"For Turgenev, we do not have an answer"
October 1, 2022 9:32 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for this very surprising quote several decades ago, about Russian and English novelists, but can only remember the rough outline.

I remember reading a quote by an English (the language) author, that compared English and Russian novelists, and went roughly like:

"For Tolstoy, we have Shakespeare; for Dostoevsky we have Hardy; for Turgenev, we do not have a counterpart"

I am sure I have all the names wrong, except for Turgenev!

Could anyone point me to the proper quote?
posted by raheel to Writing & Language (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The quote does not ring any bells but it sounds like something Vladimir Nabokov might have said in his Lectures on Russian Literature. It's been decades since I read it, so this is probably wrong, though. And of course Nabokov did not rate Turgenev very highly, but still above Dostoevsky (whom he called "a prophet, a claptrap journalist and a slapdash comedian").
posted by fregoli at 2:42 AM on October 2, 2022

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