A seminar was organised at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Trivandrum to mark the 200th Birth Anniversary of Russia’s great writer Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev (1818—1883). He was a prominent Russian novelist, short-story writer, poet, playwright, translator and populariser of Russian literature in the West.
His “Sportsman’s Sketches” is a milestone of realism and the novel “Fathers and Sons” one of the major works of 19th century fiction. “A Month in the Country”, “Provincial Lady” and “Fortune’s Fool” are other notable works.
Mr. Vinu Abraham, noted writer and screen play wrier, inaugurated the seminar.
In his address, Mr. Vinu Abraham observed that Turgenev was rated as great as Leo Tolstoy, who was his contemporary. Some critics are of opinion that Tolstoy and Turgenev had love-and-hate relations. But, in fact. Turgenev always encouraged Tolstoy, he added. When Tolstoy was engaged in the Crimean War, Turgenev wrote to him to devote more of his time in writing. “Your instrument is pen, not a sabre”. Tolstoy accepted his words, and without delay he returned to St. Petersburg and engaged in writing, pointed out Mr. Vinu Abraham.
“Turgenev disturbed the peace of the Tsar through his writing. He was even arrested for writing an obituary when Gogol died. But his works are recognised. He selected love and youth as subjects for his short stories. His novels “Fathers and Sons” and “On the Eve” are still favourites of critics. And these works were translated into Malayalam”, concluded Mr. Vinu Abraham.
Prof. Govindan Nair, former Head of the University of Kerala, spoke on the occasion. Honorary Consul of Russian Federation and Director of the RCSSC, Trivandrum, welcomed the guests and gathering.