Ivan Alexandrovich Goncharov Criticism - Essay

Edmund Gosse (essay date 1906)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: A Preface to A Common Story: A Novel, by Ivan Gontcharoff, translated by Constance Garnett, London Book Co., 1906, pp. v-xii.

[In the following essay, Gosse describes Goncharov's literary influences and the lasting appeal of his novels.]

It is a disadvantage to Gontcharoff to be introduced for the first time to English readers who are already acquainted with the writings of his more thrilling and vivid successors, Tourgenieff, Dostoieffsky and Tolstoi. In the rapid development of the Russian realistic novel, Gontcharoff takes the second place in point of time. He was the first man to be roused by the example of Gogol, who wrote, shortly before he died in 1852:...

(The entire section is 2357 words.)

V. F. Pereverzev (essay date 1928)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Concerning a Monistic Conception of Goncharov's Art," in Soviet Studies in Literature, Vol. XXII, No. 2-3, Spring-Summer, 1986, pp. 90-122.

[In the following essay originally published in Literaturovedenie. Sbornik statei in 1928, Pereverzev presents a unified assessment of Goncharov's novels, identifying the common traits of his heroes as manifestations of the bourgeois "smart operator" at a time of dramatic social and cultural change in Russia.]

One of the most essential tasks in the scholarly analysis of a writer's artistic corpus consists in clarifying the links among his images and their mutual interdependence, the inner logic of their...

(The entire section is 12103 words.)

Janko Lavrin (essay date 1954)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Oblomov and Oblomovism," and "The Ravine," in Goncharov, Yale University Press, 1954, pp. 27-37, 37-47.

[In the following excerpt, Lavrin studies style, theme, plot, and character in Oblomov and The Ravine, and provides a critical summary of both works.]

Oblomov and Oblomovism


The general theme of Goncharov's Oblomov is similar to that of A Common Story, but here it is deepened into a tragedy of passivity and of that peculiar type of indolence which soon became connected with the name of Oblomov not only in Russia but also in other parts of the world....

(The entire section is 8550 words.)

H. Gifford (essay date 1973)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Goncharov," in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature: Studies of Ten Russian Writers, edited by John Fennell, University of California Press, 1973, pp. 130-42.

[In the following essay, Gifford analyzes Goncharov's A Common Story, Oblomov, and The Precipice, comparing these novels with the works of Goncharov's Russian contemporaries and examining critical opinion on the trilogy.]

Outside Russia Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov (1812-91) is known as the author of one classic novel published in 1859, Oblomov. In Russia too his reputation depends principally on this work; but he always insisted that it formed part of a trilogy, with...

(The entire section is 4494 words.)

Victor Rozov (essay date 1975)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Life and How to Live It," an introduction to The Same Old Story, by Ivan Goncharov, translated by Ivy Litvinova, Progress Publishers, 1975, pp. 7-14.

[In the following essay, Rozov explores two contrasting views of lifethe idealistic and the pragmaticdramatized in Goncharov's The Same Old Story (A Common Story).]

The author explores life by two means—the intellectual, which begins with reflections on life's phenomena, and the artistic, the aim of which is to fathom the same phenomena and grasp them not with the mind (or, rather, not only with the mind) but with all one's being, intuitively as it is called.


(The entire section is 3210 words.)

Christine Borowec (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Time After Time: The Temporal Ideaology of Oblomov," in Slavic and East European Journal, Vol XXXVIII, No. 4, Winter, 1994, pp. 561-73.

[In the following essay, Borowec discusses Goncharov's thematic and structural use of cyclic and linear-progressive time in his novel Oblomov.]

Ilya Oblomov, Goncharov's most famous literary creation and the central figure of the novel Oblomov, represents a particular social class at a specific moment in Russian history. Oblomov epitomizes the obsolete, feckless aristocracy made possible by serfdom in Russia in the mid-nineteenth century. Critical appraisals contemporary to the novel, including Nikolaj...

(The entire section is 5958 words.)

Galya Diment (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Goncharov and the Russian Autobiographical Tradition," and "'Heart' vs. 'Mind' in A Common Story" in The Autobiographical Novel of Co-Consciousness: Goncharov, Woolf and Joyce, University Press of Florida, 1994, pp. 13-23, 24-40.

[In the following two chapters from her book-length study, Dimeni examines Goncharov's use of autobiographical material in his novel A Common Story, surveying the history of autobiography in Russia and discussing possible influences on Goncharov's work]

1. Goncharov and the Russian Autobiographical Tradition

A Common Story (Obyknovennaia istoriia, alternately translated as The...

(The entire section is 13578 words.)