The 1860s witnessed one of the most vibrant periods in the history of modern Russian literature. This book focuses on what was arguably its most influential genre – the Russian tendentious novel. While tracing the genre’s early development through works such as
Fathers and Sons and
Notes from Underground, it simultaneously unfolds a unique approach to reading late-nineteenth-century Russian literature by showing how rich conflicting interpretations of the classics continue to be possible and by indicating numerous deep-rooted connections between the tendentious novels of the nineteenth century and their twentieth-century literary progeny.