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Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

Written with sympathetic humor and compassion, this masterful portrait of upper-class decline made 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.

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