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Home of the Gentry
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"Home of the Gentry" is a novel by Ivan Turgenev published in the January 1859 issue of "Sovremennik." It was enthusiastically received by the Russian society and remained his least controversial and most widely-read novel until the end of the 19th century. It was turned into a movie by Andrey Konchalovsky in 1969. The novel's protagonist is Fyodor Ivanych Lavretsky, a nobleman who shares many traits with Turgenev. On one level the novel is about his homecoming, who, broken and disillusioned by a failed marriage, returns to his estate and finds love again - only to lose it. The sense of loss and of unfulfilled promise, beautifully captured by Turgenev, reflects his underlying theme that humanity is not destined to experience happiness except as something ephemeral and inevitably doomed. On another level Turgenev is presenting the homecoming of a whole generation of young Russians who have fallen under the spell of European ideas that have uprooted them from Russia, their 'home', but have proved ultimately superfluous. In tragic bewilderment, they attempt to find reconciliation with their land.
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