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The Diary of a Superfluous Man and Other Stories

Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Constance Garnett
Date Published
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‘That night I went home to my lodgings in a state of perfect ecstasy … I felt supremely happy, and was already making all sorts of plans in my head. If someone had whispered in my ear then: “You’re raving, my dear chap! That’s not a bit what’s in store for you. What’s in store for you is to die all alone, in a wretched little cottage, amid the insufferable grumbling of an old hag who will await your death with impatience to sell your boots for a few coppers … !”‘

Turgenev’s hopeless protagonist, at the end of his life, can only truthfully define himself as ‘superfluous,’ and relates the tale of the failed romance that confirmed him in that unfortunate opinion. Turgenev’s virtuosic account of a man thoroughly undermined by himself, tormented by jealousy and love, but who is, ultimately, nothing more than superfluous.

This volume of five tales also includes A Tour in the Forest, Yakov Pasinkov, Andrei Kolosov and A Correspondence, in Constance Garnett’s classic 1899 translation.


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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