A Sportsman's Sketches

A Sportsman's Sketches (Russian: «Записки охотника» Zapiski ohotnika; also known as The Hunting Sketches and Sketches from a Hunter's Album) is an 1852 collection of short stories by Ivan Turgenev. It was the first major writing that gained him recognition.

This work is part of the Russian realist tradition in that the narrator is usually an uncommitted observer of the people he meets.

Записки охотника. Титульный лист первого издания. 1852
The title page of the first edition

Writing and publication

Turgenev based many of these short stories on his own observations while hunting at his mother's estate at Spasskoye, where he learned of the abuse of the peasants and the injustices of the Russian system that constrained them. The frequent abuse of Turgenev by his mother certainly had an effect on this work.

The stories were first published singly in The Contemporary before appearing in 1852 in book form. Turgenev was about to give up writing when the first story, "Khor and Kalinich", was well received. The work as a whole actually led to Turgenev's house arrest (part of the reason, the other being his epitaph to Nikolai Gogol) at Spasskoye.

The list of stories

Khor and Kalinych

Khor and Kalinych by Elisabeth Bohm 1883
The illustration for Khor and Kalinych by Elisabeth Bohm. 1883.

Story of two peasants one who is extremely thrifty, and the other an idealist, both of whom work for a petty landowner named Polutykin. This introduces the role of the narrator as the uncommitted observer. Turgenev at once appears as a writer and an artist but also a social reformer and activist. The separation of the two peasants plays a big role in later works by the author, as he explained in a speech given in 1860 where he talks about the dichotomy of his “Hamlet-like” and “Quixotic” characters. The main idea here though is displaying the intelligence of the peasants and the idiocy of their master. It is also perhaps one of his strongest arguments in favor of Westernization in Russia.

Yermolay and the Miller’s Wife

Story of the narrator's hunter friend and a night they spend at a miller's home. This is the first sketch he appears in. The man, Zverkov, gives the reader a clear idea of the injustices of serfdom, this being the main idea of this particular story.

Raspberry Water

Story of the narrator meeting and talking to two peasants at a little spring called Raspberry Water (which did exist and still exists in Russia). Here the narrator is very distant, akin to early Realist narrators, and learns of the self-deprivation peasants take upon themselves through the recollections of the old peasant named Foggy.

District Doctor

Struck with fever in a small village, the narrator is visited by a district doctor who tells him a story of how he fell in love with a dying girl. It is told from his perspective rather than the narrator's.

My Neighbor Radilov

Yermolay is with the narrator again. The story consists of them meeting a landowner named Radilov. They have dinner at his house and learn he is not a typical landowner and shows goodwill (he's not gloomy about his fate either). He mentions when his wife died and how he didn't really shed a tear until he saw a fly crawl over her eye. Radilov disappears at the end and the family he lived with does not know where he went.

Farmer Ovsyanikov

Lgov by I Turgenev Illustration by P Sokolov
The illustration for Lgov by Pyotr Sokolov. 1890s.

Poor landowner the narrator meets, who Turgenev uses to talk about the social ills of serfdom while avoiding the censors. He does nothing more than sit and talk.


Yermolay and the narrator go hunting and meet up with Old Knot, an old peasant who's the local fisherman and has held several ridiculous positions in the area. This story is particularly noteworthy for its vivid character descriptions. The group goes hunting in the lake with a pretentious hunter named Vladimir, sink the boat and then wade to shore filthy after great difficulty.

Bezhin Lea

The narrator gets lost in the woods and comes across a clearing, where he meets up with five peasant boys near a fire who are guarding the horses. The narrator pretends to be asleep and the boys forget he is there and start talking about fairies and talking animals, stories that they believe to be true. The beauty of the story is typically found in the innocence of the young boys. Serfdom here is hidden in the background, never truly mentioned or argued against as in the other stories.

Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands

Kassyan by I Turgenev
Kasyan from the Beautiful Lands. The drawing by Ivan Turgenev. Between 1860 and 1880.

