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Common Story

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By: (1812-1891)

Common Story by Ivan Goncharov is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships and the struggle to find meaning in life. The story follows the journey of a young man named Alexander Aduyev as he navigates the ups and downs of love, family, and ambition.

Goncharov's writing is rich and immersive, drawing readers into the world of 19th century Russia with vivid descriptions and well-developed characters. The protagonist's inner turmoil and conflicting desires are expertly portrayed, making him a relatable and compelling figure.

The novel explores themes of societal expectations, personal identity, and the search for happiness, offering poignant reflections on the human experience. While the pacing may be slow at times, the depth of emotion and philosophical musings woven throughout the narrative make for a satisfying and thought-provoking read.

Overall, Common Story is a timeless classic that resonates with readers long after the final page is turned. Goncharov's exploration of the human condition is both poignant and profound, making this novel a must-read for anyone interested in the intricacies of the human psyche.

Book Description:
Alexander Fedoritch Adouev is the naïve, pampered son of Anna Pavlovna, a provincial landowner. He decides to go off to Saint Petersburg, not only to make his mark upon society but also to fulfill his two rosy romantic dreams of becoming a great writer and finding a great love. He is taken under the reluctant wing of his uncle, Piotr Ivanitch Adouev, a pragmatic, hard-headed businessman who scorns everything romantic and tries to cure Alexander Fedoritch of his sentimental, youthful illusions. The younger Adouev resists the indoctrinations of the elder, writing prosaic articles about manure and crop rotation for an agricultural journal as a way of supporting himself but spending his nights writing passionate works of poetry and drama. In quest of True Love, he pursues in turn the rustic Sophia, the perfidious Nadinka, the melancholy Julia, the sprightlike Liza, and even (implicitly) the wise and beautiful Lizaveta, who has entered into a loveless marriage with Alexander’s own unsentimental uncle. The great question throughout the novel is whether Alexander can make a life balanced between pragmatism and romanticism, or be sacrificed to one or the other. Not a “superfluous man” in the same sense as Gontcharov’s later famous protagonist Oblomov, Alexander Fedoritch Adouev remains a noteworthy creation, a sympathetic, three-dimensional character in the early years of Russian realism. ( Expatriate)


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