The twentieth volume in the Conrad: Eastern and Western Perspectives series, Conrad and Turgenev: Towards the Real offers a comparative analysis of Joseph Conrad's and Ivan Turgenev's output and focuses on their outlooks and ideas concerning art, personality, and history.
The analysis is based on Conrad's and Turgenev's major novels such as Lord Jim, Nostromo, Almayer's Folly, And Outcast of the Islands, The Return, Victory, The Secret Agent and Rudin, Home of the Gentry, One the Eve, Fathers and Sons, Smoke, as well as selected novellas, short stories, essays and letters.
The affinities and differences between the two writers are discussed within the framework of realism and modernism.
Main problems addressed are the relation between reality and representation in the two author's major works; the concept of the self and its duality, and the pessimistic vision of history devoid of purpose. The study is intended to highlight the affinities between Conrad and Turgenev, to acquaint the readers with those aspects of Turgenev's output that form the context for Conrad's oeuvre, to trace the echoes of Turgenev's aesthetics and worldview in Conrad's texts and to show how Conrad, a disciple of great realist masters, balanced his new modernist awareness against Turgenev who relies on the framework of realism.