“I’m a Sportsman”: Deviations and Doubts
This final chapter, the conclusion, reflects on the treatment of nature and hunting themes in the last two decades of Ivan Turgenev's life, when, though his passion for the chase persisted, palpable doubts about its freshness and moral legitimacy appeared with greater force and frequency. In this late period, Turgenev gravitated toward the paranormal in his short stories. His last two novels, Smoke and Virgin Soil, continue to use nature as a touchstone in ideologically charged settings, though Virgin Soil does so with considerably more finesse. The chapter explains that the appendices provide translations of four source documents vital to any understanding of Turgenev's nature philosophy: a chronology of his references to nature's indifference, his two reviews of Sergei Aksakov's hunting treatise, and his codified precepts for hunters and their dogs.
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