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Turgenev and a Proliferating French Press: The Feuilleton and Feuilletonistic in "A Nest of the Gentry"

Melissa Frazier
Slavic Review
Vol. 69, No. 4 (WINTER 2010), pp. 925-943
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27896143
Page Count: 19
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Turgenev and a Proliferating French Press: The Feuilleton and Feuilletonistic in "A Nest of the Gentry"
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Abstract

Elizabeth Cheresh Allen has addressed Ivan Turgenev's strikingly ambiguous and understated narratives, arguing that Turgenev's "language of litotes" consistently serves other than conventionally realistic ends. V. N. Toporov accounts for Turgenev's "strangeness" in more personal terms. Melissa Frazier's close reading of "A Nest of the Gentry" suggests the importance of yet another factor: Turgenev's engagement with the feuilleton and the increasingly commercialized literary environment that produced it. Ivan Goncharov's accusation that Turgenev had plagiarized elements of "A Nest of the Gentry" from his own as-yet-unpublished "The Precipice" finally also makes the point that Turgenev's "strangeness" in this novel derives from an ambiguous language best described as "not that," not the stolen words and half-truths of a feuilletonistic and largely French press, but something nonetheless not unlike.

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