While in a carriage the narrator comes across a funeral procession and goes to Yudin village to get a new axle when theirs breaks. There he meets Kasyan, a fifty-year-old dwarf who lives in the village and who belongs to some unnamed religious sect. He takes them to get a new axle and the narrator notices how at one he seems with his environment and incredibly generous. Kasyan establishes his hatred of established society through his glorification of the world of folklore.


Story about the bailiff (Sofron) of a landowner friend of the narrator who is more in control of the land than Arkady Penochkin. He uses the peasants and steals their money from loans. This story was an angreement, though not explicit, of a letter written in response to Gogol's Slavophile tendencies. This story is one of the most vivid examples of the peasantry's exploitation.

The Office

The narrator comes upon a small hut and travels to a village after speaking with an old man there. He comes across a run-down shack that is the main office of the local landowner. He stays there and overhears the head clerk abusing his powers and learns how he uses Losnyakova to abuse the peasants, for example sending away the lover of a young man so they cannot get married. The main idea here is the presentation of the ridiculous bureaucracy created to control the peasants.


At night in a droshky, the narrator comes across a man, Foma, in the forest who watches over his landowner's property so peasants don't steal wood. He learns the man's wife left him and their children alone and finds his home incredibly depressing. Foma eventually hears a peasant and they go out to confront him. The forester takes him to his home and threatens to turn him into the landowner. The narrator tries to buy the peasant's wood so he can be set free, and though they fight at first, Foma eventually agrees and pushes the man out the door. Unlike the previous stories, this work was not featured in “The Contemporary” and was only later added to the sketches in 1852.

Two Landowners

Story of two different landowners the narrator knows, with descriptions of mistreatment of the peasants including beatings and descriptions of their miserable huts. This again, gives the reader more callous examples of the treatment of the peasantry.


Story about a village where the narrator comes across the horse fair. Of particular interest is the lieutenant Khlopakov, who uses catch phrases out of context regardless if they sound strange, which amuses his friend Zhukov. The narrator looks at horses and decides to purchase one, which ends up being lame but he gives up trying to get his money back for it when he realizes the seller's scheme. Turgenev's intentions here were to display the typical events at a local fair.

Tatyana Borisovna and her Nephew

Story about the modest landowner Tatyana whom everyone loves because she is so generous. In spite of being illiterate she is generous to everyone and does not care for typical dealings that landowners spend their time on and does not care for other women landowners in her area. In the story her nephew Andryusha (an orphan) comes to live with her and loves to draw. He eventually gains the interest of Pyotr Benevolensky, a local collegiate counsellor who is a minor acquaintance of Tatyana, who then takes him to St. Petersburg to be trained in art. When he returns, after asking his aunt for money through the mail several times, she finds he has become Benevolensky and is corrupted. He is fat and annoying and spends his time poorly singing words to songs written by Glinka. Her friends stop visiting her because he is so annoying.


In this story the narrator opens with a hunting story concerning his neighbor. They find the trees in the area dying with many fallen onto the ground because of a terrible frost (this is an actual event from Russia in 1840). After this he and his friend come upon a peasant who they are told has been smashed by a tree and they watch him die. This reminds the narrator of several stories he remembers about dying and he uses them to explain how the Russian character presents itself when dying. Each character continues as if performing a ritual, not lamenting or even caring. One old woman, with her final breath, reaches for a ruble under her pillow to pay the priest who says her last rites. Here Turgenev appears to be commenting on the isolation of human personality in the face of nature.


Yakov Turok Is Singing by B Kustodiev 1908
Yakov the Turk Is Singing. The illustration for Singers by Boris Kustodiev. 1908.

