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Posts Tagged ‘russianliterature’

Returning to Turgenev after a long break I have reached the extraordinary Smoke (1867). This novel was badly received at the time and does not appear to have been much rehabilitated in the century and a half since its publication. (more…)

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So I return to produce the first monthly miscellany since February. It is my intention under my new regime that these miscellanies will actually be shorter and I will have more individual entries. (more…)

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(This was actually intended for a March Miscellany but I never got around to writing one)

The next Turgenev I read was A Nest of Gentry (1859 – so it actually predated On the Eve). At the core of this book is the doomed love affair between Lavretsky and Liza – an affair which never reaches fruition and has a tragic outcome. Turgenev in this book opposes characters – something he often does but not so blatantly as in this case – Lavretsky and Panshin, Liza and Madame Lavretksy. In both cases the former stand for  ‘Russian’ values which are represented as noble and deep while the latter stand for cosmopolitan/European values which are represented as opportunistic, hedonist and shallow. (more…)

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Two more short Turgenev novels, included in one volume, both very good indeed. Rudin is the tale of an idealist young talker who inspires love in the young Natasha, but when it comes to a question of action (eloping with her in the face of her mother’s disapproval) fails both Natasha and herself. (more…)

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A substantial change to the way in which my life is organised, and especially the time I have available, took place this month when, to my considerable surprise, I was elected Chairperson of the Birmingham LINk (an organisation which seeks to improve the provision of Health and Social Care in Birmingham). I now have to devote considerable amounts of time to this, to a much greater degree than I have done in the past (and that had been steadily increasing). It is now going to be the case that a day without a meeting is an exception rather than the reverse. (more…)

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Overall November has been another good month despite some bad days at the end compounded by a resurgence of back trouble. This month’s miscellany is dominated by television (and quite a bit of it bad television at that!) but that is partly because I have hived off comments on other forms to separate blogs (‘Three Courtesans’ for example), partly because there have been quite a number of programmes which at least looked interesting and partly because the pressure of LINks work has restricted my reading and writing. (more…)

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Continuing with Caryl Churchill I reached Light Shining in Buckinghamshire (1977). I thought from the title that this was likely to be among  my favourite of Churchill’s plays and so it proved. Using her ensemble techniques she covers the radicalization, and then the confrontation with and suppression of the radicals, which occurred during the course of the English Revolution. (more…)

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