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On The Eve


On The Eve


"To liberate his native land—merely to say the words fills one with a feeling of awe... Elena listened to him attentively, and turning half towards him, did not take her eyes off his face, which had grown a little paler—off his eyes, which were soft and affectionate, though they avoided meeting her eyes. Her soul expanded, and something tender, holy, and good seemed half sinking into her heart, half springing up within it…"

Published in 1860, On The Eve is Turgenev’s view of love amid a time of war and revolutionary social change.

Set in 1853, On the Eve deals with the problems facing young students on the eve of the Crimean War and contemplates on the outcome of the emancipation of the serfs in 1861.

On the Eve deals with the friendships and love affairs between a twenty-year old provincial Russian woman named Elena and several men in her social circle: the young artist Shubin; the intellectual Berzeniev; and ultimately, Berzeniev's friend, the Bulgarian revolutionary Insarov.

Elena is a serious-minded, morally courageous young woman.

Her concern for justice finds no outlet in her small circle of family and friends until she is introduced to the young Insarov, whose idealism matches her own and who becomes the catalyst for the major changes in her life.

IVAN TURGENEV (1818–1883) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, and playwright. His novel Fathers and Sons is regarded as one of the major works of 19th-century fiction. He is also known for such masterworks as The Diary of a Superfluous Man, First Love, Torrents of Spring, King Lear of the Steppes, and Smoke.

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