The narrator comes across a “terrible village” and goes to a tavern set at the end of a ravine. In the tavern he finds that some locals are having a singing contest. The one, Yakov, has the gift of technical prowess. The other, Yasha, has natural talent. Yakov goes first and the group believes he's won due to the skill he displays but when Yasha sings, he sings beautifully with the “collective voice of the Russian identity,” leading everyone to cry with no discussion of his skill afterward. Yakov stammers that he won and they are about to drink, but the narrator is disturbed by this since he found the scene so beautiful amongst the horrible surroundings, and he goes outside to sleep while they drink. He leaves while hearing peasant boys calling to each other in the night.

Pyotr Petrovich Karataev

While at a post, the narrator meets a lower, uneducated landowner named Karataev who has lost his land because of an IOU. He learns from him that he once fell in love with a peasant girl named Matroyna, owned by another landowner. He attempts to buy her from the woman, but she forbids it because she simply does not want to and sends her away to another village. Karataev, in desperation, finds her and brings her home where he hides her for a time, eluding authorities by placing her away from his home. In the end she gives herself up and Karataev goes off to Moscow, where the narrator finds him later happy amongst friends but completely broke.


While out hunting, the narrator happens to witness the meeting of a peasant girl who is in love with a pampered, pompous valet. When he comes he treats her with disinterest and leaves her to say he is going away after announcing he cannot marry her. The girl sheds tears and the narrator goes to her when she almost collapses, but she runs away when she notices him.

Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District

Hamlet of the Shtchigri District by I Turgenev
Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District. The drawing by Ivan Turgenev. Circa 1850 (?).

In this story the narrator spends the evening at a party of a landowner named Alexander G. Here Turgenev gives excellent descriptions and parodies of the nobility. While attempting to go to sleep, the narrator finds his roommate unable to sleep as well and finds out that he is man who has realized his ununiqueness amongst the upper class, even though he is considered a wit. He is forever cursed to deep introspection and finds in himself nothing save a molded being with no true life. He leaves early in the morning without saying goodbye and the narrator never learns his name.

Chertopkhanov and Nedopyuskin

While hunting with Yermolay, the narrator comes across the landowner Chertopkhanov. He goes away on his horse and another man comes up, his friend Nedopyuskin. Chertopkhanov is the inheritor of a mortgaged little village called Unsleepy Hollow. His friend, Nedopyuskin, became close to him when the former saved him from a crowd of nobles who were tormenting him for being the inheritor of an estate despite the fact that he was so completely devoid of any bit of notoriety for anything. The two bachelors became the best of friends and live together at Unsleepy Hollow in peaceful tranquility in spite of the disrepair of the area. They embody the “loner” figure Turgenev was so interested in, able to live independently in the system.

The End of Chertopkhanov

Sequel to the previous story, though published much later in 1872. It was originally not part of the sketches. This story is more sequential than the previous, detailing the end of the landowner up to his death. He faces three misfortunes. The first is his love Masha leaving him in true “gypsy” spirit. The second is Nedopyuskin dying of a stroke. The third and final is the loss of his horse Malek Adel, the envy of local landowners who know of Chertopkhanov. One night it is stolen and he does everything in his power to find it, eventually coming across the horse at a fair. He buys it back and brings it home, but something bothers him about it. He begins to realize that the horse is not truly Malek Adel but one that looks like it and in despair he eventually shoots the animal in the head and stays in his bed afterwards. He no longer looks like himself, but when his servant comes up to him the last bit of his being comes forth and he declares that the nobleman Chertopkhanov is dying and no one can stand in his way.

Living Relic

This story was originally not part of the sketches either and appeared in another collection of stories first in 1874. Here, the narrator comes back to his home estate to find a beautiful servant named Lukeria in a horrible state. After falling from a porch she succumbs to an unknown digestive disorder (not explicitly stated, but implied) that reduces her to an unmoving, skeletal figure. She spends her time in the shed in the summer and near the house in the winter, moved about by the house servants who remain. The narrator is shaken by her disturbing ability to accept her fate, regardless of how terrible it may be. She is completely unable to move and finds her days accented only by the occasional sounds of new birds in the shed, smells, or a rabbit that may occasionally come in to visit her. She eventually dies in peace, completely aware that the day was coming because she saw it in her dreams. This story is slightly different from the others because of the inclusion of the “unreal” found in Lukeria's dream states. The narrator is heartbroken by her condition, but is surprised to find her happy with life in spite of her state. Suggestions have been made that she is so happy because in her inability to move she is also unable to sin.

