Which ancient yet ever-living story does the novel about the hopes, delusions and disappointments of Alexander Aduyev, Ivan Goncharov’s main character, remind of? Who is Ilya Ilyich Oblomov – a patriarchal master or a Russian Don Quixote? Why did the writer call his ‘The Precipice’ ‘an epic of love’? And with what purpose does the Russian ship ‘Pallada’ prowl the world ocean? These and many other questions get answered in this book. The author offers a new reading of ‘A Common Story’. ‘Oblomov’ and ‘The Precipice’, as well as his travelogue ‘Frigate Pallada’ based on the materials of his round-the-world voyage from Kronstadt to Japan and his subsequent return to St. Petersburg by land across Siberia. The book ends with the chapter about ‘The Extraordinary Story’ - an autobiographical novel in which Goncharov told about the creation of his novels, especially ‘The Precipice’. The book is addressed to teachers of schools, lyceums and gymnasiums, to students of philology and to all admirers of Goncharov.
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