Fathers and Sons Essay

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In the following excerpt, Lowe traces elements of both comedy and tragedy in Turgenev's novel.

Sometime during the first months of 1862 Afanasy Fet sent Turgenev his reactions to Father and Sons. Fet's letter is not extant, but we do have Turgenev's reply, and it reinforces the often expressed conviction that one ought not to pay too much attention to what writers have to say about their own works. In the letter of April 6/18, 1862, Turgenev writes: "You also mention parallelism; but where is it, allow me to ask, and where are these pairs, believing and unbelieving?" . . . [In] spite of Turgenev's protests parallelism is one of the two basic principles at work in the novel. The other is contrast. No doubt there are few works in world literature that do not depend to some extent on parallels and contrasts for the building blocks that hold them together and give them...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 4,958 words
(approx. 13 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fathers and Sons Study Guide
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