Dmitry Rudin, a high-minded gentleman of reduced means, arrives at the estate of Darya Mikhailovna, where his intelligence, eloquence and conviction immediately make a powerful impression. As he stays on longer than intended, Rudin exerts a strong influence on the younger generation, and Darya’s daughter, Natalya, falls in love with him. But circumstances soon will show whether Rudin has the courage to act on his beliefs, and whether he can live up to the image he has created for himself.
Rudin, Turgenev’s first novel, is a subtle examination of human weakness which foreshadows many of the themes in the author’s later work, with its lead character personifying the type of the “superfluous man” which came to dominate much of the literature of nineteenth-century Russia.
Rudin enters the familiar Turgenevian landscape of rustic tranquillity and well-bred, private contumely like a thunderbolt.
Turgenev’s little-known first novel Rudin, written in 1856, centres on an excessively self-indulgent man and his doomed relationship with the daughter of his aristocratic hostess. It’s an impressive debut, with complex psychology and subtle characterization.
These two translations of Ivan Turgenev's earliest long fiction [Faust and Rudin] are a welcome sign of renewed interest in Russia's least-appreciated great nineteenth century novelist.
Turgenev to me is the greatest writer there ever was.
Ivan Turgenev (1818–83) was a novelist, poet and dramatist, and now ranks as one of the towering figures of Russian literature. His masterpiece, Fathers and Children, is considered one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.