A Sportsman's Sketches: Volume 2

Ivan Turgenev
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ISBN 9780571245505 Format Paperback
Published 18/09/2008 Length 290 pages

About Book

A Sportsman's Sketches was a collection of short stories written by Ivan Turgenev in 1852. As Turgenev's first major piece of writing they brought him instant recognition.

Based on his own observations riding around his family's estate the stories explore the difficult lives of the peasants and the Russian system of serfdom. This system came into effect during the 11th century and required the dependency of the peasants on the state. Peasants' mobility was severely restricted and it was made illegal for them to run away from the estates where they worked - they belonged, in essence, to the landowners who could move them to another estate under another landowner while retaining the serf's personal property and family.

While there were many rebellions against serfdom it was only in 1861 that it was finally abolished and all serfs were freed by the Tsar, Alexander II. Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches influenced the Tsar's decision to abolish the system of serfdom in Russia.

Volume Two includes:

Tatyana Borisovna and her Nephew
The Singers
Pyotr Petrovich Karataev
The Tryst
The Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District
Chertopkhanov and Nedopyuskin
The End of Chertopkhanov
Living Relic
The Rattling of Wheels
The Forest and the Steppe

  • About Ivan Turgenev

    Born in Orel in central Russia in 1818 Ivan Turgenev studied at the universities in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Berlin and worked briefly for the civil service before turning to writing. He wrote several novels that examined the social, political and philosophical issues of the time as well as many plays and short stories.

    Living mainly in Baden-Baden and Paris Turgenev was acquainted with a variety of influential writers and met Dickens and Trollope among others on his travels to England. He was widely perceived to be the first major Russian writer to achieve great success in Europe.

    Turgenev died in Paris in 1883.

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  • Translated By: Constance Garnett

    The subtitle of Richard Garnett's biography (reissued in Faber Finds) of his grandmother, Constance Garnett (1861-1946) is A Heroic Life. It couldn't be more apt. She remains the most prolific English translator of Russian literature: twelve volumes of Dostoevsky, five of Gogol, six of Herzen (his complete My Past and Thoughts), seventeen of Tchehov (her spelling), five of Tolstoy, eleven of Turgenev and so on. Many of these will be appearing in Faber Finds. In all she translated over sixty works. It is not, however, the sheer quantity that is to be celebrated, though that in itself is remarkable, it is more the enduring quality of her work. Of course there have been critics - translation is a peculiarly controversial subject, but there have been many more admirers. Tolstoy himself praised her. Of her Turgenev translations, Joseph Conrad said 'Turgeniev (sic) for me is Constance Garnett and Constance Garnett is Turgeniev'. Katherine Mansfield declared the lives of her generation of writers were transformed by Constance Garnett's translations, and H. E. Bates went so far as to say that modern English Literature itself could not have been what it is without her translations.

    This extraordinary achievement was accomplished despite poor health and poor eyesight, the latter being ruined by her labours on War and Peace ,a tragic if fitting sacrifice; hers indeed was A Heroic Life.

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