Studies in Folk-Song and Popular Poetry by Alfred Mason Williams

Studies in Folk-Song and Popular Poetry

byAlfred Mason Williams

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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But Irina—Irina is unique; for Turgenev has in her perfected her type till she reaches a destroying witchery of fascination and subtlety. Irina will stand for ever in the long gallery of great creations, smiling with that enigmatical smile which took from Litvinov in a glance half his life, and his love for Tatyana. The special triumph of her creation is that she combines that exact balance between good and evil which makes good women seem insipid beside her and bad women unnatural. And, by nature irresistible, she is made doubly so to the imagination by the situation which she recreates between Litvinov and herself. She ardently desires to become nobler, to possess all that the ideal of love means for the heart of woman; but she has only the power given to her of enervating the man she loves. Can she become a Tatyana to him? No, to no man. She is born to corrupt, yet never to be corrupted. She rises mistress of herself after the first measure of fatal delight. And, never giving her whole heart absolutely to her lover, she, nevertheless, remains ever to be desired. Further, her wit, her scorn, her beauty preserve her from all the influences of evil she does not deliberately employ. Such a woman is as old and as rare a type as Helen of Troy. It is most often found among the great mistresses of princes, and it was from a mistress of Alexander II. that Turgenev modelled Irina. Of the minor characters, Tatyana is an astonishing instance of Turgenevs skill in drawing a complete character with half-a-dozen strokes of the pen. The reader seems to have known her intimately all his life: her family life, her girlhood, her goodness and individual ways to the smallest detail; yet she only speaks on two or three occasions. Potugin is but a weary shadow of Litvinov, but it is difficult to say how much this is a telling refinement of art. The shadow of this prematurely exhausted man is cast beforehand by Irina across Litvinovs future. For Turgenev to have drawn Potugin as an ordinary individual would have vulgarised the novel and robbed it of its skilful proportions, for Potugin is one of those shadowy figures which supply the chiaroscuro to a brilliant etching. EDWARD GARNETT
Title:Studies in Folk-Song and Popular PoetryFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Publisher:Library of AlexandriaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:146555274X

ISBN - 13:9781465552747

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