Turgenev Talk

Podcasts from Middlebury College students on the life, works, and criticism of I.S. Turgenev

The Novels & Short Fiction

Podcasts on Turgenev’s Novels

Perhaps best known for his skill and craft in novel-writing, Turgenev wrote a number of novels dealing with subjects as diverse as nihilism and love, to chauvinistic politics and extramarital affairs. Listen to the following podcasts for summaries and criticisms of a selection of his works, as well as for the biographical and historical information apropos to each.

Mar. 9, 2009 – First Love – Cathy & Sophie  – listen on iTunes | download .m4a

Cathy takes a look at First Love and some of its criticisms, and Sophie uncovers how much Turgenev’s own love life made its way into this novel.

Mar. 23, 2009 – Fathers And Sons – Cathy, Sophie, Casey & Ashley – listen on iTunes | download .m4a

A comprehensive review of Turgenev’s monumental Fathers And Sons. All four podcast authors critically examine the literature, the history, the life, and the criticisms behind Turgenev’s introducing the nihilist protagonist into Russian literature through the character of Bazarov.

Mar. 30, 2009 – Rudin & The Diary Of The Superfluous Man – Ashley & Casey – listen on iTunes | download .m4a

An examination of two of the “superfluous men” in Turgenev’s novels, Rudin and The Diary Of The Superfluous Man. Pertinent issues surrounding Turgenev’s own love and intellectual lives are raised in connection with this character, so common in Russian literature.

Apr. 6, 2009 – On The Eve & Virgin Soil – Casey & Ashley – listen on iTunes | download .m4a

Discussion on two of Turgenev’s highly political novels, On The Eve and Virgin Soil. The details of the “Turgenev girl” character and of Turgenev’s own possible hopes for Russia are made clear through these works.


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