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The District Doctor: A Turgenev Short Story

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The District Doctor is a wonderful Turgenev short story that shows its appeal to American authors such as Henry James and Fitzgerald, for its writing, and Sherwood Anderson and Hemingway, for its focus on moments. As the Doctor says to a new acquaintance, sometimes you know people for a long time and never talk about anything that touches the soul; sometimes you start there on the first conversation. This is very much like Winesburg, Ohio, where people have moments of clarity when they act or don't; here the Doctor explains such a moment in his life. The story starts quietly and ends with the Doctor being satisfied with winning a bit more than 2 rubles at Preference. A wonderful introduction to Turgenev and shows why The Atlantic Monthly, the predominant literary magazine of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, adopted Turgenev as their first major Russian author.

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