Fathers and Sons Criticism

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In 1862, when Turgenev first gave the manuscript for Fathers and Sons to his editor Mikhail Nikiforovich Katkov, the Russkii vestnik (Russian Herald) editor was concerned about the potential backlash over the novel.

Katkov had reason to be concerned. As Edward Garnett notes in his Turgenev, "the stormy controversy that the novel immediately provoked was so bitter, deep, and lasting that the episode forms one of the most interesting chapters in literary history." The controversy originated in the interpretation of the novel by the two main political forces in Russia at the time—the older liberals, or reactionaries, from the 1840s who were of Turgenev's generation, and the younger radicals—whom Turgenev called "nihilists" in the novel—of the current, 1860s generation. It was with this second group that Turgenev had found favor with through the publication of some of his earlier works in Sovremennik (Contemporary...

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This section contains 719 words
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