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Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Constance Garnett
Date Published
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The first of Turgenev’s social novels, Rudin was first translated by Constance Garnett into English in 1894.

The main protagonist Dmitri Rudin is a representative of men of that time, being knowledgeable and enthusiastic about new ideas and the search for truth. As S. Stepniak states in his introduction to the text in 1894 Rudin’s ‘enthusiasm is contagious because it is sincere, and his eloquence is convincing because devotion to his ideals is an absorbing passion with him. He would die for them, and, what is more rare, he would not swerve a hair’s-breadth from them for any worldly advantage, or for fear of any hardship’. Despite this Rudin’s enthusiasms and attachments lack warmth and compassion. He views the world and its people through the books he has studied and at the first test to his strength of purpose he fails.

Dmitri Rudin remains therefore a character full of contradictions but it is these contradictions that make him real and one of Turgenev’s greatest achievements.


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…

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