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The Adolescent

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The Adolescent (or The Raw Youth) - Fyodor Dostoevsky - 1875

The novel chronicles the life of 19-year-old intellectual, Arkady Dolgoruky, illegitimate child of the controversial and womanizing landowner Versilov. A focus of the novel is the recurring conflict between father and son, particularly in ideology, which represents the battles between the conventional "old" way of thinking in the 1840s and the new nihilistic point of view of the youth of 1860s Russia.

 

Another main theme is Arkady's development and utilization of his "idea" in his life, mainly a form of rebellion against society (and his father) through the rejection of attending a university, and the making of money and living independently, until the eventual aim of becoming excessively wealthy and powerful.

I love classics. Besides English classic authors like Jane Austen and George Eliot I probably like the Russians best. After reading (and loving) Anna Karenina, a Russian friend recommended this one. And I was not disappointed. The description of the simple life in Russia about 150 years ago is very interesting. Also, you can imagine how the revolution started and why some things in history happened the way it did.

 

If you like Russian classics, read it.

 

I started a thread on this in January, it was lost.

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Just found the original thread:

 

Momo 25th January 2007 10:39 PM

The Adolescent

 

The Adolescent, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1875)

(sometimes titled: The Raw Youth, Russian: Подростоk)

 

If you like Russian authors, you will like this book.

The novel chronicles the life of 19-year-old intellectual, Arkady Dolgoruky, illegitimate child of the controversial and womanizing landowner Versilov. A focus of the novel is the recurring conflict between father and son, particularly in ideology, which represents the battles between the conventional "old" way of thinking in the 1840s and the new nihilistic point of view of the youth of 1860s Russia.

Another main theme is Arkady's development and utilization of his "idea" in his life, mainly a form of rebellion against society (and his father) through the rejection of attending a university, and the making of money and living independently, until the eventual aim of becoming excessively wealthy and powerful.

Even though this book is more than a century old, it still holds a lot of truth. Having a teenager in the house makes you aware that some things always have been a certain way and will never change, even though the environment and the circumstances kids grow up in change.

I really liked this book, it gave me a lot to think about.

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it gave me a lot to think about.

 

Yeah! This is the same reason for which this book is loved by me too.

Reading this novel you can feel the evolution of a young mind: from a teenage way of thinking 'till a more mature way.

And this fact involves all the world which surrounds Arkadij.

He wonders about the historical background in which he lives, comparing two way of living: Occidental and Russian.

But the questions he asks himself, and the analysis of what he can see around him, are about real values and ways of growin' up. (It is also about different way to see the world between two different generations: the one of the sons and the other one of the fathers).

This book is about an evolving mind...and I find it so deep that I cannot understand why critics say it to be one of the less well-done by Dostoevskij.

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I think there aren't just the options to compare East and West but also town life and country life. I once read a Dutch book about life in the Netherlands in the 1800s and the author said that at the time a Dutch farmer had a more similar life to a German farmer or even a Russian farmer than he had to a Dutch person living in a town. I'm sure he was right.

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