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Savua av Ivan Turgenev
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Savua (urspr publ 1867; utgåvan 1946)

av Ivan Turgenev, Matti Lehmonen ((KÄÄnt.))

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290769,858 (3.57)13
On his way back to Russia after some years spent in the West, Grigory Mikhailovich Litvinov, the son of a retired official of merchant stock, stops over in Baden-Baden to meet his fiancee Tatyana. However, a chance encounter with his old flame, the manipulative Irina - now married to a general and a prominent figure in aristocratic expatriate circles - unearths feelings buried deep inside the young man's heart, derailing his plans for the future and throwing his life into turmoil. Around this love story Turgenev constructs a sharply satirical expose of his countrymen, which famously embroiled its author in a heated quarrel with Dostoevsky.… (mer)
Medlem:wictor
Titel:Savua
Författare:Ivan Turgenev
Andra författare:Matti Lehmonen ((KÄÄnt.))
Info:Hki : Tammi, 1946.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:ulkomainen kaunokirjallisuus

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Rök av Ivan Turgenev (1867)

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» Se även 13 omnämnanden

engelska (6)  spanska (1)  Alla språk (7)
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This is the 10th work of fiction by Turgenev I’ve read, and while it’s not quite his very best (his masterpiece ‘Sketches From a Hunter’s Album’), it’s right up there with other great novels I’ve enjoyed of his (‘Spring Torrents’, ‘First Love’, and ‘Fathers and Sons’). Set in Baden-Baden, it centers on a love triangle between a young man and two women, one of whom is his trusting and virtuous fiancé, and the other a hypnotic beauty who left him years ago for a rich man. When she resurfaces with her husband in Baden while he awaits the arrival of his fiancé, things get complicated.

Echoing themes of Turgenev’s own frustrated longing for Pauline Viardot, the novel also deals with weighty issues facing Russia at the time. Consistently lagging behind Europe and led by an aristocracy he saw as pretentious, bumbling and incompetent, Turgenev does not hold back in his criticisms of Russia through his characters. Written in the time period he would so famously meet Dostoevsky in Baden, it’s no wonder that the men would quarrel, with their drastically different personalities and Dostoevsky’s much deeper belief in the Russian people.

Tugenev’s writing in ‘Smoke’ is brilliant. He creates fantastic character sketches with psychological insight, as well as makes the big moments in life even bigger by capturing little details. One that stands out is mentioning a butterfly fluttering and struggling against a window in one meeting between the lovers, as the man ponders his next move. Another is him seeing his love galloping off on horseback into the night, her dark veil fluttering in the wind, as her husband pursues her, yelling at her to slow down. Turgenev also sees the bigger picture, and the metaphor of smoke is powerful in the novel – both early on, as cigar smoke hazily drifts over a drawing room where Russians are blathering on without really saying anything, and then later, as train smoke whips past its car’s windows, undulating and swirling around, the protagonist sees the transience and futility of it all.

The novel certainly didn’t win him any friends in Russia, and as he was already estranged from his country after ‘Fathers and Sons’ was published five years earlier, Turgenev began to write less, which is a shame. With its combination of passion, profound moments, and valid criticisms of Russia in the 1860’s, ‘Smoke’ would be a great one to start with for those new to Turgenev’s oeuvre.

Quotes:
On passion:
“Practical people of Litvinov’s sort ought never to be carried away by passion, it destroys the very meaning of their lives…But natures cares nothing for logic, our human logic; she has her own, which we do not recognize and do not acknowledge till we are crushed under its wheel.”

On transience, sorry for the length of this one but I found it absolutely brilliant:
“He fell to looking out of the window. It was gray and damp; there was no rain, but the fog still hung about; and low clouds trailed across the sky. The wind blew facing the train; whitish clouds of steam, some singly, others mingled with other darker clouds of smoke, whirled in endless file past the window at which Litvinov was sitting. He began to watch this steam, this smoke. Incessantly mounting, rising and falling, twisting and hooking on to the grass, to the bushes as though in sportive antics, lengthening out, and hiding away, clouds upon clouds flew by…they were forever changing and stayed still the same in their monotonous, hurrying, wearisome sport! Sometimes the wind changed, the line bent to the right or left, and suddenly the whole mass vanished, and at once reappeared at the opposite window; then again the huge tail was flung out, and again it veiled Litvinov’s view of the vast plain of the Rhine. He gazed and gazed, and a strange reverie came over him…He was alone in the compartment; there was no one to disturb him. ‘Smoke, smoke,’ he repeated several times; and suddenly it all seemed as smoke to him, everything, his own life, Russian life – everything human, especially everything Russian. All smoke and steam, he thought; all seems forever changing, on all sides new forms, phantoms flying after phantoms, while in reality it is all the same and same again; everything hurrying, flying towards something, and everything vanishing without a trace, attaining to nothing; another wind blows, and all is dashing in the opposite direction, and there again the same untiring, restless – and useless gambols!” ( )
3 rösta gbill | Feb 10, 2018 |
I heard this was his most political novel but to me, almost less so than others; this is love story for the sake of love story, and the politics are in the setting. Background chatter. It is less a young person’s love story and more at the stage when Onegin runs into Tatyana a second time, her a married woman. I don’t know much about Turgenev’s private life but I know he spent his love life on a married woman in Europe. Possibly that’s why I thought him here at his utmost in his talents to describe. Irina in the novel is no Tatyana, and this is a case of cowardice in love. It is well known that married persons rarely run away with you, while they can have domestic comforts, respectability and an affair too.

