Despite the influence of Belinsky, he remained a writer of remarkable detachment, possessed of a cool and sometimes ironic objectivity.
Turgenev was not a man of grand passions, although the love story was to provide the most common formula for his fiction, and a love for the renowned singer Pauline Viardot , whom he first met in , was to dominate his entire life. His relation with Viardot usually has been considered platonic , yet some of his letters, often as brilliant in their observation and as felicitous in their manner as anything he wrote, suggest the existence of a greater intimacy.
Generally, though, they reveal him as the fond and devoted admirer, in which role he was for the most part content. He never married, though in he had had an illegitimate daughter by a peasant woman at Spasskoye; he later entrusted the upbringing of the child to Viardot. During the s, Turgenev wrote more long poems, including A Conversation, Andrey, and The Landowner, and some criticism.
Having failed to obtain a professorship at the University of St. Petersburg and having abandoned work in the government service, he began to publish short works in prose.
Simultaneously, he tried his hand at writing plays, some, like A Poor Gentleman , rather obviously imitative of the Russian master Nikolay Gogol. Of these, The Bachelor was the only one staged at this time, the others falling afoul of the official censors.http://esportsify.net/spotlight-on-research-2017.php
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Others of a more intimately penetrating character, such as One May Spin a Thread Too Finely , led to the detailed psychological studies in his dramatic masterpiece, A Month in the Country This was not staged professionally until Without precedent in the Russian theatre, it required for its appreciation by critics and audiences the prior success after of the plays of Anton Chekhov at the Moscow Art Theatre.
It was there in , under the great director Konstantin Stanislavsky , that it was revealed as one of the major works of the Russian theatre. Many of the sketches portrayed various types of landowners or episodes, drawn from his experience, of the life of the manorial, serf-owning Russian gentry. Turgenev could never pretend to be much more than an understanding stranger toward the peasants about whom he wrote, yet through his compassionate, lucid observation, he created portraits of enormous vitality and wide impact.
Not only did they make the predominantly upper class reading public aware of the human qualities of the peasantry, but they also may have been influential in provoking the sentiment for reform that led eventually to the emancipation of the serfs in When the first collected edition appeared, after appearing separately in various issues of the Sovremennik, Turgenev was arrested, detained for a month in St.
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Petersburg, then given 18 months of enforced residence at Spasskoye. The ostensible pretext for such official harrassment was an obituary of Gogol, which he had published against censorship regulations.
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