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The novel evolved and expanded from an 1849 short story or sketch entitled "Oblomov's Dream". The novel focuses on the midlife crisis of the main character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, an upper middle class son of a member of Russia's nineteenth century landed gentry. Oblomov's distinguishing characteristic is his slothful attitude towards life. While a common negative The novel evolved and expanded from an 1849 short story or sketch entitled "Oblomov's Dream". The novel focuses on the midlife crisis of the main character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, an upper middle class son of a member of Russia's nineteenth century landed gentry. Oblomov's distinguishing characteristic is his slothful attitude towards life. While a common negative characteristic, Oblomov raises this trait to an art form, conducting his little daily business apathetically from his bed. While clearly comedic, the novel also seriously examines many critical issues that faced Russian society in the nineteenth century. Some of these problems included the uselessness of landowners and gentry in a feudal society that did not encourage innovation or reform, the complex relations between members of different classes of society such as Oblomov's relationship with his servant Zakhar, and courtship and matrimony by the elite.


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The novel evolved and expanded from an 1849 short story or sketch entitled "Oblomov's Dream". The novel focuses on the midlife crisis of the main character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, an upper middle class son of a member of Russia's nineteenth century landed gentry. Oblomov's distinguishing characteristic is his slothful attitude towards life. While a common negative The novel evolved and expanded from an 1849 short story or sketch entitled "Oblomov's Dream". The novel focuses on the midlife crisis of the main character, Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, an upper middle class son of a member of Russia's nineteenth century landed gentry. Oblomov's distinguishing characteristic is his slothful attitude towards life. While a common negative characteristic, Oblomov raises this trait to an art form, conducting his little daily business apathetically from his bed. While clearly comedic, the novel also seriously examines many critical issues that faced Russian society in the nineteenth century. Some of these problems included the uselessness of landowners and gentry in a feudal society that did not encourage innovation or reform, the complex relations between members of different classes of society such as Oblomov's relationship with his servant Zakhar, and courtship and matrimony by the elite.

30 review for Oblomov: Russian classics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ilse

    It was the moment of solemn stillness in nature, when the creative mind works more actively, poetic thoughts glow more fervently, the heart burns with passion more ardently or suffers more bitter anguish, when the seed of a criminal design ripens unhindered in a cruel soul, when.everhtying in Oblomovka is peacefully and soundly asleep. The hero of this delightful 19th-century Russian masterpiece is the melancholy and slothful landowner Ilya Ilyitch Oblomov, who spends about half of the book in It was the moment of solemn stillness in nature, when the creative mind works more actively, poetic thoughts glow more fervently, the heart burns with passion more ardently or suffers more bitter anguish, when the seed of a criminal design ripens unhindered in a cruel soul, when….everhtying in Oblomovka is peacefully and soundly asleep. The hero of this delightful 19th-century Russian masterpiece is the melancholy and slothful landowner Ilya Ilyitch Oblomov, who spends about half of the book in bed. Daydreaming about his childhood on Oblomovka, the family estate, he forges grand plans, more hindered than helped by his grumpy servant Zahar. When the adorable Olga appears on stage, singing Casta Diva, Oblomov's listless, lethargic life is turned upside down... Heartwarming, moving, often funny and so recognizable. After all, isn’t there a little of Oblomov in all of us? (Illustration N. Shcheglov) Dit is het uur, waarin de weidse stilte van de nacht heel de natuur in zich opneemt, waarin de scheppende geest nieuwe kracht ontvangt, de dichtader rijkelijker vloeit, waarin het hart heftiger klopt van hartstocht of pijnlijk ineenkrimpt van een smartelijk begeren, waarin de kiem van de misdaad in het wrede gemoed tot welige bloei komt, en waarin in Oblomowka allen ongestoord slapen. De held van dit heerlijke 19de-eeuwse meesterwerk is de melancholieke en aartsluie landeigenaar Ilja Oblomow, die zowat de helft van het boek doezelend in bed doorbrengt. Dagdromend over zijn jeugd op Oblomowka, het familielandgoed, smeedt hij grootse plannen, daarbij meer gehinderd dan geholpen door zijn knorrige huisknecht. Als de aanbiddelijke Olga op het toneel verschijnt, wordt Oblomows lusteloze leventje danig overhoop gegooid… Hartverwarmend, ontroerend, vaak grappig en heel herkenbaar, want zijn wij niet allemaal een béétje Oblomow?

  2. 5 out of 5

    knig

    I know Im not going to do Oblomov justice: this is what happens when Im in awe. Im much better really at slagging books off. Masterpieces leave me Im not worthy tongue-tied. Oblomov is so big hes become a word in Russian: oblomovschina. As in, the Russian dictionary. To mean Godot-ism or an existential couch-potato. The man is wedded to his couch: life bubbles all around him at super sonic speed, but Oblomov: well, he....reclines. He lays about 24/7, and then he dies. The end. But. And yet. I know I’m not going to do Oblomov justice: this is what happens when I’m in awe. I’m much better really at slagging books off. Masterpieces leave me ‘I’m not worthy’ tongue-tied. Oblomov is so big he’s become a word in Russian: ‘oblomovschina’. As in, the Russian dictionary. To mean ‘Godot-ism’ or an existential couch-potato. The man is wedded to his couch: life bubbles all around him at super sonic speed, but Oblomov: well, he....reclines. He lays about 24/7, and then he dies. The end. But. And yet. There are so many layers to this, the proverbial onion can but weep. A helicopter view lays bare a man too lazy and apathetic to emulate a Hamlet simulacra. If the latter debates the merit of ‘going on’, the former is merely ‘getting on’. Its not a question of ‘why live’, but one of getting the whole business of living over and done with. Oblomov is simply waiting to die: whether he realises it or not. Zoom in closer and Oblomov is a metaphor, a gynormous symbol. Here is what of: How many times have I cradled a pint and reminisced with ‘auld acquaintance’ on the ‘what ifs’ of life. People locked into the mundane, informed of socially accepted barriers which separate them from a degree of greatness: the children, the mortgage, ailing parents they need to care for, health constraints, money woes; all of this and more is why they tread the hamster wheel and live the groundhog day and notch one same old after another. We clink glasses and toast and encourage each other in attaining even greater average-ness, for the sake of A’ that. Goncharev, as I see it, lays bare this lie, and promulgates Oblamov: who doesn’t have any of the above or other worries, but simply succumbs to the utilitarian without any excuse whatsoever. Self limiting, inauspicious, unambitious, unadventurous, dispassionate, locked in analysis paralysis, passive, call it ,sister: because thats what the bulk of us are, sheep! No, it wasn’t your momma what did it, nor the groping catholic priest, nor daddy whos sick in bed, nor the lack of moolah: its YOU. No excuses. One just wants movement in life, or one doesn’t. There is no point blaming circumstances in how we turn out: this is very much a nature over nurture battle-cry. Oblomov, wallowing in utmost sloth, inability to act or live, in full knowledge of his dire circumstances, has this to say: ‘Yet no life but this do I wish, or have it in my power, to live’. Quite a brave introspection. Bottom line: we are all, EXACTLY, where we want to be. Regardless of what excuses we heap on our life-shit pile, we’re ultimately living the life we want. That this is so is intuitive: if we didn’t want our shit lives, we would do something about it. What we really mean is: ‘I ‘m living my life exactly how I want it, but this isn’t socially acceptable. Therefore, I’m going to conjure up a whole load of stock-pile excuses as to why I’m doing this’. Oblamov is also a bit more than a dissection of individual human psyche. Goncharev also tackles ‘the Russian zeitgeist’. And how. In exploring the collective consciousness of Russia, he does something which I love, love, love, for personal reasons, being a multi-cultural product myself. He’s quick to spot the extreme backwardness and childishness and inutility of the apathetic, superstitious milieu, and he’s not afraid to show it. But. Yet. In vivisecting and laying bare the dross of Russian trope, he wields the scalpel with infinite care and love. Underlying his condemnation is a profound and unrevokable love for his motherland, a generous tolerance despite his misgivings, an acknowledgement that no matter how deep the scalpel delves, the body is still worth preserving. I adore that kind dichotomy. We are none of us so big for our britches that we can swipe away the qualia of our entire birth nation. Really, there can be no true negation by a native: he will always be a product. Goncharev knows this. Oblamov is also a bit more than a dissection of individual and collective consciousness. It is also a riotous satire, a Massala of humour, so understated and elegant, its ephemeral in its delicacy. The scene with the arrival of a letter at Oblomovo surely must, must, rate as one of the virtuoso moments in literature, of any epoch. Oblamov is also a bit more than a dissection of individual and collective consciousness and (take a deep breath) a riotous satire. Its a philosophical treatise on the meaning of life, and non so more touched me as Olga Segeivna. There is perhaps no other literary character I have come across so far who portrays my own conundrums and fears as she does; and its immensely comforting to see that I am not alone in the penumbra. What a book. Really.

