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The Diary of a Superfluous Man

By Ivan Turgenev

Translated by Michael Pursglove

ISBN: 9781847497628

224 pages

Paperback

RRP: £8.99 £4.50

Driven to his deathbed by an incurable disease, the thirty-year-old impoverished gentleman Chulkaturin decides to write a diary looking back on his short life. After describing his youthful disillusionment and his family’s fall from grace and loss of status, the narrative focuses on his love for Liza, the daughter of a senior civil servant, his rivalry with the dashing Prince N. and his ensuing humiliation. These pages helped establish the archetype of the “superfluous man”, a recurring figure in nineteenth-century Russian literature.

First published in 1850, ‘The Diary of a Superfluous Man’ was initially censored by the authorities, as some of its passages were deemed too critical of Russian society. This volume also includes two other masterly novellas, also touching on the theme of disappointed love: ‘Asya’ and ‘First Love’.

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  • Turgenev to me is the greatest writer there ever was.

    Ernest Hemingway

Ivan Turgenev

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.

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