Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist, a Study

Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist, a Study

Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist, a Study

Turgenev: The Novelist's Novelist, a Study

Excerpt

In the transliteration of Russian words and names I have tried to be as simple as possible, using an approximate phonetic equivalent in English where there is no alphabetical equivalent (i.e. kh for Russian X, shch for Russian III, etc.). Where the Russian letter 'e' stands in initial position or is preceded by another vowel, I have inserted a 'y' (i.e. Yelena, Dostoyevsky). I have also used 'y' to express the Russian И + ̄ and Ы and, as is usual, И and й in a final position in attributives and proper names. The soft sign has been expressed by an apostrophe, although I have omitted this in such names as Gogol, Gorky, Ryazan. I have preferred, however, to use Eugene Onegin rather than Yevgeny Onegin.

In translating the Russian term zapadnik I have chosen to use Westernist, rather than Westerner or Westernizer, which are sometimes used. Westerner has an ambiguous meaning in English-- meaning either one who adheres to Western beliefs or comes from the West--while Westernizer has an oddly old-fashioned ring. In using the term Westernist I have attempted to invoke only the one meaning as it applies to Turgenev--that is to say, as a Russian who adhered to Western beliefs and European principles.

In giving dates I have indicated when they refer to the Old Style (in the nineteenth century the Russian calendar was twelve days behind the Gregorian) by inserting O.S. in brackets. When Turgenev in his correspondence put two dates, I have usually offered both.

The extracts from Turgenev's work quoted in the text are in my own translation, based on definitive Soviet editions. I have translated myself in order to ensure what--I hope--is reasonable accuracy, though I do not wish to claim that my translations have any special merit. For this reason, I have not given specific references to the Russian sources of Turgenev's fiction, believing that these can easily be identified in the many translations of Turgenev's fictional works which are now available. Source references are only given for his non-fictional works and for his correspondence. Places of publication of English, French and Russian works referred to in the notes are London, Paris and Moscow respectively unless otherwise indicated.

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