  3. 4 out of 5

    İntellecta

    Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov The novel shows the conditions in Russia before a long time. A declining nobility, harassed by energetic citizens. The characters in the novel represent the people we meet in our daily lives. Busy Stolz, lazy Oblomov, obstinate servant Sachar, false Tarantjew. The book is both magical and tragic. It also offers funny parts. Anyone who can get used to occasionally somewhat outdated formulations will find a real treasure here. Its not only Oblomov that is remarkable here, Oblomov, by Ivan Goncharov The novel shows the conditions in Russia before a long time. A declining nobility, harassed by energetic citizens. The characters in the novel represent the people we meet in our daily lives. Busy Stolz, lazy Oblomov, obstinate servant Sachar, false Tarantjew. The book is both magical and tragic. It also offers funny parts. Anyone who can get used to occasionally somewhat outdated formulations will find a real treasure here. It´s not only Oblomov that is remarkable here, but especially the design of Olga, which is plunged into a serious identity crisis as a result of her efforts to bring about Oblomov. In general, Goncharov's woman portrayal, his partisanship is extremely modern for her and one more reason to read this novel. It's really a classic. Very amusing with very fine humor. By the way, the book gets more and more exciting towards the end. So whoever keep going on it will be rewarded.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    884. Oblomovka = Обломов = Oblomov, Ivan Goncharov Oblomov is the second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed. In 884. Oblomovka = Обломов = Oblomov, Ivan Goncharov Oblomov is the second novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is the central character of the novel, portrayed as the ultimate incarnation of the superfluous man, a symbolic character in 19th-century Russian literature. Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed. In the first 50 pages, he manages only to move from his bed to a chair. The book was considered a satire of Russian nobility whose social and economic function was increasingly questioned in mid-nineteenth century Russia. It has been said that "no other novel has been used to describe the ever-so-elusive 'Russian mentality' or 'Russian soul' as frequently as Oblomov". عنوانها: ابلوموف؛ آبلوموف؛ نویسنده: ایوان گنچاروف؛ انتشاراتیها: (امیرکبیر، نشر چشمه، فرهنگ معاصر) ادبیات روسیه سده 19؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه می سال 1984 میلادی عنوان: ابلوموف؛ نویسنده: ایوان گنچاروف؛ مترجم: سروش حبیبی؛ در 495 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، امیرکبیر، 1363؛ چاپ دیگر 1369؛ چاپ پنجم: 1377؛ شابک: 9640004227؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، نشر چشمه، 1380؛ در 820 ص؛ شابک: 9643620123؛ باعنوان: آبلوموف؛ فرهنگ معاصر، 1385؛ شابک: 9648637342؛ در 895 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان روسیه - سده 19 م عنوان: ابلوموف؛ نویسنده: ایوان گنچاروف؛ مترجم: محمدرضا خاکی؛ تهران، بیدگل، 1388؛ در 185 ص؛ شابک: 9786005193305؛ ایلیا ایلیچ ابلوموف، دوران کودکی را، در املاک پدرش در روستا، در کنار خانواده و دوستش «آندرهٔ» می‌گذارند. در جوانی در «سن پترزبورگ» به استخدام دولت درمی‌آید. پس از سالها خدمت در کار دولتی، «ابلوموف» بازنشسته، همه ی روز در خانه روی کاناپه می‌لمد. لمیدگی برای او، نه از روی خستگی یا کسالت، بلکه خو و عادت ایشانست. هر آنوقت که در خانه باشد، که همیشه هست، بر روی کاناپه لمیده یا در خواب است. دوستش «آندرهٔ» می‌کوشد «ابلوموف» را با زندگی اجتماعی آشنا کند، و او را از سستی و خمودگی نجات دهد. اما تلاش او بی ثمر می‌ماند. عشق «اولگا» هم نمی‌تواند او را از رخوت و سستی، به در آورد. «ابلوموف» همچنان به زندگی راحت، و خمودگی خود، ادامه می‌دهد. با بیوه‌ ای ازدواج می‌کند، و تا آخر زندگی با تن آسایی خود، که «آندرهٔ» آن را «ابلوموفیسم» می‌نامد، بسر می‌برد. ا. شربیانی

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jan-Maat

    The novel Oblomov was written between Russia's defeat in the Crimean War and the Emancipation of Serfs. Between two profound shocks to a society which had been drifting along inertly, yet with profound self confidence, in the rut dug out by Peter the Great ((view spoiler)[which is a simplification, but more detail will only drift this review further from its subject (hide spoiler)] ). Oblomov is the eponymous central character of the novel (hero in this case would be an entirely inappropriate The novel Oblomov was written between Russia's defeat in the Crimean War and the Emancipation of Serfs. Between two profound shocks to a society which had been drifting along inertly, yet with profound self confidence, in the rut dug out by Peter the Great ((view spoiler)[which is a simplification, but more detail will only drift this review further from its subject (hide spoiler)] ). Oblomov is the eponymous central character of the novel (hero in this case would be an entirely inappropriate choice of words). He is characterised above all by a ponderousness that is almost immobility. Wrapped about in his great oriental dressing gown he is at once mountain like and passive. Open to be led on or exploited. The plot sees Oblomov pushed out of his repose and stirred into action only to see him return to indolent corpulence at the end. His sofa and dressing gown suggestive of oriental laziness and inefficiency (view spoiler)[With apologies to all non-occidentals but this novel does rely on the assumption that everything oriental is, if not quite inferior but, certainly less fit to survive and thrive in the modern cut throat world of nineteenth century mass mobilising and Imperialistic European society (hide spoiler)] . This is then a novel about Russia on the eve of change. It can't continue as it has done, yet lacks the motivation to move on. The price though of not changing is colonisation and exploitation by the nimble. The core of the book is the chapter "Oblomov's Dream" a vision of an unchanging life on the family's country estate. Warm, cosy, perpetually well fed. Stable. This dream is Oblomov's fixed point. Oblomov moves in a spiral around that point dragged out of his place from time to time but springing back as soon as it has the opportunity. His name comes from Oblom': a cloud. His nature lacks decisiveness and drive but rather drifts cloud like in contradistinction to his childhood friend, the half Russian-half German Stolz (Pride) who instead demonstrates German vigour and resolve which comes over as being un-Russian. Stolz drives forward. At one point determined to 'save' his friend and drag him, more or less, kicking and screaming in to a different way of life, away from the oriental dressing gown, away from the sofa and the daily struggle to move across the room from one piece of furniture to another. The nuance in the portrayal of the potentially horrific Oblomov comes from his immobility. If he can't to motivated to get up and go, equally he can't be blown about by the fickle winds of popular enthusiasm (he is not going to entertain the idea that some flavour of the month poet is better than Pushkin! (view spoiler)[ I was reminded again today that Oblomov is right (view spoiler)[ I listened to the best part of a 15 minute talk in which Mark O'Connell argues that in an age of strong opinions, we should embrace ambivalence. Isn't that what Keats called Negative capacity? Do we want prizes for reinventing the wheel? (hide spoiler)] and that is part of the power of this book (hide spoiler)] ). He has cultural values that are immutable. This gives a strength to his otherwise unformed and unfocused life. Oblomov is never going to throw out the baby - but at the cost of forever keeping hold of the bathwater. As a result he is doomed to spiral downwards in ever tightening and restricting cycles towards an ultimate still point. His dream, a nightmare for others. The heavy symbolism of a country in need of change to remain a leading power in the world, is entirely intentional(view spoiler)[ amusingly this has remained a contemporary question continuously ever seen the book was published, which suggests there is something wrong with the basic assumptions (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[ I suppose we can see the novel as a commentary on the debate between the slavophiles and the Westernisers, on the one hand we're warned that the country will have integrity but be at the mercy of rapacious neighbours, while on the other Russia won't be Russia any more (hide spoiler)] . Goncharov's Mendalian answer is that you need to cross Russian 'soul', by which is meant an emotional and poetic state of being, with German efficiency and drive in a mixture of 3:1, depending on where you stand on the spectrum of Russian nationalism you may find that optimistic, pessimistic, or entirely misguided.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    There is a crustacean called a hermit crab that lives its entire life hiding from the world in a seashell This is the way Ilya Ilyich Oblomov exists among other human beings He was a man of about thirty-two or three, of medium height and pleasant appearance, with dark grey eyes, but with a total absence of any definite idea, any concentration, in his features. Thoughts promenaded freely all over his face, fluttered about in his eyes, reposed on his half-parted lips, concealed themselves in the There is a crustacean called a hermit crab that lives its entire life hiding from the world in a seashell… This is the way Ilya Ilyich Oblomov exists among other human beings… He was a man of about thirty-two or three, of medium height and pleasant appearance, with dark grey eyes, but with a total absence of any definite idea, any concentration, in his features. Thoughts promenaded freely all over his face, fluttered about in his eyes, reposed on his half-parted lips, concealed themselves in the furrows of his brow, and then vanished completely – and it was at such moments that an expression of serene unconcern spread all over his face. This unconcern passed from his face into the contours of his body and even into the folds of his dressing-gown. Inertia of the mind and fear of everything new don’t allow the hero to do anything or take any however small step forward… He is locked in a prison of his apathy, ennui and listlessness so lethargy is the way of his living from day to day… ‘Writes articles at night,’ Oblomov mused. ‘When does he sleep? And yet he probably earns five thousand a year. It’s his bread and butter. But to keep on writing, wasting his mind and soul on trifles, to change his convictions, sell his intelligence and imagination, do violence to his nature, be in a perpetual state of excitement and turmoil, knowing no rest, always rushing about… And write and write, like a wheel or a machine – write to-morrow, write the day after – the holidays, summer will come – always writing, writing! When is he to stop and have a rest? Poor wretch!’ But the novel is much wider than just a portrayal of the main hero – Ivan Goncharov paints the whole gallery of the vivid characters that constitute the human fauna surrounding Oblomov. When he meets a young intelligent girl, Oblomov seems to wake from his hibernation and he starts changing his ways of life but all in vain – inertness doesn’t let him go and he is pushed back into the mire of his inactivity for good. ‘Don’t talk rubbish! Man has been created to arrange his own life and even to change his own nature, and you’ve grown a big belly and think that nature has sent you this burden! You had wings once, but you took them off.’ Tranquility… Sometimes a snail or a slug would crawl across a green leaf and after it nothing would be left except a slightly glimmering trail of mucus. If the meek inherit the earth, the world will be lying in ruins…

