The Torrents of Spring and Other Stories

Ivan Turgenev
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ISBN 9780571245574 Format Paperback
Published 18/09/2008 Length 412 pages

About Book

The Torrents of Spring and Other Stories was written when Turgenev was in his fifties and is considered to be partly autobiographical.

Also known as Spring Torrents, The Torrents of Spring focuses on the main protagonist Dimitry Sanin, a young Russian landowner who on his travels to Germany meets and falls in love with Gemma, an Italian living in Frankfurt. After winning her heart Sanin decides to sell off his estate in Russia and move to Frankfurt to be close to her. However, once back in Russia and away from his fiancée he succumbs to the charms of a sophisticated older woman, Maria Nikolaevna. He breaks off his engagement with Gemma and embarks on an affair with Maria Nikolaevna, knowing that he doesn't truly love her. Years later a successful but lonely man Sanin can't forget Gemma, the love of his life, and is tortured by the thought of what might have been had he not abandoned her. Returning to Frankfurt he searches for Gemma in the hope that she will forgive him.

An exploration of the joy and disappointment of first love, of betrayal, redemption and forgiveness The Torrents of Spring is classic Turgenev.

  • 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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