Your shopping cart is empty.
Log in

American literature in the library of I.S. Turgenev

I.O. Volkov

UDC 82(73)-3:025            


Volkov Ivan O.,

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor

of the Russian and Foreign Literature Department

Tomsk State University



The article is devoted to the study of a particular aspect of the dialogue between Ivan Turgenev and the literature of the United States of America. The piece of research focuses on the Russian writer’s book collection, namely that part of it, which contains the works of American authors in English and French. According to the existing catalogs and inventories all the surviving copies of Turgenev’s library have been identified with maximum details. As a result, the “American Foundation” today consists of four representatives of romanticism: J. Cooper, W. Irving, N. Hawthorne and E. Poe. All discovered books of American literature are carefully described. The object of the description is the publication history of the book, the features of its external design and, which is especially important, the traces left by the reader on the pages, i. e. nail marks and underlines and notes made by a pencil. Thus, the earliest by the date of publication in Turgenev’s library is the novel by J. Cooper “The Pioneers”, published in French as part of the fourth volume of the massive series of Cooper’s works. Several nail marks were left on the pages of the novel, which certainly belong to Turgenev’s reading style. In addition, in the process of studying Turgenev’s library, it was possible to establish that the collection of fantastic fiction stories by E. Poe, translated by S. Baudelaire, which stands farthest in the chronology of publication, did not really belong to a Russian writer and could not be the subject of his reading. As a result, the works of American authors preserved in Turgenev’s library make it possible to reproduce a picture of the direct acquaintance of the Russian writer with the literature of the United States, and the marks and notes on particular books open up the prospect of setting and solving new problems (“I. Turgenev and N. Hawthorne”, “I. Turgenev and J. Cooper”) in the aspects of both the reader’s acquaintance and subsequent creative reflection.

Keywords: I.S. Turgenev, literature of the USA, American romanticism, the writer’s library.



1. Nikoliukin A.N. Literaturnye sviazi Rossii i SShA. Moscow: Nauka, 1981. 403 s.

2. Gilenson B.A. Russkaia klassika v mirovom literaturnom protsesse. XIX — nachalo XX veka. Moscow: Vuzovskii uchebnik, 2014. 393 s.

3. Turgenev I.S. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem: v 30 t. Pis’ma: v 18 t. T. 1. Moscow: Nauka, 1982. 607 s.

4. Boyesen H. A visit to Tourgueneff // The Galaxy. 1874. Vol. XVII. No. 4. P. 456–466.

5. Cooper J. Shpion: Novyi roman, soderzhashchii v sebe podrobnosti amerikanskoi voiny s opisaniem nravov i obychaev sei strany: v 3 ch. Moscow, 1825. Ch. 3. 289 s.

6. Tvoi drug i mat’ Varvara Turgeneva: pis’ma V.P. Turgenevoi k I.S. Turgenevu (1838–1844). Tula: Grif i K˚, 2012. 584 s.

7. Cooper J. Izbrannye sochineniia: v 6 t. Moscow: Detgiz, 1962. T. 2. 897 s.

8. Oeuvres J.F. Cooper / trad. par A.-J.-B. Defauconpret. Paris, 1836. T. 6: Les pionniers. 416 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/2031.

9. Oeuvres J.F. Cooper / trad. par A.-J.-B. Defauconpret. Paris, 1839. T. 10: L’écumeur de mer. 422 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/2136.

10. Cooper J.F. The Pathfinder, or The Inland sea. Paris, 1840. VI p. + 386 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/1830.

11. Faksimile odnoi iz rukopisei Turgeneva // Istoricheskii vestnik. 1884. No. 1. S. 97–99.

12. Irving W. Oliver Goldsmith: A biography. Leipzig, 1850. XIV p. + 356 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/1861.

13. Hawthorne N. The Scarlet letter. London, 1852. 252 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/1872.

14. Poe E. Histoires extraordinaires. Paris, 1869. 32 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/47398.

15. Turgenev I.S. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii i pisem: v 28 t. Pis’ma: v 13 t. T. 13, kn. 1. Moscow: Nauka, 1968. 619 s.

16. Poe E. Contes extraordinaires. Paris, [s. a.]. 240 p. // ОГЛМТ. Ф. 1. Оп. 3. ОФ. 325/4402.

17. Boyesen H. Reminiscens of Tourgueneff // Harper’s Weekly. 1883. Vol. XXVII. No. 1397. P. 615.