On Our Shelves Now
For fans of Ottessa Moshfegh’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation, the classic Russian novel about an indolent aristocrat who spends most of his days in bed
A Penguin Classic
Written with sympathetic humor and compassion, this masterful portrait of upper-class decline made Ivan Goncharov famous throughout Russia on its publication in 1859. Ilya Ilyich Oblomov is a member of Russia’s dying aristocracy—a man so lazy that he has given up his job in the Civil Service, neglected his books, insulted his friends, and found himself in debt. Too apathetic to do anything about his problems, he lives in a grubby, crumbling apartment, waited on by Zakhar, his equally idle servant. Terrified by the activity necessary to participate in the real world, Oblomov manages to avoid work, postpones change, and—finally—risks losing the love of his life. This superb translation by David Magarshack captures all the subtle comedy and near-tragedy of the original.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Ivan Goncharov (1812–1891) was the son of a rich merchant family, spent most of his life as a civil servant, and published three novels.
David Magarshack (translator/introducer; 1899–1977) was known for his many translations from his native Russian, including works by Dostoyevsky.
“Oblomov is a truly great work, the likes of which one has not seen for a long, long time. I am in rapture over Oblomov and keep rereading it.” ―Leo Tolstoy
“[Goncharov is] ten heads above me in talent.” ―Anton Chekhov