As for the politics: Potugin is often taken for the author’s mouthpiece. I do not doubt that Turgenev was as Eurocentric as this. In his famed encounter with Dostoyevsky, here in Baden-Baden, Turgenev insulted everything Russian and Dostoyevsky insulted everything German. Potugin’s anti-Russian rants made me take Russia’s side, if only because I have heard this kind of thing said of quite other cultures (no fine endeavours, no contribution to humanity…) What also removes the sting is the distance whereby I am reading a Russian masterpiece even as I read his tirades, and Russian achievement in the novel is not now a concept under threat. In general I found the satire didn’t bite, although I can’t use the word ‘gentle’. It’s satire of Russian emigrants, of whom Turgenev was one. With Potugin, his spokesperson, I kept in mind a great quote by him, where he said critics never understand that an author can gain satisfaction from making a portrait of his own weaknesses and holding them up to scorn. I very much suspected he’s laughing at Potugin, which is to say he’s laughing at himself. I found Potugin’s speeches strangely laughable, and I don’t know why else I would have. ( )
  Jakujin | Sep 4, 2016 |
Set in Baden-Baden, a small spa town in the foothills of the black forest, in the south west of Germany, near the border of France and Switzerland. Grigory Mikhailovich Litvinov has arrived in the town after spending years in the west; here he plans to meet up with his fiancée Tatyana. While there, he bumps into Irina an old flame, who is now married to a prominent aristocrat General Valerian Vladimirovitch Ratmirov. This chance meeting derails all Girgory’s plans for the future and sends his life into turmoil. Smoke is a melancholy novel of an impossible romance and an apogee of Ivan Turgenev’s later novels.

I know what my wife would say, this is a typical Russian novel about a man that has a fiancée that has waited for him all these years while he was out west but then an old flame turns up and he doubts his relationship. This is a common trope in classic Russian literature but this is also autobiographical for Ivan Turgenev. At the time of writing this novel, Turgenev was living in Baden-Baden to be near his lover Opera singer Madame Viardot. Creepily, he moved next door the singer and her husband. His relationship with Madame Viardot turned into a lifelong affair that resulted in Turgenev never marrying, although not sure what her husband thought of it all.

Smoke is a satirical novel aimed to highlight the problems Ivan Turgenev found with mother Russia. The conservatives are unwilling to change and adapt to the help modernise Russia, while he believed that the revolutionaries were glorifying a Slav mysticism, which we all know as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. With one novel, Turgenev managed to alienate the majority of Russia in one hit; the book even sparked a heated feud with fellow writer Fyodor Dostoevsky.

While this satirical exposé into his fellow countrymen was met with a lot of criticism within Russia, Smoke was still published in the March 1867 issue of The Russian Messenger. The Russian Messenger is one of the best Russian literary magazines during the 19th century publishing the majority of the great pieces from this country. Smoke may not be the best Ivan Turgenev novel to start with but it was an interesting book to read none the less. The amount of debate it sparked was fascinating to explore and I believe Smoke holds a well-deserved spot in the Russian canon.

This review originally appeared on my blog; http://www.knowledgelost.org/literature/regular-segments/russian-lit-project/smo... ( )
  knowledge_lost | Aug 26, 2015 |
A wonderfully written, gripping and readable story from the Russian master:

https://kaggsysbookishramblings.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/recent-reads-smoke-by-t... ( )
1 rösta kaggsy | Sep 7, 2013 |
In 1867 wrote to his friend in exile, Herzen: 'Everybody curses me, the reds and the whites and from above and below and from the flanks.' Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky expressed their disapproval, on the grounds of political opinions, technical deficiencies, patriotism, etc. etc. It became so intense that the members of the exclusive English Club in Petersburg wanted to exclude the burly story-teller from their midst.
Turgenev departed from his usual treatment of positive heroines, Irina is no help to the foundering Litvinov, she merely represents passion writ large. It is Tatyana who finally provides the nourishing soil Litvinov had been looking for.
Love in this novel reigns supreme. The reality. When it fails all is dim at best. All the ideas, couplings, even the Mother Land herself.
I've recently purchased V.S. Pritchett's biography of the 'Gentle Barbarian.' And looking forward to reading it. ( )
2 rösta Porius | Sep 10, 2009 |
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On the 10th of August 1862, at four o'clock in the afternoon, a great number of people were thronging before the well-known Konversation in Baden-Baden.
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On his way back to Russia after some years spent in the West, Grigory Mikhailovich Litvinov, the son of a retired official of merchant stock, stops over in Baden-Baden to meet his fiancee Tatyana. However, a chance encounter with his old flame, the manipulative Irina - now married to a general and a prominent figure in aristocratic expatriate circles - unearths feelings buried deep inside the young man's heart, derailing his plans for the future and throwing his life into turmoil. Around this love story Turgenev constructs a sharply satirical expose of his countrymen, which famously embroiled its author in a heated quarrel with Dostoevsky.

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