Oblomov

By Ivan Goncharov.

When searching for an image to go with this post I found the website of Anastasia Simes. There are some interesting pieces of work.

As for Oblomov – what a great novel. There are quite a few separate parts to it, which makes me think it was written over time and each part of Oblomov’s life was approached as quite distinct. Probably my favourite ‘Act’ is the beginning where Oblomov lounges around, waxes philosophical, takes visitors and is quite unable to move and motivate himself to do anything. This is masterful writing and while I really enjoyed the book it doesn’t quite live up to the promise shown at the start. Or, maybe it does – but it just becomes something different. So, another writer to read more of and he is Russian of course. The Precipice, another of his novels, looks interesting also.

I wasn’t sure about Goncharov as he was referred to as being quite conservative and middle-class by some commentators. Oblomov, however, is a fantastic character and maybe Goncharov’s greatest creation and this book deserves to be read and re-read as a result. Turgenev said: “As long as there is even just one Russian alive, Oblomov will be remembered!”

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