  7. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    A slow, sad poem weaving through to an end that is left revealed to the reader from the beginning. To read this book is like watching the waves on a lonely beach, you know what will happen next, but it is beautiful to just sit and watch... But, maybe it is best to let the book describe its own message? - Yes; such is the payment exacted for the Promethean fire. You must not only endure, you must even love and respect, the sorrow and the doubts and the self-questionings of which you have spoken: A slow, sad poem weaving through to an end that is left revealed to the reader from the beginning. To read this book is like watching the waves on a lonely beach, you know what will happen next, but it is beautiful to just sit and watch... But, maybe it is best to let the book describe its own message? - Yes; such is the payment exacted for the Promethean fire. You must not only endure, you must even love and respect, the sorrow and the doubts and the self-questionings of which you have spoken: for they constitute the excess, the luxury, of life, and show themselves most when happiness is at its zenith, and has alloyed with it no gross desires. Such troubles are powerless to spring to birth amid life which is ordinary and everyday; they cannot touch the individual who is forced to endure hardship and want. That is why the bulk of the crowd goes on its way without ever experiencing the cloud of doubt, the pain of self-questioning. To him or to her, however, who voluntarily goes to meet those difficulties they become welcome guests, not a scourge.

  8. 4 out of 5

    MihaElla

    Life, and life only [of course, life does not follow logic, it has its own strange ways] keeps telling us in all the possible ways that there is a (big) difference between the male mind and the female mind, and their functioning is different, same as true polars. Although spiritually they are exactly the same, physiologically they are poles apart, and function in different ways. [for example, man is more physical and more extrovert than woman; the woman is more psychological and more introvert. Life, and life only [of course, life does not follow logic, it has its own strange ways] keeps telling us in all the possible ways that there is a (big) difference between the male mind and the female mind, and their functioning is different, same as true polars. Although spiritually they are exactly the same, physiologically they are poles apart, and function in different ways. [for example, man is more physical and more extrovert than woman; the woman is more psychological and more introvert. Or, when a man and a woman are in deep, loving embrace, the woman immediately closes her eyes. He remains more or less an outsider, a spectator. He is more interested in watching than in being in it. The woman is more concerned with her inner being, what is happening there. Hence, for women their real interest is in their inner processes. These differences are so great that they make for different life-styles] One thing that struck me greatly was to find out that men are happier being married than not because when they are not married they simply feel lonely. So, even if the marriage is miserable, it is better than to be lonely; at least there is something to keep you occupied. Misery also keeps you occupied and man always wants to remain occupied — something on the outside so that he need not go in, so he can keep his eyes open. On the other side, the woman is not so interested in the outside, so when a woman is unmarried she feels more alone than lonely. And she can enjoy her aloneness better than a man because she is more inner-directed — she is more selfish, but in a very positive meaning, she is self-centered. The man is other-centered; he is constantly thinking of others. The woman is thinking more about herself. At the most, she remains interested in the neighborhood — who is fooling around with whom. Hence, she can remain alone in a more healthy way than man; he feels very lonely. He has to know what is happening in the whole world. Even in his aloneness he will create some imaginary beings — God, angels — and imaginary problems: How many angels can stand on the point of a needle? And he will be really into the problem; he will waste his whole life counting the angels, and he will argue to no end! The woman simply laughs (well, I do laugh too 😉). The woman deep down knows boys are just boys — let them talk! They call it philosophy, theology — they are very skillful in giving great names to things. So, paradoxically the woman can be more happy alone than married, because she can make herself rooted without the man; the man is not such a great need. [and yes, there is a great need to be a mother in a woman, but there is no great need to be a wife.] She can be more independent than the man — she IS more independent. And, just because the woman is more independent, down the ages man has tried to make her dependent in other ways — economically, socially. Naturally, she is more independent and that hurts the man (his ego), so he has tried to make her dependent in some way (artificial dependence). Economically she has been paralyzed, she has to depend on man. This is a consolation for man: if he depends on her, she also depends on him. It is a compensation and a consolation. Politically, socially, she has been thrown out of the society (btw, nowadays even the company I am working for realized that it’s high time they should allow more women to take places in the middle and higher management…well, at least some change of perspective in the communication style…). Well, something that made me ponder over is that, perhaps, that’s why she looks more beautiful — her beauty has roots in her physiological balance. Eventually, each man and each woman needs a great education about it — that they are different; their physiologies are different, their psychologies are different, and they have to understand each other’s psychology, each other’s physiology. They have to be taught. And, as the author clearly emphasized, “Love is a most difficult school of life!”… Once upon a time I was a Stolz, but days and years passed by, many of them it seems so far, and I have realized that I am inclining towards growing into an Oblomov sort of type (I even bought myself a dressing-gown, of course not of Persian cloth, but Romanian made, still pretty comfortable, cosy and with a home-feel). My ‘Oblomov’ attitude is there for sure 2 days out of 7 - I feel, think and act as an original Oblomov. The other 5 days I am still perfectly adapted to Stolz model. I guess it’s in my nature too, I might be more masculine or male-oriented, although apparently and technically I am built to represent a feminine form and shape. Well, that can be misleading too, cannot it? 😉 I felt so much for Oblomov, he made me cry. Goodness! I didn’t know I could cry for such a male type. But I did. He truly didn’t deserve to waste his life like he did. What a pity!! I appreciated his inner struggle and intention to clear out the mental confusion. Despite his failure. Still that was so much worth it. “Why am I like this? Oblomov asked himself almost with tears, hiding his head under the blanket again. Why? … But what am I? Oblomov- and nothing more!” I do ask myself, too: Why am I like this? What am I? And, I do keep asking myself (well not so often, because my free time is less and less nowadays), but still I am not fully satisfied with the current answers. But again, I am so much “fragmented” – same like our darling hero, with dove-like tenderness, Oblomov. He is truly representing a fragmented man, like his name stands for. Well, man – weak creature that he is, feels bewildered, and tries to find in his imagination, if mind cannot support or serve, the key to his own being and to the mysteries that encompass him. And, perhaps it was the everlasting quiet of a sleepy and stagnant life and the absence of movement and of any real terrors, adventures, and dangers that made man create amidst the real life another fantastic one where he might find amusement and true scope for his idle imagination or an explanation of ordinary events and the causes of the events outside the events themselves… Oblomov is being justified. In his house/home, in the countryside, everything there was imbued with the same primitive laziness, simplicity of customs, peace, and inertia. The child’s heart and mind had been filled with the scenes, pictures, and habits of that life long before he set eyes on his first book. And who can tell when the development of a child’s intellect begins? How can one trace the birth of the first ideas and impressions in a child’s mind? Perhaps when a child begins to talk, or even before it can talk or walk, but only gazes at everything with that dumb, intent look that seems blank to grown-ups, it already catches and perceives the meaning and the connexions of the events of his life, but is not able to tell it to himself or to others. Later on, in his mature years, he does have an explanation, too. “…of course, I dreamed, whispered hopes of the future, made plans, developed ideas and-feelings, too. It all died, and was never repeated again! And where did it all disappear to? Why has it become extinguished? I can’t understand! There were no storms or shocks in my life; I never lost anything; there is no load on my conscience: it is clear as glass; no blow has killed ambition in me, and goodness only knows why everything has been utterly wasted!” The only paragraph that puts a final conclusion is this one, which I keep returning once in a while, too: “The trouble is that no devastating or redeeming fires have ever burnt in my life. It never was like a morning which gradually fills with light and colour and then turns, like other people’s, into a blazing, hot day, when everything seethes and shimmers in the bright noonday sun, and then gradually grows paler and more subdued, fading naturally into the evening twilight. NO! MY life began by Flickering out. It may sound strange but it is so. From the very first moment I became conscious of myself, I felt that I was already flickering out. I began to flicker out over the writing of official papers at the office; I went on flickering out when I read truths in books which I did not know how to apply in life, when I sat with friends listening to rumours, gossip, jeering, spiteful, cold, and empty chatter, and watching friendships kept up by meetings that were without aim or affection; I was flickering out and wasting my energies with Minna on whom I spent more than half of my income, imagining that I loved her; I was flickering out at parties- on reception days, where I was welcomed with open arms as a fairly eligible young man; I was flickering out and wasting my life and mind on trifles moving from town to some country house, and from the country house to Gorokhovaya, etc etc … and life in general by lazy and comfortable somnolence like the rest… Even ambition- what was it wasted on? To order clothes at a famous tailor’s? To get an invitation to a famous house? To shake hands with Prince P.? And ambition is the salt of life! Where has it gone to? Either I have not understood this sort of life or it is utterly worthless; but I did not know of a better one. No one showed it to me. You (his childhood and youth long life friend Stolz) appeared and disappeared like a bright and swiftly moving comet, and I forgot it all and went on flickering out…. “ … The End: A masterpiece of a book! A must read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.

