On the Eve is the third novel by Russian writer Ivan Turgenev. It has elements of social comedy but fell foul of radical critics who advocated the need of more overt reform.
The story revolves around Elena Stakhova, a girl with a hypochondriac mother and an idle father, a retired guards lieutenant with a mistress. On the eve of the Crimean War, Elena is pursued by a free-spirited sculptor (Pavel Shubin) and a serious-minded student (Andrei Berzyenev). But when Berzyenev's revolutionary Bulgarian friend, Dmitri Insarov, meets Elena, they fall in love. In secretly marrying Insarov Elena disappoints her mother and enrages her father, who had hoped to marry her to a dull, self-satisfied functionary, Kurnatovski. Insarov nearly dies from pneumonia and only partly recovers. On the outbreak of war Insarov tries to return with Elena to Bulgaria, but dies in Venice. Elena takes Insarov's body to the Balkans for burial and then vanishes.
Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev was a Russian novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, translator and popularizer of Russian literature in the West. His first major publication, a short story...More about Ivan Turgenev
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