Writer Challenge: The Complete Works of Ivan Turgenev

"Turgenev to me is the greatest writer there ever was." - Ernest Hemingway
I once tried to complete a writer's complete works (Shakespeare) and review each text but I didn't really get anywhere. Greater intellectuals and readers than me have bombed when trying to complete Shakespeare's Complete Works and in hindsight I definitely think it was rather overly ambitious of me to even try. I think I'm ready to try again albeit with a different writer. I've been thinking hard over the past six months about which writers body of work I could realistically read over a year or two and I've finally chosen one: Ivan Turgenev. I was tossing up between Turgenev, Euripides and Dostoyevsky but Euripides wouldn't pose much of a challenge due to a lot of his works being lost (I've read over half of his body of work anyway) and Dostoyevsky has a great number of novels and short stories that are quite challenging and I'd probably burn myself out. Turgenev is a good compromise as he has a handful of novels, a few plays, a mild amount of poetry and a large number of short stories so it's not too big of an undertaking but it will still be quite challenging. I've read two Turgenev novels (Fathers and Sons, On the Eve) and a few of his short stories and I absolutely love the work I've read so far. He's not just one of my favourite Russian writers; he's one of my favourite writers full stop. He's also incredibly underrated so I hope reading and reviewing his work will inspire others to do the same!

I have compiled a list of most of his work but it's still under construction as I'm hunting down a few of his lesser known short stories and poems. However, this list is almost complete and I am really looking forward to getting started in early 2016. Possibly before next year but I highly doubt it.

The Complete Works of Ivan Turgenev (2 / 42)

  • A Sportsman's Sketches (1852)
  • A House of Gentlefolk (1859)
  • On the Eve (1859)
  • First Love (1860)
  • Fathers and Sons (1861)
  • The Torrents of Spring (1872)
  • Home of the Gentry (1873) 
  • Virgin Soil (1877)
  • Rudin (1894)

Short Stories: 

  • A Correspondence 
  • A Desperate Character 
  • A Strange Story 
  • A Tour in the Forest 
  • An Unhappy Girl
  • Andrei Kolosov
  • Asya
  • Clara Militch 
  • Enough
  • Faust
  • Knock, Knock, Knock 10
  • Lieutenant Yergunov's Story
  • Mumu
  • Old Portraits
  • Phantoms
  • Poems in Prose
  • Punin and Baburin 
  • Pyetushkov
  • The Brigadier 
  • The Diary of a Superfluous Man
  • The District Doctor 20
  • The Dog
  • The Dream
  • The Duellist 
  • The Inn
  • The Jew 
  • The Rendezvous
  • The Song of Triumphant Love 
  • The Watch
  • Three Portraits 
  • Yakov Pasinkov 30


  • Fortune's Fool
  • A Month in the Country
  • A Provincial Lady


I have a couple of posts planned before 2015 ends including a post detailing which challenges I'll be participating in in 2016 and looking back at the year that was. I also have plans to write a review of the Dostoyevsky Christmas short story I read on Christmas Eve. I'll be posting that as soon as I am able to. 


  1. Wonderful! I really hope you enjoy reading Turgenev. He is also one of my most favourite writers and I agree with you that he is also unduly underrated. I'm looking forward to anything you write about this and best of luck to you! Oh, and merry Christmas to you!

    1. Merry Christmas! Turgenev's prose is so beautiful I cannot wait to begin.

  2. Good luck with this challenge, Keely! I'm tempted to join you but I know that if I do, I'll overload myself. I will, however, perhaps read a few of his works this year, thanks to your announcement. I've only read his Fathers and Sons, but I loved it. He doesn't have the angst of the other Russian writers (which I love, but in smaller doses) but a good solid sensibility. I can't wait to see what other challenges you'll be participating in in 2016!

    1. I look forward to your reviews if you do! I love his prose and the ideas he explores and how his work is much more...grounded in nature which I love. I know a little about Turgenev the person and im looking forward to discovering more.


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