    I think this might be my favorite novel, at least think this might be the most perfect novel I have ever read. Yet, I am not surprised that this novel is not as popular as other Russian classics. Its merit and preciousness lie in its subtleties. This book has no sudden outbursts of emotion, no unbelievable plot twists, and that is precisely why it is so brilliant. The emotional and intellectual depth of this novel is something that one seldom encounters, but one is able to see that only when one I think this might be my favorite novel, at least think this might be the most perfect novel I have ever read. Yet, I am not surprised that this novel is not as popular as other Russian classics. Its merit and preciousness lie in its subtleties. This book has no sudden outbursts of emotion, no unbelievable plot twists, and that is precisely why it is so brilliant. The emotional and intellectual depth of this novel is something that one seldom encounters, but one is able to see that only when one gets past the superficial stereotypes surrounding this novel. This novel is packed in layers with social commentary, humour, and philosophy, and one has to look past one layer to see the other. "Oblomov! Isn't that the novel about the lazy rich nobleman?" It seems so, but that is not the point. It seems to me that the people who regard this novel as a warning against laziness and idleness fail to grasp the full meaning of the work. When I saw Lenin's supposed remark about how "the Oblomovs should be whipped", I couldn't help thinking that maybe he too, didn't quite get it. Whipping Oblomov wouldn't do any good at all. To me this book is mostly about the question of "what is one to do with oneself?" or "how does one live?" and "for what?", "Who and what should we value in our lives?" . Beneath the supposed laziness of Oblomov lies the dilemma of his entire existence which he does not know how to resolve. Eventually this lack of resolution in his life, leads Oblomov into not quite a depression, but to a strange type of anhedonia, which is temporary lifted by certain people and events, but which ultimately remains with him until the end. The other part of this work which is subtle and profound is the discussion between Stolz and Oblomov as respective representatives of German and Russian culture. Stolz is seemingly the model man, yet he is unable to answer Oblomov's simple question of why he works as much as he does, and for what purpose? Perhaps the point is that Stolz is never still enough to have an existential crisis, and is proof that if we stay just busy enough to not think seriously about our lives, we'll glide our way through one way or another. I think this work captures every aspect of the Russian attitude, intellect, emotion, soul, and lifestyle from the most superficial level to the very deep. I do not think this novel would appeal to everyone, however, I still think it is a literary masterpiece for all times.

  10. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    I adore classic Russian literature, more so than classic English or American. It was always a regret of mine that I never got to study any Russians, having opted to do an English/Scottish university degree in 2004. Still: regrets, regrets. Oblomov is a sentimental satire, poking fun at the indolence of the landed gentry and the indecision of the ruling class leading to ruin and shame. The hero is a dreamer who struggles to get out of bed until one day he meets Olga, who he woos and courts and I adore classic Russian literature, more so than classic English or American. It was always a regret of mine that I never got to study any Russians, having opted to do an English/Scottish university degree in 2004. Still: regrets, regrets. Oblomov is a sentimental satire, poking fun at the indolence of the landed gentry and the indecision of the ruling class leading to ruin and shame. The hero is a dreamer who struggles to get out of bed until one day he meets Olga, who he woos and courts and then loses through laziness, taking to his bed again until devious clerks start wheedling his money. It's all very miserable and melodramatic, like all great Russian lit. The novel isn't always economical with plot: there are stretches of soupy indulgence with the Oblomov's Dream chapter, and later sections detailing Olga's thoughts and feelings feel utterly inconsequential to the story. Anywho, Oblomov himself is a tragic hero, cut from the Rashkolnikov or Underground Man cloth. Recommended for Tolstoyians and your cheerier Dostoevskyians.

  11. 5 out of 5

    João Reis

    A great book, though sometimes a bit too lengthy. I would write more about it, but I'm feeling too oblomovian to do it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alan

    A delightful account of the leisured upper class in Czarist Russia, touted by the Communists because it reveals the non-working class: in this case, Oblomov spends the first fifty pages in bed. When he finally gets out of bed (Ch.IV, pt I) he moves to "a large armchair, sank into it, and sat motionless." Lots of friends visit him, Tarantyev, Alexayev, and several others. His servant Zakhar ("Grasping") steals small amounts, kopecks for drinking with his buddies, also whoring, which his master is A delightful account of the leisured upper class in Czarist Russia, touted by the Communists because it reveals the non-working class: in this case, Oblomov spends the first fifty pages in bed. When he finally gets out of bed (Ch.IV, pt I) he moves to "a large armchair, sank into it, and sat motionless." Lots of friends visit him, Tarantyev, Alexayev, and several others. His servant Zakhar ("Grasping") steals small amounts, kopecks for drinking with his buddies, also whoring, which his master is too lazy to do. In fact, sloth and a big appetite make him innocent and virtuous. This plump and lazy man does eventually fall in love, just after he gives up his literary pretensions (he's no Proust, writing in bed) and Zakhar has bestowed his master's literry efforts on hidden corners of the house. He wants a life of candid friends, not those who'll satirize you as soon as you leave the hall; if he marries, he wants books, a piano and elegant furniture, мебель. That's the French word, "meubles," movables. So many Russian words come from France, which was to Russia as England was to America--all the upper class in War and Peace speak French. And Russian academic introductions I found fairly easy to translate because all their abstractions (like most of ours) are French...like the word "abstraction" itself. But back to Oblomov in love. He falls for a lady while listening to her... sing. See Andrew Marvell's, "The Fair Singer," "But how should I avoid to be her Slave,/ Whose subtle art invisibly can weave /My Fetters of the very Air I breath?" Goncharov's singing scene is extensive, his friend Stolz almost ordering Olga to sing, and she deferring to Oblomov, who does not ask, not knowing if she'd sing up to his standards-- and he lacks the skills of meaningless compliment. He says, "I can't want what I don't know," and Stoltz reprimands, "You are rude!" After Stolz leaves, Olga confesses she knows Oblomov to be a "sinner." With a laugh, she says he wears unmatched socks...Stolz had told her. Oblomov is so embarrassed he gets his hat to leave, but she talks him down with her candor. Olga has no affectation, no coquetry, no pretense so common in Russian society women. She had noticed his tears while she was singing...his embarrassment, "a bad trait in men, ashamed of their feelings. They would do better to be ashamed of their intellect: it more often falls into error"(232). Here's Goncharv's version of LaRochefoucault, "Every man complains of his memory, no man of his judgement." Olga sits at the piano, plays and sings, several songs, her voice dark, and then "fresh and silvery." She finishes on a long-drawn-out note, her voice dying away. She, "Why do you look like that? Oh My God! слезы в них!" Tears in them..."You feel the music so deeply." Нет, не музыка, а ... любовь. Not the music, but...Love. (p.180, московский рабочий edtion, 1981). Czarist wealth, as I observed in my Gogol review, depended not on land, but on the slaves with a right to the land, мужик, the workers. Many owned versts and versts of land, worthless without workers. Here Oblomov says he's too poor to marry. His friend says, "Three hundred souls?" Ob, "That's not enough to live on with a wife"(205). Read in Ann Dunnigan's translation (Signet. 1963), but also some in Russian, 1981 edition bought at Schoenhof's, Cambridge in 1983.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Alaska)

    I think this isn't for everyone, but if you have liked other Russian literature, you might want to give this one a chance. At the beginning I was laughing out loud over some very humorous language about corrupt civil servants, and by the end my eyes were tearfully hot with sadness. From this book, a word has been coined: oblomovism. It is defined as indolent apathy. To me, this misses the point. Oblomov is a dreamer. He has dozens of plans for his life, he simply doesn't get around to them. But I think this isn't for everyone, but if you have liked other Russian literature, you might want to give this one a chance. At the beginning I was laughing out loud over some very humorous language about corrupt civil servants, and by the end my eyes were tearfully hot with sadness. From this book, a word has been coined: oblomovism. It is defined as indolent apathy. To me, this misses the point. Oblomov is a dreamer. He has dozens of plans for his life, he simply doesn't get around to them. But perhaps I identify too strongly, and therefore find excuses for him. First published in 1859, the prose is neither spare nor Dickensian. Goncharov does get wrapped up in his thoughts and ideas, and there are paragraphs that start at the top of one page and carry over to the next. Characterization, detail, ideas - this book does not let you relax. It requires patience, which I think I did not adequately realize. Rarely do I want to re-read a book, but that was my exact reaction as soon as I'd read the last page. I'm sure I missed much of what this book has to offer.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    This is the story of a man who does nothing... or almost nothing. Literally. It takes him over a hundred pages to get out of bed. Sound dreadful? Well, here's a surprise - it isn't. Oblomov is one of the great creations of Russian literature, a man who prefers idleness and daydreaming to action, and reminiscing about the past to forging ahead in the future. Oblomov is not merely indolent, however; he is also something of an endearing innocent. When Oblomov is coaxed out into the world by a This is the story of a man who does nothing... or almost nothing. Literally. It takes him over a hundred pages to get out of bed. Sound dreadful? Well, here's a surprise - it isn't. Oblomov is one of the great creations of Russian literature, a man who prefers idleness and daydreaming to action, and reminiscing about the past to forging ahead in the future. Oblomov is not merely indolent, however; he is also something of an endearing innocent. When Oblomov is coaxed out into the world by a friend, the novel takes on a different pace and comedy ensues. Now that I think of it, there's some similarity to Oblomov and Ignatius J. Reilly of A Confederacy of Dunces. Oblomov is not as antic or self deluded, but some rich comparisons could certainly be made.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Issicratea

