Fathers and Sons - by Ivan Turgenev -
Thu, 05/24/2018 - 3:46pm by -alex-
Set in an era dominated by anxiety, political turmoil, industrial revolution, and rapid social change, Fathers and Sons tells the story of two young political radicals, two old conservatives, and a fateful vacation in the countryside. Nihilism, infatuation, the generation gap, and the ties that bind all mix in this startingly tender, slim little novel.
Fathers and Sons feels amazingly modern in spite of its age. You'll find some of the very first cultural references to nihilism here, and Turgenev sets the template for the edgy brand of nihilistic youth culture has since emerged time and time again in modern art and media.
Listen to this podcast episode of NPR's Radiolab for more on the relationship between nihilist philosophy, youth, and popular culture (skip to 9:54 for a quote from the book), or check out this review from NPR.