Monday, August 28, 2006

Old Jack's an Odd Duck

Here's an odd book: Ivan Turgenev's Fathers and Sons. I expected to read about overbearing, conservative fathers with traditional social values harshly arguing with their liberal-minded, progressive sons yearning for freedom. There is conflict over old social values, but in fact the fathers are sensitive (even overly sentimental), in awe of their sons, even try hard to impress their sons. To go all reader-response on you, I also discovered in this book I'm at a middle point in life: I don't know whether I side more with Bazarov and Arkady, or with Pavel Petrovich and Nicholai Petrovich. There is also an interesting line that Bazarov uses when arguing with Pavel that, I think, illustrates what I wrote earlier in My Ideological Paradox. Bazarov says,

"You find fault with my point of view, but what makes you think it came into being by chance, that it's not a product of that very national spirit which you are championing?"

What happens when the values of the group teach people to value individualism?

As an addendum, we now have two contributors at Costanza Book Club. You'll have to pay close attention to who writes each post, since we have vastly different views on literature, film, and theory.

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