TURGHENEFF, the novelist, who will certainly live in his writings for many generations, has rendered himself immortal by a single word. It was he who invented 'Nihilism.' At first the word was used in a contemptuous sense, but afterwards was accepted from party pride by those against whom it was employed, as so frequently has occurred in history.
There would be no need to mention this but for the fact that in Europe the party called by this name was not that thus called in Russia, but another completely different.
The genuine Nihilism was a philosophical and literary movement, which flourished in the first decade after the Emancipation of the Serfs, that is to say, between 1860 and 1870. It is now absolutely extinct, and only a few traces are left of it, which are rapidly disappearing; for, with the feverish life of the last few years, a decade in Russia may really be considered as a period of at least from thirty to fifty years.
Nihilism was a struggle for the emancipation of intelligence from every kind of dependence, and it advanced
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Publication information: Book title: Underground Russia:Revolutionary Profiles and Sketches from Life. Contributors: Stepniak - Author. Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1883. Page number: 3.
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