The Clatter of Wheels

Also added later to the sketches, but published after the original group in 1874. In this story Yermolay and the narrator find they are almost out of shot, so they decide to go to Tula to get more and fetch a peasant named Filofey. He takes the narrator there, Yermolay stays behind, but on the way hears a carriage clattering far in the distance that he is sure is a group of bandits who will surely murder them when they catch up. The carriage slowly overcomes them in spite of what they try and eventually comes in front of them. Several men are on it singing and laughing, completely drunk. Filofey tries to steer around but every time he does the head carriage moves into their way. When they come to a bridge the carriage stops and the largest of the men approaches. The narrator is sure they are to be killed but is surprised when he finds the drunk man only asking for a bit of money for drinks, stating they have just come from a wedding and want a bit more to celebrate. The narrator and Filofey are relieved and joke with each other about the event, but learn later on that on that very night a merchant was killed on the road and had his carriage stolen. Though uncertain and still joking, they wonder if the carriage that passed them was not in fact from a wedding at all.

Forest and Steppe

The traditional ending to the sketches, found in every edition. Here, Turgenev gives the readers detailed and beautiful descriptions of the hunter's life, ending the collection.

Unfinished works

Lebedyan by I Turgenev Illustration by P Sokolov
An 1890s illustration to Lebedyan

The Russian German

An incomplete, short fragment first published in 1964 and never part of the original sketches. Here, the narrator comes across a German landowner in Russia. It is likely he kept this sketch out and never finished it because it did not present a picture of the typical, “Russian” landowner. Here though, he seems to be hinting that the “game” of the sketches is in fact the evils of serfdom and the failures of landowners.

The Reformer and the Russian German

Another incomplete, though slightly longer, fragment. This may have been a later version of the previous fragment or another fragment itself. It's completely different, with different characters, and again provides the readers with examples of the failures and cruelties of serfdom.


This series of short stories revealed Turgenev's unique talent as a short story writer. Evidently it greatly influenced all Russian short story writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Anton Chekhov, Ivan Bunin, Alexander Kuprin and many others.

Other world writers also admired Turgenev's style. Sherwood Anderson was particularly influenced by Turgenev's literature. He considered A Sportsman's Sketches to be a paradigm for his own short stories.

More recently, Turgenev has been criticized for his somewhat idealized characterization of muzhiks. Turgenev's muzhiks have been compared to other noble savages in 19th-century fiction (such as American Indians in works by J. F. Cooper).

External links

1852 in literature

This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1852.

Bezhin Meadow

Bezhin Meadow (Бежин луг, Bezhin lug) is a 1937 Soviet film famous for having been suppressed and believed destroyed before its completion. Directed by Sergei Eisenstein, it tells the story of a young farm boy whose father attempts to betray the government for political reasons by sabotaging the year's harvest and the son's efforts to stop his own father to protect the Soviet state, culminating in the boy's murder and a social uprising. The film draws its title from a story by Ivan Turgenev, but is based on the life of Pavlik Morozov, a young Russian boy who became a political martyr following his death in 1932, after he denounced his father to Soviet government authorities and subsequently died at the hands of his family. Pavlik Morozov was immortalized in school programs, poetry, music, and in film.Commissioned by a communist youth group, the film's production ran from 1935 to 1937, until it was halted by the central Soviet government, which said it contained artistic, social, and political failures. Some, however, blamed the failure of Bezhin Meadow on government interference and policies, extending all the way to Joseph Stalin himself. In the wake of the film's failure, Eisenstein publicly recanted his work as an error. Individuals were arrested during and after the ensuing debacle.Bezhin Meadow was long thought lost in the wake of World War II bombings. In the 1960s, however, cuttings and partial prints of the film were found; from these, a reconstruction of Bezhin Meadow, based on the original script, was undertaken. Rich in religious symbolism, the film and its history became the focus of academic study. The film was extensively discussed both inside and outside of the film industry for its historical nature, the odd circumstances of its production and failure, and its imagery, which is considered some of the greatest in cinema. In spite of the failure of Bezhin Meadow, Eisenstein would rebound to win Soviet acclaim and awards, and become artistic director of a major film studio.

