“AND THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED NIHILISM?”: FATHERS AND SONS, RARE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
TURGENEV, Ivan. Fathers and Sons. A Novel. New York: Leypoldt & Holt, 1867. Small octavo, original gilt-stamped green cloth. $7500.
First edition in English of Turgenev’s controversial masterpiece, in scarce original cloth.
As a result of hostile reaction to this novel when it was originally published in 1862 as Ottsy i deti, Turgenev left his homeland, living first in Baden-Baden in southern Germany and then in London and Paris. “Fathers and Sons concerns the inevitable conflict between generations and between the values of traditionalists and intellectuals. The physician Bazarov, the novel’s protagonist, is the most powerful of Turgenev’s creations. He is a nihilist [this novel is generally credited with introducing the term nihilism into English], denying the validity of all laws save those of the natural sciences… At the novel’s first appearance the radical younger generation attacked it bitterly as a slander, and conservatives condemned it as too lenient in its characterization of nihilism” (Encyclopedia of Literature, 405). With publisher's advertisements. Line, Ettlinger & Gladstone, 54. Bookplate.
Only very faint occasional foxing to interior, slight rubbing to original cloth and spine ends. A beautiful copy in near-fine condition.