Arkady, a university graduate, returns from St. Petersburg to his father’s estate with his mentor Bazarov—a nihilist.
Fathers and Children (also known as Fathers and Sons) is a novel written in 1862 by Russian writer Ivan Turgenev and published in Moscow by The Russian Messenger.
The main theme of the novel is the conflict between two generations—the “fathers,” the liberal serf owners, and the “children,” nihilists who reject their authority and traditions.
Turgenev’s novel also helped popularize the term “nihilism,” especially after the word’s use by an influential Russian nihilist movement in the 1860s.
Despite being harshly criticized in Russia, the novel was very well received in Europe, being praised by influential novelists like Gustave Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant, making it the first Russian novel to gain recognition in the Western literary world.