Tuesday, December 3, 2013

CSI "The Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District"


·       Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
o   1818-1883
o   Born in Orel/Oryol, capital of a province of that same name in Central Russia
o   Mother was a rich landowner
o   Objected to his mother’s treatment of household serfs
o   Studied the faculty of History and Philology at the University of St. Petersburg
o   Admired Alexander Pushkin
o   Studied for a time in Germany (1838), from then on he spent very little time Russia
o   Sympathized with the lower class
o   Met and had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with Tolstoy
o   Was an advocate of Westernization
o   Fathers and Sons
§  1862, his masterpiece
§  deals with nihilist philosophy and issues of both personal and social rebellion
o   “Was a critic of his own generation’s Hamletism and of the fundamental injustice of serfdom on which Russian society was based.”
·       Sketches from a Hunter’s Album/A Sportsman’s Sketches
o   Originally published in the Russian journal The Contemporary between 1847 and 1851
o   After they were published in a separate edition Turgenev was arrested and exiled to his estate of Spasskoye
o   About the rural world of Russia before the emancipation of the serfs in 1861
·       Hamlet of the Shchigrovsky District
o   A study in the “Hamletism” of Turgenev’s generation
o   Turgenev refers to the Hamlet character as being at the “extreme limit of unhappiness.”
o   His self-indulgence is the tragedy
§  “…reflects the tragic loss of illusions and fond hopes experienced by Turgenev’s generation as a whole” (Penguin 11)
§  “His [the Hamlet’s] final reconciliation is in its own way as bitter an acceptance of social inequality and complete obliteration of individuality as is the peasant’s subservience to his master.” (Penguin 11)
·       Shchigrovsky District
o   In the Kursk Oblast (federal subject) of Russia
o   Western Russia
o   Part of the steppes


·        La Coupe et les Lèvres (The Cup and the Lips) – Aflred de Musset
o   Mon verre n’est pas grand, mais je bois dans mon verre
§  My cup is not large but I drink from it
·       Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences
o   Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
o   Purpose of the encyclopedia is to describe how spirit or mind develops itself
·       Das Lied von der Glocke
o   Johann Christoph von Schiller
§  Friends with Goethe


·        “In the first place, I speak French as well as you, and German even better; secondly, I have spent three years abroad…”
o   -Boastful (not afraid praise himself as intellectual, even smarter than other people)
·        “…and was married at home to a consumptive lady, who was bald but a remarkable personality”
·      “And, too, strange to say, I liked Sofya best of all when I was sitting with my back to her, or still more, perhaps, when I was thinking or dreaming about her in the evening on the terrace.”
o   -X’s love is never obvious, similar to Hamlet’s love of Ophelia, especially when he knows that Claudius and Polonius are watching
·       “I remember how they buried her. It was in the spring. Our parish church was small and old…”
o   -Sofya’s funeral is not a big ordeal, similar to Ophelia’s. The only people who truly attend it are those of the lower class (clowns/grave-diggers)
·       “It is only [after her death] that I do her complete justice. It’s only now, for instance, that memories of some evenings I spent with her before marriage no longer awaken the slightest bitterness, but move me almost to tears”
o   -Like Hamlet, is somewhat blind to the present and is only truly remorseful after the fact.

·        X’s mother, like Gertrude, does all that she can for him but it isn’t quite enough

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