    This book is a complete delight. Comic and profound is a tricky combination to pull off, but Oblomov has it to perfection. Oblomov himself is a magnificent comic character, at the same time sympathetic and ridiculous, hyperbolic and quite realistic. He defines an archetype in the same way as Don Quijote does (I was reminded quite a bit of Cervantes reading this novel). Oblomov is physically the antithesis of Quijote: hes a monstrous slob, who spends the firsthilarioushundred pages of the book not This book is a complete delight. Comic and profound is a tricky combination to pull off, but Oblomov has it to perfection. Oblomov himself is a magnificent comic character, at the same time sympathetic and ridiculous, hyperbolic and quite realistic. He defines an archetype in the same way as Don Quijote does (I was reminded quite a bit of Cervantes reading this novel). Oblomov is physically the antithesis of Quijote: he’s a monstrous slob, who spends the first—hilarious—hundred pages of the book not quite summoning the energy to get out of bed, although he is occasionally gets very close. “Lying down was not for Oblomov a necessity, as it is for a sick man … or a pleasure, as it is for a lazy man; it was his normal condition.” His favored dress is an ancient dressing-gown, which we see getting ever more shabby and unkempt across the course of the novel, and which symbolizes his cocoon-like existence: “the dressing gown had a vast number of inestimable qualities in Oblomov’s eyes.” The novel catches Oblomov relatively young, in his thirties, when he has potential still for awakening from his gargantuan sloth; and much of the plot of the novel (such as it is) comes from the attempts of his childhood friend, the hyper-energized Stolz, to galvanize him back into some approximation to a normal life. Under Stolz’s tutelage, Oblomov even engages in an improbable love affair with a beautiful, ardent, and romantic young woman, Olga. The way in which the love story is handled is touching and comic and psychologically astute, like so much in this book. I was impressed, and rather surprised, by Olga’s complexity as a character—it’s certainly not something one can always assume of the young female love interest in nineteenth-century novels (I’m looking at you, Dickens). In fact, Goncharov is generally good on women; I also liked Agafya, Oblomov’s simple soul landlady, who emerges as a major character in the second half of the book. Goncharov portrays her with great sympathy and sensitivity, and without a trace of the social snobbishness apparent in Stolz’s reaction to her. Agafya is like Oblomov, comically “mechanical” in Bergson’s sense, though she is the exact opposite of him in terms of physical energy and industriousness. But, like Oblomov, she is far from a cliché, and there is something admirable about her. She reminded me a little of Flaubert’s Felicité in “Un coeur simple.” One thing I liked about this novel was its philosophical dimension. Oblomov’s inertia clearly lends itself to a sociopolitical interpretation; he can only afford to indulge in such complete virtuoso couch-potatodom because he is a rentier, living off the toil of 300 serfs back on his beloved (but largely avoided) family estate. When his trusty, crusty, retainer Zakhar, another excellent comic character, incautiously compares his inertia to “other people’s” willingness to get on with things, Oblomov treats him to a magnificent diatribe pointing out quite how offensive this comparison is: “I am like the ‘others,’ am I? Do I rush about? Do I work? … Do I go short of things? ... Never in my life, thank God, have I had to pull a sock on my foot myself!” Although he is clearly a product of his background, though, and can be (and was, at the time) read as a caricature of a precise sociopolitical phenomenon, Oblomov is far more than that in the novel; he is an immensely endearing character, and there is a certain philosophical coherence to his hedonism and refusal of life (as well as an element of fear, which is especially well captured in his response to Olga). His is a kind of secular quietism, which has an appeal even to someone like me, who is temperamentally rather more of a Stolz than an Oblomov. It’s not at all bad to question occasionally what we “other people” think we are actually achieving with all our rushing around. I read this in the 1954 translation by David Magarshack in the Penguin edition, but I have read good things about the more contemporary translation by Stephen Pearl and would be interested to hear from anyone who knows both. I’d be happy to have an excuse to read Oblomov again!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    I probably shouldnt review this or rate it, as I realized too late I read an abridged edition. (Im allergic to those.) So my rating is for the public-domain edition only, the earliest translated-into-English version. In the beginning, with all the comings-and-goings in one room (the setting of which reminded me of A Journey Round My Room), the first chapters felt like a playa Beckettian play, due to the absurd conversations and Oblomovs futile attempts to put on his slippers, much less get up I probably shouldn’t review this or rate it, as I realized too late I read an abridged edition. (I’m allergic to those.) So my rating is for the public-domain edition only, the earliest translated-into-English version. In the beginning, with all the comings-and-goings in one room (the setting of which reminded me of A Journey Round My Room), the first chapters felt like a play—a Beckettian play, due to the absurd conversations and Oblomov’s futile attempts to put on his slippers, much less get up from a reclining position. Later, due to the research of a reading friend (thanks, Reem!), I was told that Beckett had indeed read this novel and likely was influenced by it. Also of interest to me was Oblomov falling into a high fever at the end of one section: a familiar 19th-century device, but one that almost always befalls a female character. Nothing much came of the incident, but maybe it did in the unabridged version. (Probably not.) Oblomov’s background is told through dream-sequences, his pampered childhood explaining why he is as he is; though, at least with this edition, I didn’t get enough on the background of his beloved friend and foil, Andrei. All in all, a pleasant enough reading experience, but I’m sure much better in its entirety.

  17. 5 out of 5

    David Lentz

    If life, as Balzac asserts, is a human comedy, then Oblomov has a memorable role in it. His existential question is not whether to be or not to be, as Hamlet advises, but rather to act or not to act: "to stay or move on." Oblomov is a quietist: that is, he finds action, if not impossible, then ultimately futile. This question is asked again in Waiting for Godot when the two main players determine to go and remain frozen in their places as the curtain falls on the tragi-comedy. Goncharov's work If life, as Balzac asserts, is a human comedy, then Oblomov has a memorable role in it. His existential question is not whether to be or not to be, as Hamlet advises, but rather to act or not to act: "to stay or move on." Oblomov is a quietist: that is, he finds action, if not impossible, then ultimately futile. This question is asked again in Waiting for Godot when the two main players determine to go and remain frozen in their places as the curtain falls on the tragi-comedy. Goncharov's work articulates many masterful turns of phrase in this novel, often with almost unspeakable beauty and insight into the human comedy. A member of the landed gentry with an estate in the country, Oblomov discovers that life won't let you alone or leave you in peace, no matter where you live. Oblomov is a lost soul, like so many Russian novelists' protagonists. "Life catches you, there's no stopping it." He mourns how hard it is to lead a simple life. At a time just before the fall of serfdom in Russia he views the elite as "living dead" who waste their lives in salons playing cards. We find hints of Gogol who was so germinal in his influence of Russian novelists who followed him. Oblomov's utopia is full of peace and quiet but he can never find it. Great line: "With me love is stronger than fear." Another: "This brooding of yours...is really a sign of strength. Sometimes an active questing mind tries to probe beyond normal limits and, of course, finds no answers...a deep frustration with life not yielding up its secrets...It leads you to the abyss from which there are no answers to be had and forces you to cherish life even more warmly...The alternative would be a life without questioning...It's a malaise of mankind." Another: "Don't let providence overhear you complaining or it might take it as evidence of ingratitude. Providence doesn't like it when its blessings are not appreciated." The patient reader will find many profound and moving expressions of Goncharev's perception of the human comedy. The exposition at the outset is daunting and the character development seems far too long in places. The pre-press proofing was annoyingly sloppy in this edition in a couple dozen places: maybe it's simply "oblomovshchina" on the part of the editor, in this case an Oxford scholar, but I expected better treatment by the publisher of this classic Russian novel. Your patience definitely will be rewarded with a memorable read of a truly great novel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bchara

    Very interesting story, that was mentioned to me by a friend with a good litteral taste. It has a subtle sense of humor, and explores the fighting spirit inside each of us.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. (view spoiler)[ Bettie's Books (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    TheSkepticalReader

