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Critics of the novel "Fathers and Sons." I. Turgenev's novel "Fathers and Sons" in Critics' Comments

"Fathers and children," whose creation story is usually associated with the work of Rudin, published in 1855, is a novel in which Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev returned to the structure of this first creation.

As in it, in "Fathers and Children" all the plot threads converged to one center, which was formed by the figure of Bazarov, a raznochinets-democrat. She disturbed all critics and readers. Many critics wrote about the novel "Fathers and Sons", because the work caused genuine interest and controversy. The basic positions concerning this novel we will present to you in this article.

The significance of Bazarov 's image in the understanding of the work

Bazarov became not only the plot center of the work, but also problematic. From an understanding of his fate and personality depended largely on the evaluation of all other aspects of Turgenev's novel: the author's position, the system of characters, various artistic devices used in the work "Fathers and Sons." According to the chapters, the critics considered this novel and saw in it a new twist in the work of Ivan Sergeyevich, although the understanding of the stage meaning of this work was completely different.

Why did they scold Turgenev?

The author's dual attitude towards his hero entailed censures and reproaches of his contemporaries. Turgenev was brutally abused from all sides. Critics of the novel "Fathers and Sons" responded mostly negatively. Many readers could not understand the author's idea. From the memoirs of Annenkov, and also of Ivan Sergeyevich himself, we learn that M.N. Katkov came into indignation, having familiarized himself with the manuscript "Fathers and Sons" by chapters. He was indignant at the fact that the main character of the work undividedly dominates and does not meet with any kind of resistance. Readers and critics of the opposite camp also severely criticized Ivan Sergeyevich for the internal argument he had with Bazarov in his novel "Fathers and Sons." The content of it seemed to them not quite democratic.

The most notable among many other interpretations are the article by M.A. Antonovich, published in the "Contemporary" ("Asmodeus of Our Time"), as well as a number of articles appeared in the magazine "Russian Word" (Democratic), belonging to Peru DI. Pisarev: "The Thinking Proletariat," "Realists," "Bazarov." These critics of the novel "Fathers and Sons" presented two opposing views.

Opinion of Pisarev about the main character

Unlike Antonovich, who rated Bazarov sharply negative, Pisarev saw in him a real "hero of time." This critic compared this image with the "new people" depicted in the novel "What to do?" N.G. Chernyshevsky.

The theme "fathers and children" (the relationship of generations) in his articles came to the fore. The contradictory opinions expressed by the representatives of the democratic direction about Turgenev 's work were perceived as a "split in nihilists" - a fact of internal polemics that existed in the democratic movement.

Antonovich about Bazarov

Both the readers and critics of the "Fathers and Children" were worried by two questions: the author's position and the prototypes of the images of the novel. They are the two poles on which any work is interpreted and perceived. According to Antonovich, Turgenev was malicious. In the interpretation of Bazarov, presented by this critic, this image is not at all written off "from nature" by the person, but by the "evil spirit", the "asmode", which is released by the embittered writer of a new generation.

In the satirical style, an article by Antonovich is sustained. This critic instead of presenting an objective analysis of the work, created a cartoon on the main character, substituting Sitnikov, the "disciple" Bazarov, in the place of his teacher. Bazarov, according to Antonovich, is not at all an artistic generalization, not a mirror in which the younger generation is reflected . The critic believed that the author of the novel created a biting feuilleton, which should be objected in the same manner. The goal of Antonovich - to "quarrel" with the young generation of Turgenev - was achieved.

What could not the democrats forgive Turgenev?

Antonovich in the subtext of his unfair and rude article reproached the author for the fact that he had a figure that was too "recognizable", as one of the prototypes of it is considered Dobrolyubov. Journalists "Contemporary", in addition, could not forgive the author of the break with this magazine. The novel "Fathers and Sons" was published in the "Russian Herald", a conservative publication, which was for them a sign of Ivan Sergeevich's final break with democracy.

Bazarov in "real criticism"

Pisarev expressed another point of view about the protagonist of the work. He considered it not as a caricature of some people, but as a representative of the emerging at that time a new socio-ideological type. This critic was least interested in the attitude of the author himself to his hero, as well as various features of the artistic embodiment of this image. Pisarev interpreted Bazarov in the spirit of so-called real criticism. He pointed out that the author in his image was biased, but the type was rated Pisarev highly - as a "hero of the time." In the article titled "Bazarov" it was said that the main character depicted in the novel, represented as a "tragic person", is a new type that literature lacked. In further interpretations of this critic, Bazarov broke off more and more from the novel itself. For example, in the articles "The Thinking Proletariat" and the "Realists", the name of the "Bazarov" was named the type of the epoch, the raznochinets-kulturtreger, who was close to Pisarev himself.

Accusations of bias

Turgenev's objective, calm tone in the depiction of the protagonist was contradicted by accusations of tendentiousness. "Fathers and children" is a kind of Turgenev "duel" with nihilists and nihilism, but the author met all the requirements of the "code of honor": he respected the enemy, honestly "killing" him. Bazarov as a symbol of dangerous delusions, according to Ivan Sergeevich, is a worthy opponent. The glamor and caricature of the image, in which some critics accused the author, they were not used, because they could give a completely opposite result, namely, an underestimation of the power of nihilism, which is destructive. Nihilists sought to put their pseudo-idol into the place of "eternal". Turgenev, recalling his work on the image of Eugene Bazarov, wrote M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin in 1876 about the novel "Fathers and Sons", whose history of creation was of interest to many, that he is not surprised by the fact that for the main part of readers this hero remained a mystery, because the author himself can not quite imagine how he wrote it. Turgenev said that he knew only one thing: there was no tendency in him then, no prejudice of thought.

The position of Turgenev himself

Critics of the novel "Fathers and Sons" responded largely unilaterally, gave sharp assessments. Meanwhile, Turgenev, as in his previous novels, avoids commenting, does not draw conclusions, hides intentionally the inner world of his hero in order not to pressure the readers. Conflict of the novel "Fathers and Sons" is by no means on the surface. So straightforwardly interpreted by the critic Antonovich and completely ignored by Pisarev, the author's position is manifested in the composition of the plot, in the nature of conflicts. It is in them that the concept of Bazarov's destiny realized by the author of the work "Fathers and Sons" is realized, the images of which still cause controversy among various researchers.

Eugene in the disputes with Pavel Petrovich unshakable, but after an uneasy "test of love" is internally broken. The author emphasizes the "cruelty", the thoughtfulness of the convictions of this hero, as well as the interconnection of all the components that make up his worldview. Bazarov is a maximalist, in the opinion of which any conviction has a price, if it does not conflict with others. Once this character lost one "link" in the "chain" of the world view - all others were reassessed and questioned. In the finals, this is the "new" Bazarov, who is "Hamlet" among the nihilists.

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