The Diary of a Superfluous Man
21 Installments—Entirely free
Tchulkaturin, the unlikely hero of Ivan Turgenev’s 1850 work, The Diary of a Superfluous Man, has just two weeks to live. Facing the prospect of his own mortality, Tchulkaturin decides to take stock of his feelings, thoughts, and beliefs about life and the world around him. He realizes that his contributions to society are few—he has led an indolent life without much purpose, a man “superfluous” to the world. Yet, the realizations the young man comes to over the course of his writings prove both revelatory and moving. Here is an emotional tour-de-force about the universal truths that define all lives, however grand or humble; a more honest testament to the human condition you are unlikely to find.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
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 ... ...
Reviewed by chardman on Apr 1, 2009
I might be too used to a nice, clean, Hollywood ending, but this seemed to end abruptly. Many questions unanswered. What was Tchulkaturin’s illness? Why did Liza marry Bizmyonkov? Did she need to marry to cover up some disgrace? (Like carrying the Prince’s child?) The weather mentioned at the beginning of each diary entry did foretell the mood of the entry to follow and of what must’ve been going on in Tchulkaturin’s heart. Good read, but a bit superfluous...
Reviewed by fedelinii on Mar 28, 2009
Diary of a Superfluous Man
Good, but very similar in feel to other Turgenev books. Again he has the impossible love and the shy main character, the beautiful Russian countryside, all parts that I enjoy about his books, but parts that are repeated.
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Ratings for 'The Diary of a Superfluous Man' by Turgenev, Ivan