    This is a confusing book to review. The back of my copy has quotes from two Russian giants, Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekov, claiming Oblomov as a must-read novel. Despite this, my expectations were less then what I ordinarily expect from a Russian novel becausewell, its a book about a guy who is lazy. What can it really have to offer? Upon finishing this, my response is the same as the one I had after finishing Don Quixote. Wellhuh. Oblomov, and oblomovism, introduces me to something that I havent This is a confusing book to review. The back of my copy has quotes from two Russian giants, Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekov, claiming Oblomov as a must-read novel. Despite this, my expectations were less then what I ordinarily expect from a Russian novel because…well, it’s a book about a guy who is lazy. What can it really have to offer? Upon finishing this, my response is the same as the one I had after finishing Don Quixote. Well…huh. Oblomov, and oblomovism, introduces me to something that I haven’t come across fiction yet. I’m considerably young so maybe this is just a lack of experience speaking, but Oblomov’s character and his way of life really threw me into a loop. While there are likely many interpretations of Oblomov and this novel, one that I took from it is: is it wrong to want to look into the past for comfort and not thrive for more? Enjoy the moments that are granted and sleep through the rest? Or is it just so different that it disconcerts us? I can phrase this question I have at least ten different ways. Another interpretation offered by the synopsis on my edition itself states that Oblomov is a symbol for the Russian aristocracy in the 19th century. This is certainly plausible given the life of the character and his ending; the parallels are easy to establish. The contrast between Stolz and Oblomov also expands this meaning and displays the downfalls of the aristocracy if they aren’t quick enough to adapt to the change coming their way—which as history has proven was accurate. I understood this interpretation best, it’s straight forward and easier to grasp, but have to admit that ‘oblomovism’ still has me more intrigued. Putting that aside though, there also ran a sense of melancholy throughout the book about the lack of ambition Oblomov has for life. If I know anything about humans then it is that they are curious, that they reach for change despite resenting it. Oblomov defies this basic understanding and in fact throws this idea back in my face. The reactions to change are so incredulous that it is certainly funny, but there remained a tinge of sadness in it’s hilarity. I couldn’t help but feel pity for him. I don’t think my thoughts are coherent enough to make too much sense right now, so hopefully this review isn’t too muddled. I liked this book in the end. I can see myself coming back to it in the future and reading it more carefully each time.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Ilya Ilich Oblomov is a nobleman with worries, when we first meet him. Firstly, he is being asked to move apartment - when he can scarcely be bothered to leave his couch. Secondly, his baliff has written, asking him to return to the countryside and deal with problems on his family estate. For Oblomov, despite his inertia, is the owner of 350 souls - a landowner and a member of the nobility. However, he has gone from a spoilt and lazy child to a man is simply unable to rouse himself to deal with Ilya Ilich Oblomov is a nobleman with worries, when we first meet him. Firstly, he is being asked to move apartment - when he can scarcely be bothered to leave his couch. Secondly, his baliff has written, asking him to return to the countryside and deal with problems on his family estate. For Oblomov, despite his inertia, is the owner of 350 souls - a landowner and a member of the nobility. However, he has gone from a spoilt and lazy child to a man is simply unable to rouse himself to deal with the smallest problem. Living in dirt and decay with his lazy servant Zakhar, he makes plans, but fails always to carry them out. During this novel, it is fair to say that not much happens. Oblomov worries a lot, he sleeps more, he argues with his servant and he thinks about the future. His friend, Stolz, tries his best to rouse him from his inertia and other 'friends' use him. However, despite the lack of action, this is an absolutely riveting, and beautifully written, novel. In some ways, of course, Oblomov is an object lesson for the problems with pre-revolutionary Russia; when the nobility were often absent from their estates, which were left in the hands of others to run, and living indolent and frivolous lives. As Stolz tells him, "It all began with your inability to put on your own stockings and ended with your inability to live." Stolz is the son of Oblomov's teacher, who has known him as a boy and who understands his way of life. Maligned by many characters as the son of a German, he is everything Oblomov is not - industrious, capable and organised. He does his best to help Oblomov get out of his rut of utter inactivity and take control of his life. Through him, Oblomov meets Olga, and the possibility of love, and even marriage, is raised. However, the tragedy of Oblomov is that he cannot truly change his own life, much as he talks about doing so. Of course, this was a time when many nobles considered work beneath them and lived on the income generated by their land. When Oblomov is asked to build a road, even a school on his estate, he is aghast. He sees a way of life that has gone on for generations without a need for improvement. Despite Oblomov's laziness and procrastination, he is always the centre that binds the other characters in the novel together. Ultimately, he is a gentle soul, who wants only to be left in peace. Although, like Stolz, you may feel exasperated at times, you recognise his innate kindness and that means you retain sympathy with his plight, even if it is self inflicted.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

