I like Turgenev a lot. His novella beautifully captures the awkwardness and crucial importance of one’s first awakening to desire, the disappointment upon discovering the weaknesses and failures of the adult world, the lasting hold parental authority has over a child, and the crushing dismay upon first realising that love doesn’t work the way that stories promise. Turgenev’s story is both sad and comforting in its familiarity, and the way it presents this pivotal disappointment of adolescence as one (though formulative) episode in a much longer life.
17 March 2013 ~ Hamilton
Turgenev, Ivan. First Love. Trans. Isaiah Berlin. London, Penguin, 2007.