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Fathers and Children p.1 by Turgenev

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Show Notes

This week, Matt and Cameron read chapters 1 through 17 of Fathers and Children (1862) by Ivan Turgenev. The literary responses of this book include many of the most prominent in the Russian canon, not least of all is Chernyshevsky’s What is to Be Done? and the myriad responses that book induced (among its respondents were Dostoevsky and Lenin!). But what exactly makes this book such a mainstay of mid-19th century political debate? You’ll have to stick around to find out...

Major themes: Frogs, Nihilism, Bazarov is a NEET prove me wrong.

04:38 - This isn’t to say that what happened in each of these individual cases was that democratic-style governments suddenly came to power, but rather that (even when the upsurge failed to change the system, as was mostly the case) the political norms began to shift towards to style of governance with which we are more familiar with.

25:55 - I couldn’t remember at the time who was the exact group who assassinated Aleksandr the 2nd so I equivocated, but it was, in fact, members of the Narodnaya Volya who carried it out.

26:15 - In this case, I was referring to Vera Zasulich, who attacked a police commissioner who was known for abusing his prisoners.

29:24 - Or theoretically real human being.

29:53 - Just to clarify: this is not, in fact, actually good stuff.

35:32 - Let’s...let’s pretend my pronunciation of “shto dyelat” wasn’t nearly as embarrassing as it actually is.

The music used in this episode was “soviet march,” by Toasted Tomatoes. You can find more of their work on Bandcamp and Youtube.