    A yahoo search led me to the information about a book published by an unknown author in 1919 in Manila entitled Buhay na Pinagdaanan ni Juan Tamad na Anac ni Fabio at ni Sofia sa Caharian nang Portugal (Tagalog for "The Life lived by Juan Tamad, son of Fabio and Sofia, in the Kingdom of Portugal") which contains a poem consisting of 78 pages of four-line stanzas at seven stanzas per page. It tells of how Juan Tamad was born to a couple named Fabio and Sofia, and his adventures in Portugal. In A yahoo search led me to the information about a book published by an unknown author in 1919 in Manila entitled Buhay na Pinagdaanan ni Juan Tamad na Anac ni Fabio at ni Sofia sa Caharian nang Portugal (Tagalog for "The Life lived by Juan Tamad, son of Fabio and Sofia, in the Kingdom of Portugal") which contains a poem consisting of 78 pages of four-line stanzas at seven stanzas per page. It tells of how Juan Tamad was born to a couple named Fabio and Sofia, and his adventures in Portugal. In 1957, Manuel E. Arguilla (author of How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife) and Lyd Arguilla wrote the book Philippine Tales and Fables which included the story of Juan Tamad with illustrations by Romeo V. Tabuena. In 1965, playwright and publisher Alberto Florentino took the Arguillas' re-telling of Juan Tamad and published it as Stories of Juan Tamad, part of a series of 3 booklets for young readers. Illustrated with woodcuts by the late J. Elizalde Navarro (post-humously declared National Artist for Visual Arts), the book is said to be out-of-print and is now considered a collector's item. I do not know if I ever read a book about Juan Tamad when I was young, but I still remember two stories about him. One, is when he was supposed to have seen ripe guavas hanging on a tree but since he was too lazy to climb and get them, he just laid down on the ground and waited for the guavas to fall. Another is when he was tasked by his mother to buy some live crabs from the market but since he was too lazy to carry the crabs home he just set them free and told them to just walk towards their house. Oblomov is the Juan Tamad of Russia. Or should I say Juan Tamad is the Philippines's Oblomov, though in a much less grander scale(certainly, the original Juan Tamad is now forgotten, even by Filipinos; while Oblomov, more than 150 years after it was first published, remains one of the great masterpieces of Russian literature). Juan Tamad is portrayed as an ordinary young man. Oblomov, on the other hand, is the only son of rich landowners. But it is the indolence which they share. Oblomov likes to lie in bed almost all day. He does not even put on and remove his shoes. His servant does these for him. Like Juan Tamad, Oblomov is also a good man with not an ounce of malice in his heart. People easily take advantage of him. He has plans, but no ambitions; desires, but no dreams. When he fell in love with the beautiful Olga I thought the novel was veering towards a happy ending. But I was wrong. Sloth, a pernicious vice, proved to be stronger than love. It even defeats the advantages of wealth. A memorable tale, read with a recollection of a childhood folklore.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    Im going to have to review Oblomov on two levels. First on its merits as a novel; and then as a book that worked on me on an especially personal level. In the first instance, as a novel, Oblomov is a success. Solely on its merits, I would give it three stars without compunction and recommend it to all my GoodReads friends. Ivan Goncharov divides his somnolent epic into four parts. Part I, in which our hero, Ilya Ilich, barely manages to get out of bed, is the most consciously humorous and I’m going to have to review Oblomov on two levels. First on its merits as a novel; and then as a book that worked on me on an especially personal level. In the first instance, as a novel, Oblomov is a success. Solely on its merits, I would give it three stars without compunction and recommend it to all my GoodReads friends. Ivan Goncharov divides his somnolent epic into four parts. Part I, in which our hero, Ilya Ilich, barely manages to get out of bed, is the most consciously humorous and satirical. Much of Oblomov’s day is taken up with thinking about what he should do (most critically, writing that letter to his bailiff about reorganizing his estates*) and greeting various acquaintances who drop by and try to convince him to come out to a social affair at Ekaterinburg. We also meet Zakhar, Oblomov’s devoted servant, who’s been with him since he was a child. Their relationship is reminiscent of that between Arthur and Hobson in the movie “Arthur” or between Bruce Wayne and Alfred of “Batman” fame. If that were the extent of Goncharov’s efforts, Oblomov would be remembered only in the dusty halls of Russian Lit departments as a pleasant amusement. But Goncharov goes beyond the social satire to explore what it means to live in the subsequent chapters through the life of the tragically flawed Oblomov. Parts II and III recount Ilya Ilich and Olga Sergeyevna’s abortive love affair, and introduces us to Oblomov’s closest friend – Stolz, a man who embodies all the energy and interest in life that Ilya Ilich lacks. Compare: “At the time he was still young, and if he could not have been called lively, then at the least he was livelier than he was now. He was still full of all kinds of aspirations, still hoped for things, still expected much of fate and of himself; he was still preparing for an arena, a role…. Days followed other days, however, years took other years’ place, his fluff became a stiff beard, lackluster points took the place of the light in his eyes, his waist rounded out, his hair began falling out mercilessly, he turned thirty, and he had not advanced a step in any arena and was still standing on the threshold of his own arena…. His role in society seemed to be working out better for him. During the first years of his sojourn in Petersburg, in his early, youthful years, the calm features of his face livened up more often. His eyes radiated the fire of life for longer and poured out beams of light, hope, and strength. He worried like everyone else, hoped, rejoiced over trifles, and suffered over minor details. But all that had been long ago, during that tender period when a man assumes in any other man a sincere friend and falls in love with and is prepared to offer his hand and heart to nearly any woman – something others did indeed accomplish, often to their great regret thereafter and for the rest of their life. In these blissful days, Ilya Ilich also knew his share of soft, velvety, even passionate gazes from the crowd of beauties, masses of highly promising smiles, two or three undeserved kisses, and even friendlier handshakes that brought tears to his eyes. Actually, he never did let the beauties capture him and was never their slave or even a very assiduous admirer, if only because intimacy with women entails a great deal of trouble. Oblomov tended to limit himself to a bow from afar, at a respectful distance.” (pp. 58 and 61) And Stolz: “Stolz was the same age as Oblomov; he too was over thirty. He had served, retired, taken up his own affairs, and had in fact earned himself a house and money. He owned part of a company that sent goods abroad. He was constantly in motion. If the company needed to send an agent to Belgium or England, they sent him. If they needed someone to write a draft or put a new idea into practice, they chose him. Meanwhile he both went into society and read, but when he found the time for this, God only knew. He was all bones, muscles, and nerves, like a purebred English horse. He was rather gaunt, and he had almost no cheeks at all. That is, he had the bone and muscle but no sign of soft roundness. The color of his face was even and rather swarthy, without any pink, and his eyes were expressive, though a little green. He made no unnecessary movements. If he sat, he sat quietly; if he did in fact act, he used only as many gestures as necessary. Just as his organism bore nothing extra, so in the moral aspects of his life he sought a balance between what was practical and the finer demands of the spirit. These two aspects proceeded in parallel, crossing and intertwining as they went, but never getting entangled in complicated, insoluble knots…. He took pleasure in delight as he would a flower plucked along the road, until it withered in his hands, never drinking to the last drop of bitterness that lies at the bottom of any pleasure. A simple, or rather, direct and authentic perspective on life – this was his unfailing objective, and as he worked gradually toward attaining it, he understood just how difficult it was and was inwardly proud and happy whenever he happened to note a twist on this route and take a step straight ahead.” (pp. 174-175) Olga is a young woman of Stolz’s stamp, and he encourages her to draw Ilya Ilich out of his shell while Stolz is abroad. Olga’s attentions work all too well. She and Oblomov fall in love, and even plan marriage. Problems arise, however, as Oblomov’s indolence and fears reassert themselves over his genuine feelings for Olga; and Olga begins to doubt the wisdom of their relationship (and her feelings are as genuine as Ilya’s). When the two return to St. Petersburg and Olga re-enters the social whirl of her friends, she and Oblomov draw apart, and in a wrenching scene they break up: “‘Why did it all die?’ she asked suddenly, looking up. ‘Who cursed you, Ilya? What did you do? You’re so good, and smart, and kind, and noble…and…you’re dying! What destroyed you? There is no name for this evil.’ ‘Yes, there is,’ he said, barely audibly. She looked at him with eyes full of questions and tears. ‘Oblomovschina!’ he whispered, and then he took her hand and was about to kiss it but couldn’t so he pressed it firmly to his lips, and his hot tears fell on her fingers. Without looking up or showing her his face, he turned and left.” (p. 407) Part IV introduces a certain amount of drama when Oblomov moves into a new apartment and is defrauded by another acquaintance, Tarantiev, and his landlady’s brother. His situation and fortune are redeemed only by the timely return of Stolz, who quickly puts Ilya Ilich’s affairs to right. This uncharacteristic drama in Oblomov’s life is balanced by Agafia Matveyevna, the landlady. She’s a widow who quickly becomes the center of Oblomov’s life. She organizes his household, caters to him in a way Olga was incapable of and manages to fulfill (as much as could be) Ilya’s ideal of a life and a wife: “‘Well, I’d get up in the morning,’ began Oblomov, folding his hands behind his head, and an expression of serenity washed over his face. In his mind, he was already in the country. ‘The weather is splendid, the sky is blue as blue can be, not a cloud in the sky,’ he said. ‘In my plan, one side of the house has a balcony facing east, toward the garden and the fields; the other faces the village. While I’m waiting for my wife to wake up, I put on my housecoat and take a walk around the garden to breathe the morning vapors. There I find the gardener and we water the flowers together and prune the bushes and trees. I make a bouquet for my wife. Then I go to the bath or the river to bathe, and as I’m returning, the balcony is open and my wife is there wearing a smock and a light cap that looks like it’s just barely holing on, as if it were about to fly off her head. She’s waiting for me. “Your tea is ready,” she says. What a kiss! What tea! What a comfortable chair! I sit down by the table, and on it are cookies, creams, and fresh butter.’ ‘After that?’ ‘After that, I put on a roomy coat or jacket, put my arm around my wife’s waist, and she and I take a stroll down the endless, dark allée, walking quietly, thoughtfully, silent or thinking out loud, daydreaming, counting my minutes of happiness like the beating of a pulse, listening to my heart beat and sink, seeking sympathy in nature, and before we know it we come out on a stream and field. The river is lapping a little, ears of grain are waving in the breeze, and it’s hot. We get into the boat and my wife steers us, barely lifting her oar.’… His attitude toward her was much simpler. For him, Agafia Matveyevna, her elbows in constant motion, her eyes resting on everything with concern, her constant passage from cupboard to kitchen, from kitchen to storeroom, and from there to the cellar, her omniscience with regard to all things domestic and all household comforts, embodied the ideal of that inviolably tranquil life, as vast as the ocean, the picture of which had been indelibly etched on his soul in childhood, under his father’s roof.” (pp. 192-193 and 422) What redeems Oblomov as a human being, what sets him apart from the usual parasites of the Russian elite, is the nobility and gentleness of his spirit. He’s spontaneously kind and selfless. The tragedy of Oblomov is Ilya’s fatal flaw – his Achilles’ heel – the profound ennui that obviates much of the good that he’s capable of and that his friends recognize in him. I don’t know Russian but this is a lively and interesting translation which (from what I gather from the professional reviews) successfully translates Goncharov’s language and intent. I’d recommend this to anyone, especially those interested in forgotten classics of Russian literature. The reason this book merits four stars in my virtual library is its personal significance. Rarely does a particular book move or resonate with me. More often it’s a slow accumulation of ideas and reading that upon reflection reveal a pattern of influence. Those authors who have “blown my mind” began with – fittingly – a Russian: Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who I began reading in 11th grade. Then I met W. Somerset Maugham, who was introduced to me by a friend who made the off hand remark that I reminded him of Larry from The Razor’s Edge. I devoured Of Human Bondage on a train ride to Seattle. Soon after, I made the acquaintance of Joseph Conrad and William Saroyan. In my post-GR life, there’s been Baudelaire, Ivy Compton Burnett, Sylvia Townsend and T.F. Powys, among others. The common denominator is that all of these authors wrote about people or viewpoints with which I identified powerfully. Oblomov joins those ranks. While Ilya Ilich’s life, dreams and philosophy don’t map one-to-one with Terentii Efimovich’s, they bear an uncomfortably close resemblance. Parts II and III were particularly painful to read because they reflected my first marriage so closely.** I can’t claim to have now resolved the paradoxes in my life, and my “Olga” failed as spectacularly as Ilya’s. Like Oblomov, I can respect, admire and at times envy the lives of the Stolz’s in my life but (also like Oblomov) I can’t grasp the “why” of those lives. Oblomov compels me to re-examine my life. * As an FYI, Oblomov was written pre-1861. Ilya Ilich is the owner of 300 serfs and a large estate somewhere to the east of St. Petersburg whose labor and income support his indolence. ** Anyone curious enough can read the enumerated portions of Oblomov themselves and draw their own conclusions about my sordid past :-)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Travelin

