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The Torrents of Spring and Other Stories

Ivan Turgenev
Translated by Constance Garnett
Date Published
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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.


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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