When a young man living in London, I fell desperately in love with an Italian girl. When she returned to Italy, I dutifully followed and fell into the orbit of her family, or more precisely, the orbit of her father. He was a very educated man, whose library of literature in English was large and open to me.
As my relationship with his daughter continued he was afforded the chance to observe me. As I stepped on the plane, reluctantly leaving Italy to return home to Australia, and after I tearfully farewelled his daughter, he gave me one last book recommendation. He told me to find and read Oblomov by the Russian author Goncharov.
Many months later, doggedly continuing my geographically impossible relationship, I found a copy of Oblomov. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the book was about a talented young man who put off everything until tomorrow. Review by John Purcell
New, award-winning translation of Goncharov's popular masterpiece.
First published in 1859, Oblomov is an indisputable classic of Russian literature, comparable in its stature to such masterpieces as Gogol's Dead Souls, Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and Dostoevsky's Brothers Karamazov.
The book centres on the figure of Ilya Ilyich Oblomov, a member of the dying class of the landed gentry, who spends most of his time lying in bed gazing at life in an apathetic daze, encouraged by his equally lazy servant Zakhar and routinely swindled by his acquaintances. But this torpid existence comes to an end when, spurred on by his crumbling finances, the love of a woman and the reproaches of his friend, the hard-working Stoltz, Oblomov finds that he must engage with the real world and face up to his commitments.
Rich in situational comedy, psychological complexity and social satire, Oblomov - here presented in Stephen Pearl's award-winning translation, the first major English-language version of the novel in more than fifty years - is a timeless novel and a monument to human idleness.
About the Author
Ivan Goncharov (1812-91) was a Russian official, novelist, critic and travel writer, who is best remembered for his masterpiece Oblomov.
Number Of Pages: 540
Published: 1st June 2014
Publisher: Alma Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 12.9 x 19.8 x 3.8
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1