Constance Garnett

Constance Clara Garnett (née Black; 19 December 1861 – 17 December 1946) was an English translator of nineteenth-century Russian literature. Garnett was one of the first English translators of Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov and introduced them on a wide basis to the English-speaking public.

Dhimitër Pasko

Dhimitër Pasko, (b. 13 September 1907, Pogradec, Albania – d. 4 May 1967 Tirana, Albania), alias Mitrush Kuteli (or Janus), was an Albanian writer and translator from Dukat.

Dmitry Grigorovich

Dmitry Vasilyevich Grigorovich (Russian: Дми́трий Васи́льевич Григоро́вич) (March 31 [O.S. March 19] 1822 – January 3 1900 [O.S. December 22, 1899]) was a Russian writer, best known for his first two novels, The Village and Anton Goremyka, and lauded as the first author to have realistically portrayed the life of the Russian rural community and openly condemn the system of serfdom.

George Moore (novelist)

George Augustus Moore (24 February 1852 – 21 January 1933) was an Irish novelist, short-story writer, poet, art critic, memoirist and dramatist. Moore came from a Roman Catholic landed family who lived at Moore Hall in Carra, County Mayo. He originally wanted to be a painter, and studied art in Paris during the 1870s. There, he befriended many of the leading French artists and writers of the day.

As a naturalistic writer, he was amongst the first English-language authors to absorb the lessons of the French realists, and was particularly influenced by the works of Émile Zola. His writings influenced James Joyce, according to the literary critic and biographer Richard Ellmann, and, although Moore's work is sometimes seen as outside the mainstream of both Irish and British literature, he is as often regarded as the first great modern Irish novelist.

History of modern literature

The history of literature in the Modern period in Europe begins with the Age of Enlightenment and the conclusion of the Baroque period in the 18th century, succeeding the Renaissance and Early Modern periods.

In the classical literary cultures outside of Europe, the Modern period begins later,

in Ottoman Turkey with the Tanzimat reforms (1820s),

in Qajar Persia under Nasser al-Din Shah (1830s), in India with the end of the Mughal era and the establishment of the British Raj (1850s), in Japan with the Meiji restoration (1860s), and in China with the New Culture Movement (1910s).

Hunting in Russia

Hunting in Russia has an old tradition in terms of indigenous people, while the original features of state and princely economy were farming and cattle-breeding. There was hunting for food as well as sport. The word "hunting" ("охота", okhota) first appeared in the common Russian language at the end of the 15th century. Before that the word "catchings" ("ловы", lovy) existed to designate the hunting business in general. The hunting grounds were called in turn lovishcha ("ловища"). In the 15th-16th centuries, foreign ambassadors were frequently invited to hunts; they also received some of the prey afterwards. So did Feodor I in particular, once sending out nine elks, one bear and a black-and-brown fox.

The right of using the hunting grounds in Russia was once granted to every social class. The right of the nobility was even sometimes limited by agreements with others regarding hunting grounds. The hawkers and separate persons who dealt with hounds, beavers, black grouses, hares, etc. were permitted either on the landed properties, or on territories specified by local people. Though the Russian Orthodox clergy once disapproved the hunting, these persons were authorized to eat and feed their horses, hounds and falcons on others' account or even demand participation in hunting.The Russian imperial hunts evolved from hunting traditions of early Russian rulers (Grand Princes and Tsars), under the influence of hunting customs of European royal courts. The imperial hunts were organized mainly in Peterhof, Tsarskoye Selo and Gatchina.

