RUS (São Paulo)
Nikolai Dobroliubov’s and Dmitrii Pisarev’s reviews of Ivan Goncharov’s novel Oblomov have gone into history as exemplars of Russian civic criticism. Their main argument centers on the eponymous protagonist’s seeming inability to exit his lethargic condition, which they interpret as a symptom of the Russian status quo at the time of the Great Reforms. In the present article, I argue that the case of Oblomov demonstrates the limits of the civics’ mimetic criticism. The dominant chronotope of the novel, namely the idyll, indicates that Oblomov is not in essence a novel about the hero’s inability to change (which would presuppose a willingness to, or desire for, said change), but rather about his longing for a restorative past which is ultimately inaccessible to him.
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de Oliveira, C. (2023). Russian Civic Criticism and the Idyllic Dream in Ivan Goncharov’s" Oblomov". RUS (São Paulo), 14(25).