Letters to the Editor

Turgenev’s Symphony

Sir: Anthony Daniels, writing on Turgenev’s novel Fathers and Sons (April 2021), does much justice to the great Russian author, but goes over the top when claiming that “all his novels, short stories and essays were excellent”. Rudin and Virgin Soil, for example, are clearly less than that; and there is some even weaker material in the whole oeuvre. More importantly, arguing that “it is the conflict between Bazarov’s rationalistic philosophy and the inevitable exigencies of human life that is the theme” and that “the heart of the novel, as far as its ideas are concerned” is his debate with Pavel…

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