MOSCOW, Nov 9Rector of the Literary Institute named after. Gorky, Alexei Varlamov, in a conversation with, noted that the personality and work of the writer Ivan Turgenev, who would have turned 205 years old, is a reminder to Europe of Russian culture, as well as evidence that culture exists on top of politics.
“Turgenev is a reminder to Europe of the role of Russian literature, of Europe's respect for Russian literature and a reminder to all of us that we can deny European politics, not share any modern European liberal values, but completely deny Europe in all its depth, in all its vertical, in all its complexity, is as stupid as Europe is trying to deny Russia. I think that Turgenev’s personality, creativity, his appearance is evidence that culture exists on top of politics,” the agency’s interlocutor noted.
November 9, 08:00
He recalled that Turgenev’s life was connected with France. He spent many years where his beloved Pauline Viardot lived. “In Bougival (France – ed.) there is a house-museum of Turgenev – this wonderful villa has been preserved,” Varlamov emphasized.
The rector of the Literary Institute is confident that Turgenev’s works not only reflected reality, but also created it. “Bazarov, known to us from the school curriculum, was a type of nihilist that Turgenev spotted somewhere and grabbed. But he was registered in our minds precisely thanks to the novel “Fathers and Sons.” In fact, this very phrase, which had already become popular, became famous thanks to Turgenev,” he believes.
According to Varlamov, the modern reading of Turgenev’s famous novel “Fathers and Sons” differs from the Soviet one. If earlier his idea was presented as a conflict of generations, now the emphasis has shifted to family ties and eternal values, including love and friendship, which are more important than political preferences.
“When I was a child at school, back in the 70s, I read Turgenev’s novel “Fathers and Sons,” the conjunction “and” seemed disgusting to me. It seems to me that we were taught that way at school, that fathers are against children, children are against fathers, that the idea of this novel is in the conflict of generations. Now I understand that, in fact, Turgenev’s thought was different. And the conjunction “and”, rather, should be interpreted as connecting. Of course, the conflict is shown there, but the most important thing is the love of fathers and children, the connection between fathers and children, the continuity of fathers and children. And this kindred feeling turns out to be more important than any political contradictions. Eternal values, such as love, friendship or kinship, are more important than political preferences, which flare up like sparks and go out. And, in fact, Turgenev wrote a novel about this. But it seems to me that this is our rather modern reading than reading in Soviet times,” said the rector of the Literary Institute.
The country's cultural institutions have prepared events for the writer's anniversary. State Museum of A.S. Pushkin will open the exhibition “I.S. Turgenev. From the history of cinema” in Moscow. Museum guests will be presented with a chronological list of films by and about Turgenev, which will be placed on six panels. It will show visitors not only well-known feature films and mini-series, but also television films, performance films, animation and ballet films, as well as little-known or completely unknown to the general public works of filmmakers from different countries and different times, starting from the first decades of the 20th century.
The museum’s halls will display materials from the country’s leading film studios, including footage from Andrei Konchalovsky’s film “The Nest of Nobles,” based on Turgenev’s novel of the same name. Visitors will also be able to see exhibits dedicated to two classic film adaptations of the novel “On the Eve” and the story “Mumu”, provided by the Mosfilm film concern.
Also, as part of the exhibition, the Pushkin Museum will show a retrospective of films from the Mosfilm studio from November 16 to Thursdays at 19.00. Viewers will be able to see seven films: “Breakfast at the Leader”, “Freeloader”, “Mumu”, “The Eve”, “First Love”, “Noble Nest”, “Rudin”.
In addition, on this day at the State Museum-Reserve I.S. Turgenev “Spasskoye-Lutovinovo” in the Oryol region, everyone will be able to visit the exhibition “Sketches in the Fields. Turgenev as a Draftsman” and play the “Game of Portraits” invented by him, as well as write a letter to friends or family using Turgenev's phrases. Tours of the exhibition will be organized at 13.00 and 15.00. The museum lesson “Turgenev's language” will take place at 14.00.
In the National Library named after A.S. Pushkin in the Republic of Mordovia, in honor of the writer’s anniversary, the exhibition “Master of Words” is being held. The exhibition features books about the life and work of the writer, as well as the most famous works of the great classic. It will be open to visitors until November 30 inclusive.