During the soviet rule, state-sponsored hunting clubs were formed within the administrative boundaries or factories. Hunting clubs based in cities were allocated hunting grounds where club members were allowed to hunt according to the federal and local regulations. Following demise of the Soviet Union private individuals were allowed to lease hunting territories formerly used by government sponsored clubs. Many lease owners are wealthy Russians who are willing to spend large sums of money in order to maintain leased hunting grounds for their pleasure and sometimes to allow other hunters to use their territories for a fee. As a result, the quality and quantity of the game increased dramatically during the past 20 years in most parts of Russia. During the Soviet Union time, a single agency called "Glavohota" was granted an authority to conduct hunts for the foreign hunters. Nowadays many outfitters and booking agents organize hunting trips for the foreigners. The inevitable competition between such companies improved quality of hunts and brought down the prices which used to be extremely high.

Irish short story

The Irish short story has a distinctive place in the modern Irish literary tradition. Many of Ireland's best writers, both in English and Irish, have been practitioners of the genre.

Ivan Turgenev

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (English: ; Russian: Иван Сергеевич Тургенев, tr. Iván Sergéyevich Turgénev, IPA: [ɪˈvan sʲɪrˈɡʲeɪvʲɪtɕ tʊrˈɡʲenʲɪf]; November 9 [O.S. October 28] 1818 – September 3, 1883) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, translator and popularizer of Russian literature in the West.

His first major publication, a short story collection entitled A Sportsman's Sketches (1852), was a milestone of Russian realism, and his novel Fathers and Sons (1862) is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction.


Lebedyan (Russian: Лебедя́нь) is a town and the administrative center of Lebedyansky District in Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, located on the upper Don River, 62 kilometers (39 mi) northwest of Lipetsk, the administrative center of the oblast. Population: 21,012 (2010 Census); 22,966 (2002 Census); 22,850 (1989 Census).

List of Russian-language novelists

This is a list of authors who have written works of fiction in the Russian language. The list encompasses novelists and writers of short fiction.

For the plain list, see Category:Russian novelists.

See also: List of Russian-language writers, List of Russian-language poets, List of Russian-language playwrights, List of Russian artists, List of Russian architects, List of Russian inventors, List of Russian explorers, Russian literature, Russian culture

List of years in literature

This page gives a chronological list of years in literature (descending order), with notable publications listed with their respective years and a small selection of notable events. The time covered in individual years covers Renaissance, Baroque and Modern literature, while Medieval literature is resolved by century.

Note: List of years in poetry exists specifically for poetry.

See Table of years in literature for an overview of all "year in literature" pages.

Mumu (Turgenev)

Mumu (Russian: «Муму») is a short story by Ivan Turgenev, a Russian novelist and story writer, written in 1854.

The story of Gerasim, a deaf and mute serf whose life of poverty is brought into sharp relief by his connection with Mumu, a dog he rescued, brought greater national attention to the cruelties of serfdom, and received praise for its brutal portrayal of this institution in Russian society.

Short story

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

A dictionary definition is "an invented prose narrative shorter than a novel usually dealing with a few characters and aiming at unity of effect and often concentrating on the creation of mood rather than plot."The short story is a crafted form in its own right. Short stories make use of plot, resonance, and other dynamic components as in a novel, but typically to a lesser degree. While the short story is largely distinct from the novel or novella (a shorter novel), authors generally draw from a common pool of literary techniques.

Short story writers may define their works as part of the artistic and personal expression of the form. They may also attempt to resist categorization by genre and fixed formation.

