Translated by Marian Schwartz
Afterword by Mikhail Shishkin
Set at the beginning of the nineteenth century, before the ideal of industrious modern man, when idleness was still looked upon by Russia's serf-owning rural gentry as a plausible and worthy goal, there was Oblomov. Indolent, inattentive, incurious, given to daydreaming and procrastination—indeed, given to any excuse to remain horizontal—Oblomov is hardly the stuff of heroes. Yet, he is impossible not to admire. He is forgiven for his weakness and beloved for his shining soul. Ivan Goncharov's masterpiece is not just ingenious social satire, but also a sharp criticism of nineteenth-century Russian society.
Translator Marian Schwartz breathes new life into Goncharov's voice in this first translation from the generally recognized definitive edition of the Russian original, and the first as well to attempt to replicate in English Goncharov's wry humor and all-embracing humanity. Schwartz also includes a Gastronomical Glossary.
"The combination of Goncharov's edits and Schwartz's translation left me thumbing back to the copyright page to confirm 1862, not 1962, as this translation sparkles with contemporary lyricism and humor." —Karen Vanuska, Quarterly Conversation