The Same Old Story
Translated by Stephen Pearl
Filled with dreams of pursuing a career as a poet, the young Alexander Aduev moves from the country to St Petersburg, where he takes up lodgings next to his uncle Pyotr, a shrewd and world-weary businessman. As his ideals are challenged by disappointment in the fields of love, friendship and poetical ambition, Alexander must decide whether to return to the homely values he has left behind or adapt to the ruthless rules and morals of city life.
Told in the author’s trademark humorous style and presented in a sparkling new translation by Stephen Pearl, The Same Old Story – Goncharov’s first novel, preceding his masterpiece Oblomov by twelve years – is a study of lost illusions and rude spiritual awakening in the modern world.
This book made Goncharov famous in Russia. And from half a continent and three lifetimes away he can still make new readers laugh and gasp with recognition over timeless human foibles.
Reading The Same Old Story conveys the pleasure of an overheard conversation
An entertaining and thought-provoking read.
Shiny New Books
Goncharov is ten heads above me in talent.
That Stephen Pearl has been able to recreate such an authentic representation of the text that … evokes the epoch it was written in its diction and rhythm as well as being extremely ‘readable’ for contemporary readers pronounces this translation to be an admirable accomplishment.
Ivan Goncharov (1812–91) was a Russian official, novelist, critic and travel writer, who is best remembered for his masterpiece Oblomov.