All posts tagged Turgenev

Russian thought lecture 4: Nihilism and the birth of Russian radicalism: from science to art

Readings: Nikolai Chernyshevsky, extracts from “The Anthropological Principle in Philosophy” (1860); Dmitry Pisarev, “The Realists” (1864) and “The Thinking Proletariat” (1865) We’re now moving away from the debate that arose initially out of Chaadaev’s “First Philosophical Letter” and dominated Russian intellectual life in the 1830s and 1840s. In the next generation a different set of […]

In Herzen’s footsteps: a visit to Ventnor

You never quite know where your research is going to take you, but I have to admit I didn’t expect it to be to the Isle of Wight. That, however, is where I ended up a couple of months ago as a result of my Russians in London post on Alexander Herzen, after I was […]

E. H. Carr on women

I’ve been re-reading parts of E. H. Carr’s The Romantic Exiles (1933) in preparation for a couple of forthcoming posts on Alexander Herzen, and it’s left an unpleasant taste that I have to address before I can even get onto Herzen. Clearly I’m far from being the first person to take issue with Carr – Norman […]

Top ten beards in Russian literature

I know I said I’d write another post about Mapping Petersburg, but I’m still thinking about that, so in the mean time, another top ten. But this time it is not the works, but the writers themselves, and specifically their facial adornments, that interest me. Beards, as Elif Batuman has affirmed, are hugely important to […]

Top Ten Animals in Russian Literature

As I have suggested previously, animals have a significant place in Russian literature, and I think this is quite unusual, probably reflecting the greater proximity of Russia literature to its folklore roots than is the case with other literary cultures. Although obviously children’s stories in English (as in other languages), are full of animal characters, […]

Russians in London: Russian and Jewish radicals

In this post, the penultimate in the series, instead of focusing on a single figure, I’m going to explore one of the lines that connects Russian radicals, and in particular their agitational/publishing activities, to the work of their Russian-Jewish counterparts. Some may suggest that this stretches the definition of ‘Russians’ too far, as Jews would […]

Russians in London: Turgenev

In the history of Russians in London, Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883) in many ways acts as a transitional figure, because although most of his visits were quite short (except during the Franco-Prussian war, when he decamped to England for a year), they were frequent, and span a much longer period than those of his contemporaries. He […]

Russians in London: Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky left St Petersburg for his first trip to Europe on 7th June 1862. He spent most of his time in France and Italy, but also visited London for 8 days – his only trip to Britain – arriving on 9th July (Dryzhakov, p. 328). Like many other writers, one of his chief aims was […]

Russians in London: Alexander Herzen, with a note on Nikolai Ogarev

When researching the history of Russians in London, Alexander Herzen presents a considerable problem. He is without doubt the most significant of all the writers and activists who visited London in the nineteenth century, not only because he settled in the capital for some years (1852-64), but also because many of his compatriots — Turgenev, […]

Russians in London: Introduction

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of posts entitled ‘Russians in London’. The project came to mind when I was researching Dostoevsky and the Crystal Palace earlier this year. I started thinking about his description of Whitechapel and the Haymarket in Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, and imagined him haunting […]