Ivan Turgenev: Asya [Asia]

(1551 words)

Asya is a short story (or even a novella: povest’) published in 1858, and is widely considered to be one of Turgenev’s finest works. It is the story of three young Russians abroad: the narrator hero (the anonymous N.N.), Gagin, and Gagin’s sister, the enigmatic heroine Asya. The main plot revolves around the unfulfilled love between N.N. and Asya, which comes about as a result of N.N.’s indecision in declaring his feelings for her. The tale is loosely based on some of Turgenev’s own experiences; he too met with a brother and sister, the Saburovs, in Sinzig on the Rhine in June and July of 1857, when the story was written. Richard Freeborn has also argued that Turgenev’s own sense of personal inadequacy is …

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Ambrose, Kathryn. "Asya". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 November 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16567, accessed 29 September 2016.]