Discover more about Turgenev through 4 Hidden Facts

Discover more about Turgenev through 4 Hidden Facts
11 July 2024

Are you a hopeless romantic yourself? Or maybe just an avid reader of the Russian classics? If this resonates with you, then you might consider getting acquainted with Turgenev. As the author of the novel “First Love”, our author will leave you bewildered. From his early attempts in literature to his intense romantic life, this author never disappoints. If we caught your interest, enjoy our 4 hidden facts Turgenev.

1. He was an avid lover of Tchaikovsky

We are all aware of the true sensitive nature of writers. Unsurprisingly, that was also the case with Turgenev. Besides his great interest in literature, our author was also deeply passionate about music. From early on, Turgenev developed an interest in Tchaikovsky’s talent. It was the musician’s songs and chamber music that left him speechless. Turgenev’s personal favorite song was None But the Lonely Heart. Interestingly enough, it also appears in one of his last published stories “Klara Milich” (1883). 


2. He had a daughter with a family serf

Most people know that Turgenev never married. Although that may be the case, Turgenev had a daughter. Like other writers of his time, he had several adventures with women. As a result, his daughter Polina was born. It is no surprise that she inspired one of the author’s novellas. Entitled “Asya”, Turgenev tells the story of unrequited love between Asya and N.N.


3. He had a difficult relationship with his mother

Turgenev suffered from a lack of maternal care. At age sixteen, his father died due to kidney failure. As a result, both Turgenev and his brother were brought up by their abusive mother, Varvara Petrovna Turgeneva. Throughout his life, he rebelled against her by fraternizing with servants. It is no wonder that Varvara Petrovna has inspired several characters in Turgenev’s works. 


4. Turgenev’s love story with Pauline Viardot

It is Turgenev’s relationship with Pauline Viardot that influenced his work the most. Our author met the French opera singer in 1843. By reading his letters, we find out Turgenev fell in love at first sight. Despite Turgenev’s obsessive love for Pauline, she was cautious in her affections. Eventually, he entrusted Pauline with raising his own daughter Paulinette. 

We can now all agree that Turgenev’s life is worthy of a movie. It is simply by reading his novels that one will grow enamored with Russian literature. Certainly, these 4 hidden facts caught your interest. If that is the case, that is your sign to explore more of the Russian classics! 


Elena is currently a student at Liden & Denz, Riga

These images were taken by the author

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