Short stories have deep roots and the power of short fiction has been recognised in modern society for hundreds of years. The short form is, conceivably, more natural to us than longer forms. We are drawn to short stories as the well-told story, and as William Boyd, the award-winning British author and short story writer has said:"[short stories] seem to answer something very deep in our nature as if, for the duration of its telling, something special has been created, some essence of our experience extrapolated, some temporary sense has been made of our common, turbulent journey towards the grave and oblivion".In terms of length, word count is typically anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 for short stories, however some have 20,000 words and are still classed as short stories. Stories of fewer than 1,000 words are sometimes referred to as "short short stories", or "flash fiction".

Short story cycle

A short story cycle (sometimes referred to as a story sequence or composite novel) is a collection of short stories in which the narratives are specifically composed and arranged with the goal of creating an enhanced or different experience when reading the group as a whole as opposed to its individual parts. Short story cycles are different from novels because the parts that would make up the chapters can all stand alone as short stories, each individually containing a beginning, middle and conclusion. When read as a group there is a tension created between the ideas of the individual stories, often showing changes that have occurred over time or highlighting the conflict between two opposing concepts or thoughts. Because of this dynamic, the stories need to have an awareness of what the other stories accomplish; therefore, cycles are usually written with the expressed purpose to create a cycle as opposed to being gathered and arranged later.In other words, a short story cycle is a novel in which the plot of the story consists of separate inconclusive (sometimes out of order) short stories/sequences of events, which are tied together by one background defining moment. Usually from unrelated characters and events. However by definition it is a novel, as the way it's presented gives an illusion of a normal acted story.

A short story cycle, is not to be confused (although in some cases can be complex to figure the difference out at times), with a regular epic story that has unrelated sub-plots, dream sequences, flashbacks and flashforwards, which do not tie in to the main plot.

In addition, a short story cycle, is not necessarily an anthology either, in which the stories are separate episodes. In a short story cycle, all the stories are connected by a background defining plot.

Stepan Yanovsky

Stepan Dmitrievich Yanovsky (Russian: Степа́н Дми́триевич Яно́вский; 1815 – 13 July 1897, Switzerland) was a family doctor of Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He watched after the writer's health from 1846 to 1849. He was also an author of memoirs about Dostoevsky ("The Russian Messenger" magazine, 1885, №176). Some features of Yanovsky and some family events from his life were reflected in the image of Dostoevsky's character Pavel Pavlovich Trusotsky ("The Eternal Husband").

Vladimir Sollogub

Count Vladimir Alexandrovich Sollogub (Russian: Влади́мир Алекса́ндрович Соллогу́б; German: Woldemar Graf Sollogub (Sollohub); August 20, 1813, St. Petersburg – June 17 (o.s. June 5), 1882, Bad Homburg) was a minor Russian writer, author of novelettes, essays, plays, and memoirs.

His paternal grandfather was a Polish aristocrat, and he grew up in the midst of St. Petersburg high society. He graduated from the University of Dorpat in 1834 and was attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs the following year in Vienna. His literary career began in 1837 in the journal Sovremennik. In 1840 he married Sofya Mikhailovna Velgorskaya. In 1843 he visited Nice and met Gogol. From 1856 he was an Officer for Special Commissions in the imperial court; he took an interest in prison reform, and from 1875 was сhair of the Commission for the Reorganization of Prisons in Russia. In 1858 he was sent abroad to study European theater, and in 1877 he became an official historian at court.

Sollogub was a connoisseur of theatrical life and of St. Petersburg society. He hosted a well-known literary and musical salon where he brought to life the atmosphere of St. Petersburg of that era as related in his Memoirs (1887). He is best known for his 1845 novelette Tarantas ("The Tarantass"), "a satirical journey from Moscow to Kazán in a tumble-down traveling cart. The satire, superficial and uninspired, is directed against the ideas of the Slavophils and the unpractical dreaminess of the romantic idealists."


Yermolay (Russian: Ермолай) is a Russian given name. It is also written as Ermolai, Ermolay, and Yermolai.

Works by Ivan Turgenev
Short fiction

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