The Russian novella First Love, by Ivan Turgenev
I enjoyed reading the Russian novella, First Love by Ivan Turgenev. First Love is my 10th Russian/behind the Iron Curtain novel to read since December, beginning with War and Peace.
A great final quote from First Love is this one, a summary about living, and an expansion on the American phrase, “Youth is wasted on the wrong kind.”
Turgenev at his best!
Oh youth! Youth! You go your way heedless, uncaring – as if you owned all the treasures of the world; even grief elates you. Even sorrow wits well upon your brow. …Perhaps the whole secret of your enchantment lies not, indeed, in your power to do whatever you may will, but in your power to do think that their is nothing you will not do; it is this that you scatter to the winds – gifts which you could never have used to any other purpose. Each of us feels most deeply convinced that he has been too prodigal of his gifts – that he has a right to cry “Oh, what could I not have done, if only I had not wasted my time.”
This is not a very long book, possible to read in one day. But you’ll not want to speed through its pages. There’s too much there you’ll want to think about and absorb.
Not my first Turgenev book
This is not my first Turgenev book. I read Fathers and Sons not too long ago. A young, former Russian ballerina and now model, recommended this book to me. We were sitting at the bar for dinner in Eighth Avenue’s Tick Tock restaurant in New York City, Sept. 23, 2019.
I surprised Anastasia, who could speak very little English, when. I told her how many Russian novels I’ve read in the past 10 months. Ten of them now, one for each month. My reading list impressed her. Was an interesting conversation because we had to use Google Translate to talk. But she emphasized First Love is simply a beautiful book that I must read. I ordered it from Amazon between translations.
Anastasia was so right. I hope you enjoy it, too,
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