    Like the phenomenal preface to this new translation, my review is in danger of making the book more interesting than the actual reading. The preface mentions that this was Lenin's favourite book. Is that because its author also came from Lenin's hometown? Probably not. Neither man returned to that or any other village life. Maybe this new translation from the Russian isn't the best. Then again, did Lenin really understand what he was reading when he spent all those years reading Hegel in Like the phenomenal preface to this new translation, my review is in danger of making the book more interesting than the actual reading. The preface mentions that this was Lenin's favourite book. Is that because its author also came from Lenin's hometown? Probably not. Neither man returned to that or any other village life. Maybe this new translation from the Russian isn't the best. Then again, did Lenin really understand what he was reading when he spent all those years reading Hegel in Germany? If Lenin spent the monotonous hours reading this long book, could he really have been an intellectual? Perhaps we will never know, since not much of Lenin's writing in English appears online today. A Russian professor with a Ph.D. in sciences did tell me that it was once required for every Russian family to buy the collected writings of Lenin in extended sets. She also tells me, in a conversation unrelated to Oblomov, that the quintessential hero in Russian folktales is the lazy man who's just clever enough to do nothing. This everyman hero springs up again and again in tales of three brothers, wherein the youngest one Ivan is always lazy but a bit intelligent, like the youngest brother in The Brothers Karamazov. In this book, Oblomov may be Russia's prototypical lazy hero, driven into action very periodically by his half-German friend Stoltz. Stoltz manages Oblomov's affairs while Oblomov slips in and out of blissful catatonia. There are several long sections describing Oblomov's dreamlike philosophy -- one of perfect peace, free from aimless passion, combined with memories of the extended family of his childhood sitting for hours doing nothing, analyzing each other's dreams for portents, or just staring at each other. Those are the most readable sections today because they seem heartfelt and original. This ties in with Lenin and his time in Germany somehow. Thanks to this book for reminding me that Russian history is riddled with examples of German monarchs driving Slavic underlings mercilessly. It goes back as far as the first Varangian king of Kiev, then onto Catherine the Great, then the long Romanov dynasty, then Lenin, who learned so much from Marx and other German philosophers during Lenin's time in Germany, and finally to Putin, who studied German at university and was stationed as secret service in East Germany for at least 5 years. Oblomov (and Lenin?) are a bit like the youngest brother, getting their way by riding the coattails of a bullheaded, German older brother. It is in fact Stoltz the German, not Oblomov, who drives the Oblomov peasants to produce more and more for the Oblomov (and now Stoltz) tables. Although, honestly, Stoltz the German can't be the hero, not even to a hard driver such as Lenin. Stoltz is a very cold friend, barely visiting his lazy friend and employer for many years at a time, especially as Oblomov gets sicker. It is in fact Oblomov who collapses class divisions and lives on the wrong side of St. Petersburg, fraternizing with the peasants, much to Stoltz's disgust. Can Lenin have really ridiculed Oblomov, when his target should have been Stoltz? Finally, the preface mentions a few dubious psychological labels for Oblomov's alleged psychosis. But I have some better theories: 1) Oblomov is a pure Russian hero. He was meant for an idyllic village and not the German hierarchy of St. Petersburg. I saw a report recently that 20,000 of those Russians villages have since disappeared. 2) It is possible Oblomov is like a bear, perfectly attuned to fluctuations in the St. Petersburg climate. That is some really heightened attunement, since the river freezes so fast that going to the river to see it happen was once a public spectacle. Then the people would draw up most of St. Petersburg's thousand bridges, determined to forego travel for the rest of winter. 3) Oblomov was raised by an especially lazy serf, and learned his work ethic from the wrong "father."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mila

    There is so much more to Oblomov than what one expects. A farce on laziness, a parable on the decline of the aristocracy of landowners at the dawn of the great social reforms in Russia, of course. But also a social satire, the story of a failed romance, a Virgilian poem of the Golden Age, a meditation on love, duty and happiness, everything so smoothly interwoven under the seal of a realistic account, perfectly plot-driven in the purest nineteenth century fashion. From the epilogue, indeed, we There is so much more to Oblomov than what one expects. A farce on laziness, a parable on the decline of the aristocracy of landowners at the dawn of the great social reforms in Russia, of course. But also a social satire, the story of a failed romance, a Virgilian poem of the Golden Age, a meditation on love, duty and happiness, everything so smoothly interwoven under the seal of a realistic account, perfectly plot-driven in the purest nineteenth century fashion. From the epilogue, indeed, we understand in a full effect of reality that the whole book is born from Stolz’s tale. The multilayered character of the book displays the ambiguous nature of Oblomov’s disease. Starting with the famous farcical duo formed by the master and the servant, we follow them in many ludicrous twists and turns based on Oblomov procrastinating his getting out of bed. However, the plot is far from static, driven by the two main forces that are love and money. On one side, we keep up with all the steps of the romantic relationship between Olga and Oblomov, on the other side, we are not spared a single detail of Oblomov’s material situation: incomes, salaries and costs of life such as rent, horses, food or leisure are precisely listed. The outcome is known: Oblomov’s “disease” is cause of his double renunciation. Since he cannot deal with either situation, he gives up on Olga and on his property. The question that is raised and not answered, is wether, had it not been for his laziness, he could have been happy with Olga, the vibrant, Shakespearian heroine, or at the head of his estate, taking all the challenging steps necessary to fit it to modernity with its fast railroads and efficient ways of production. Could it not have rather been a positive move from him to chose the grounded and nurturing Agafia over the nervous and passionate Olga, and, as a “Plato in a dressing gown”, to chose a contemplative existence over an enterprising life? Oblomov certainly longs for eternity and comes perhaps to embody it, since his final death definitely marks a milestone coinciding with a blatant loss of stability for the other characters. And in its turn, this loss gives birth to the story.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Vladimir

    i'm glad many people here liked the book, which is one of my most favorite among Russian literature. I'm even more glad since very few Russian people seem to like it or it's main hero. I would like to offer you my point of view on Oblomov. To me, it's difficult to talk about his "salvation", for he's nothing to be saved from. Neither he nor the author (who himself bore strong resemblance to his protagonist) believe he needs to be saved. He lives the life of a "poet and philosopher", as we hear in i'm glad many people here liked the book, which is one of my most favorite among Russian literature. I'm even more glad since very few Russian people seem to like it or it's main hero. I would like to offer you my point of view on Oblomov. To me, it's difficult to talk about his "salvation", for he's nothing to be saved from. Neither he nor the author (who himself bore strong resemblance to his protagonist) believe he needs to be saved. He lives the life of a "poet and philosopher", as we hear in the first chapter from one of his guests. Those guest who keep coming to him come for a reason - they all want his advice, which means they respect him. Meantime, they all represent the vanity of this world, Stolz (which is Pride in German) being the most powerful of them. Oblomov doesn't want to participate in this swirling of meaningless world around him, living in peace and serenity of his dreamworld - Oblomovka, where he was raised in love, and that's what he represents - the Love itself. His relationship to Olga may seem romantic, even self-sacrificial on Olga's behalf. Apparently, she's trying to save him - but she never asks him what he really wants in his life, acting as if she's the one who knows better. We can also remember that for her it was "like a game", the whole relationship thing, and that she actually acted as a part of Stoltz's plot to transform his friend to a more sociable being. So, i wouldn't call it love at all, at least, not on the part of Olga. Finally, I would like to say a few words about what seems to be the "happy end" - Olga and Stolz living together in their house, reading books, discussing them and so on. My own personal impression after i read those pages was that of complete, almost desperate boredom of such living. It's too calm, too placid, too emotionless. I could feel no love it their union - and perhaps that's because none of them was capable of loving. This tragic book to me is more than just a sigh for old, disappearing Russia, submitting to inevitable progress. It's a statement that nothing will be the same anymore, and that people who preserved the spirit of the nation that was carefully created for thousands of years were becoming extinct and useless. The saddest part, they really are useless in any practical sense, but should we always judge everything depending on how useful it is?

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charbel

    Oblomov is cursed with a mixture of apathy, lethargy, and depression- something that can only be described as the disease of Oblomovka. His condition manifests itself in comical but gradually serious scenarios. The plot of the book might seem uneventful whilst reading, but once you reach the last page and contemplate what you have just read, you realize that the moral behind the story weighs plenty in terms of significance. Goncharov has a firm understanding of the impact of childhood in an Oblomov is cursed with a mixture of apathy, lethargy, and depression- something that can only be described as the disease of Oblomovka. His condition manifests itself in comical but gradually serious scenarios. The plot of the book might seem uneventful whilst reading, but once you reach the last page and contemplate what you have just read, you realize that the moral behind the story weighs plenty in terms of significance. Goncharov has a firm understanding of the impact of childhood in an adult's life, which is even more remarkable considering when this novel was actually written. The novel explores three other themes: friendship, love, and life as a noble. These three themes, needless to say, have Oblomov as their central character and expand according to how he deals with other people. Overall, this is one of the best Russian literary works that I've read, and I highly recommend it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ted

    Although very little happens in this rather long book, I did find it an oddly rewarding read. I was a little disappointed in it, based on my expectations (from reading about it) that it was an extremely humorous novel. It did have its moments, but not what I expected in that regard. I can actually see rereading it sometime, so that makes it a solid 4.

  29. 5 out of 5

    lyell bark

    it would take me several thousand pages to even get out of bed, so congrats to oblomov for being the better man than i. + he gets a girlfriend and a wife, which i couldn't do even if i had all the pages in the world to do it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russe, commissioned Russian composer Anatol Liadov to compose the music for a new ballet called "The Firebird." As the date for rehearsals was fast approaching, Diaghilev contacted Liadov to inquire as to the status of the work. Liadov, a notoriously lazy guy, cheerfully responded that he had just purchased some beautiful score paper. Enraged and panicky about the short time left, Diaghilev asked Rimsky Korsakov if he would perhaps recommend one of his more Serge Diaghilev, founder of the Ballet Russe, commissioned Russian composer Anatol Liadov to compose the music for a new ballet called "The Firebird." As the date for rehearsals was fast approaching, Diaghilev contacted Liadov to inquire as to the status of the work. Liadov, a notoriously lazy guy, cheerfully responded that he had just purchased some beautiful score paper. Enraged and panicky about the short time left, Diaghilev asked Rimsky Korsakov if he would perhaps recommend one of his more talented pupils to compose the work instead. He recommended Igor Stravinsky. Liadov, scion of a wealthy, aristocratic Russian family, lived according to a then fashionable attitude among the elite known as Oblomovism, a purposely cultivated idleness that viewed any sort of work or effort as a waste of time and beneath the dignity of one of high social rank. This mind set was named for the main character of the novel, Oblomov.

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