped feeling like a dumb cattle and became a real person.

Rudin , 1855 год

Rating: 4.5


The theme of “extra person” is touched by the writer in the novel very skillfully and shown just expertly. Carrier of such a problem in Dmitry Rudin stands for the work – controversial, mysterious nature that immediately appeals to almost everyone who meets on the way.

The action of the novel takes place on the estate of Daria Lasunsky, where the main character arrives at a dinner party instead of his friend. Right away it captures the attention of all women, and some men (partly by for this reason) makes his enemies. But if at the first meeting almost all guests greet him admiringly, over time notes admiration begins to sound less and less: criticism of the Rudina, his negative traits are gradually manifested.

The other side reveals the other side of the character Main character. It turns out that he is characterized by vanity, pettiness, cruelty, a tendency to manipulate people. Rudin is not capable loyally love, and indeed deep human feelings for him alien. Events in the novel unfold in a short space time. The 17-year-old daughter of the owner falls in love with Dmitry Rudin estates Lasunka – Natalia.

But their relationship lasts only a couple of months: the romance comes the sudden end when Pandalevsky was taking root at home was hunting down a couple and reports to the hostess about everything. Scandal flares up, after which Rudin cowardly escapes from the estate. But this is not the story ends. The reader will have to fully know the fate of the main a hero.

Oddly enough, but, unlike Dmitry Rudin, almost all characters of the novel are well arranged in life. But not the main one hero. After breaking up with Natalia, the author shows Rudin another twice: in the Russian outback, and then in Paris. Character constantly is in wandering, his character is radically changing. All the petty things for him go by the wayside: he longs to do good, but his noble impulses are barren.

The reader sees a completely different hero – a tragic one. He is an extra person who wants to serve the good, but not from fate leave, so the setbacks follow Rudin on the heels. His life ends no less tragically: he dies in French barricades.

“First love” , 1860 год

Rating: 4.4

Первая любовь

The story is a significant phenomenon not only in Turgenev’s work, but and in all of Russian classical literature. This work is one of the most unusual in the plot, spelled incredibly accurate and subtle. Critics believe that the writer himself is at the center of the story. the story he told was taken from his own life, like main characters.

The main character of the story is Vladimir Petrovich, a man aged which is located in a company that decided to share with each other first love stories. He refuses an oral story, promising to write a story and read it the next day, and that does. It is noteworthy that the reaction of listeners to the story is not shown.

The plot describes the life of a married noble couple whose the union was not made for love. Spouse is much older, has good business acumen, skillfully manages the household. Husband – charming handsome man, a favorite of ladies, far from any family issues. Their son is young Vladimir Petrovich (it is believed that the prototype was Turgenev himself). He is preparing for exams for admission to the university. But his thoughts are far from learning: young blood excite thoughts of a stranger.

And, indeed, after a while he meets her. Princess Zasekina from a neighboring estate – a beauty with a magnetic character – is surrounded by fans and plays with them, feeling your power. The young master also falls into this circle. He instantly forgets everything and thinks only of the princess, gradually into her falling in love. But over time, Vladimir realizes that someone has Zasekina there is. And one day a young man becomes an accidental witness to a conversation Princesses with their father. In a fit of anger, he hits her hand with a whip, and she only dutifully presses the place of the blow to her lips.

At this moment, the protagonist realizes that the princess’s feelings for him father is truly deep and incomprehensible, and he has only a romantic passion. Soon his father passed away from a blow, and the princess came out for another, and after 4 years dies during childbirth. Amazing fact that the young man has no resentment at the parent and beloved in his soul. is he realizes the greatness of the love that was between them.

“On the eve” , 1859 год

Rating: 4.3


After creating a whole series of characters who have become a name household, Turgenev needed a new hero who would be active and ready to move from words (as Rudin did) to action. The 60s, during which the novel was created, demanded precisely such people – decisive and persistent.

When Turgenev had his first thoughts on a new novel, his a neighbor, leaving for the Crimea, gave him an autobiographical manuscript works where one of the heroes was a Bulgarian revolutionary. TO the writer turned to work on the manuscript only after 5 years (to its author has already died).

So the protagonist of the work turned out to be a real prototype – Nikolay Katranov, who came from Bulgaria to enter metropolitan university. Against the backdrop of the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish war, revolutionary mood awakens him (Bulgarians have long fought against the Turkish yoke). Katranov goes home with Russian wife, but because of an outbreak of tuberculosis he has to leave for treatment to Venice, where he dies.

In the novel, the role of Katranov is Insarov – strong-willed, a determined person with iron self-control. Is he – practical person, and, unlike other characters in the work – contemplative natures, he is active. The main character is Elena Stakhova – can’t choose the chosen one, which she can become a young scientist, a beginner sculptor, a distant relative of his mother, successful official or revolutionary.

At the same time, Stakhova appears in the novel, including as a symbol – a symbol of young Russia, which is on the verge of change and cannot make a choice. Her choice is the answer a country should receive in the era of the 60s. And she chooses the revolutionary Insarov. Young people see in their love a combination of personal and social, spirituality, a general desire for a higher goal.

On the other hand, they are tormented by a feeling of inexcusability own happiness. So, Elena thinks about whether it’s compatible a great good deed with the grief of her mother, remaining in full loneliness at home. And Insarov, seriously ill, reflects on whether the disease was sent to him as punishment. So gradually a just cause and love go in different ways.

The ending of the novel is tragic. The main character dies, leaving a young spouse devastated, at the crossroads of his own soul. Mother Nature spares no one, with absolute calmness taking away and simple mortal, and outstanding hero. Turgenev wants to show the eternal the desire of man for excellence and his challenge to “indifferent nature. ”

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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