Written by one of Russia's literary masters, Smoke is both a poignant love story and a brilliant socio-political study. Marked with a barbed wit and a visionary modernism, it became the center of a famous philosophical breach between Turgenev and Dostoevsky. On the brink of marriage, Grigorii Litvinov visits the fashionable European spa of Baden-Baden, a scene dominated by the Russian upper classes. Among them is the beautiful Irina Osinin, Litvinov's first love, to whom he was engaged ten years earlier. Litvinov's struggle with a nostalgic passion is set against the background of a society pulled both toward and against change as it feels the influence of the West. A sensitive and intelligent commentary on human nature, Turgenev's Smoke endures for its high aesthetic standards and its universal qualities of understanding.
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