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The Diary of a Superfluous Man

The Diary of a Superfluous Man by Ivan S. Turgenev
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Turgenev’s shy hero, Tchulkaturin, is a representative example of a Russian archetype – the “superfluous man”, a sort of Hamlet not necessarily dignified with the title Prince: an individual of comfortable means leading a dreary existence, without purpose and led on by events which may, as in this story, engulf him. The novella takes the form of a diary started by Tchulkaturin in the shock of being diagnosed as having a terminal illness. The journal entries cover a period of two weeks, leading to his death. Tchulkaturin quickly homes in on the only significant event in his life – an unreciprocated falling-in-love leading haphazardly to a non-fatal duel that leaves him desolated and fully conscious of the futility of his inactive existence.

First Page:

THE DIARY OF A SUPERFLUOUS MAN

AND OTHER STORIES

by

Ivan Turgenev

Translated from the Russian by Constance Garnett

1899

CONTENTS

THE DIARY OF A SUPERFLUOUS MAN A TOUR IN THE FOREST YAKOV PASINKOV ANDREI KOLOSOV A CORRESPONDENCE

THE DIARY OF A SUPERFLUOUS MAN

VILLAGE OF SHEEP'S SPRINGS, March 20, 18 .

The doctor has just left me. At last I have got at something definite! For all his cunning, he had to speak out at last. Yes, I am soon, very soon, to die. The frozen rivers will break up, and with the last snow I shall, most likely, swim away ... whither? God knows! To the ocean too. Well, well, since one must die, one may as well die in the spring. But isn't it absurd to begin a diary a fortnight, perhaps, before death? What does it matter? And by how much are fourteen days less than fourteen years, fourteen centuries? Beside eternity, they say, all is nothingness yes, but in that case eternity, too, is nothing. I see I am letting myself drop into metaphysics; that's a bad sign am I not rather faint hearted, perchance? I had better begin a description of some sort... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 1 review)

September 14, 2015
Very enjoyable!


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