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Encyclopedia > What Is to Be Done? (novel)
Title What Is To Be Done?
Author Nikolai Chernyshevsky
Original title Chto delat (Что делать)
Country Russia
Language Russian
Genre(s) Novel
Released 1863
Released in English 1973
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)

What is to be Done? (orig. Russian Что делать) (alternatively translated as "What Shall we Do?") is a novel written by the Russian philosopher, journalist and literary critic Nikolai Chernyshevsky when he was in the Peter and Paul Fortress. It was written in response to "Fathers and Sons" by Ivan Turgenev. The novel's hero, named Rakhmetov, became an emblem of the philosophical materialism and nobility of Russian radicalism. The novel also expresses, in one character's dream, a society gaining "eternal joy" of an earthly kind. The novel has been called "a handbook of radicalism"[1] and led to the founding of a Land and Liberty society.[2] Nikolai Chernyshevsky Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky (Russian: Николай Гаврилович Чернышевский) (July 12, 1828 - October 17, 1889) was a Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, critic, and socialist. ... In political geography and international politics a country is a geographical entity, a territory, most commonly associated with the notions of state or nation. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The barcode of an ISBN . ... Nikolai Chernyshevsky Nikolai Gavrilovich Chernyshevsky (Russian: Николай Гаврилович Чернышевский) (July 12, 1828 - October 17, 1889) was a Russian revolutionary democrat, materialist philosopher, critic, and socialist. ... The Peter and Paul Fortress (Петропавловская крепость) is in St. ... Fathers and Sons is an 1862 novel by Ivan Turgenev, his best known work. ... Ivan Turgenev, photo by Félix Nadar (1820-1910) “Turgenev” redirects here. ...

When he wrote the novel, the author was himself imprisoned in the Peter and Paul fortress of St.Petersburg, and he was to spend years in Siberia; the book was smuggled out from his cell. Lenin, Plekhanov, Alexandra Kollontay and Rosa Luxemburg were all highly impressed with the book, and it became an official Soviet classic[citation needed]. The Peter and Paul Fortress (Петропавловская крепость) is in St. ... Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and... Vladimir Ilyich Lenin ( Russian: Влади́мир Ильи́ч Ле́нин  listen?), original surname Ulyanov (Улья́нов) ( April 22 (April 10 ( O.S.)), 1870 – January 21, 1924), was a... Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (December 11, 1856 – May 30, 1918; Old Style: November 29, 1856 – May 17, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. ... Alexandra Mikhaylovna Kollontai (Алекса́ндра Миха́йловна Коллонта́й — born Domontovich, Домонто́вич) (March 31 (March 19, O.S.), 1872 - March 9, 1952) was a Ukrainian Communist revolutionary, first as a member of the Mensheviks, then from 1914 on as a Bolshevik. ... Rosa Luxemburg Rosa Luxemburg (March 5, 1870 or 1871 – January 15, 1919, in Polish Róża Luksemburg) was a Jewish Polish-born Marxist political theorist, socialist philosopher, and revolutionary. ... Soviet redirects here. ...


Plot introduction

Within the framework of a story of a privileged couple who decide to work for the revolution, and ruthlessly subordinate everything in their lives to the cause, the work furnished a blueprint for the asceticism and dedication unto death which became an ideal of the early socialist underground of the Russian Empire. Anthem God Save the Tsar! The Russian Empire in 1914 Capital Saint Petersburg Language(s) Russian Government Monarchy Emperor  - 1721-1725 Peter the Great (first)  - 1894-1917 Nicholas II (last) History  - Established 22 October, 1721  - February Revolution 2 March, 1917 Area  - 1897 22,400,000 km2 8,648,688 sq...


The book is perhaps best known for the responses it created than as a novel in its own right. Leo Tolstoy wrote a different What is to be Done? based on moral responsibility, see What is to be Done? (Tolstoy)[3]. Fyodor Dostoevsky mocked the utilitarianism and utopianism of the novel in Notes from Underground. Vladimir Lenin, however, found it inspiring and named a pamphlet after it, see What is to be Done? (pamphlet). Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: , IPA:  ), commonly referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy (September 9 [O.S. August 28] 1828 – November 20 [O.S. November 7] 1910) was a Russian novelist, writer, essayist, philosopher, Christian anarchist, pacifist, educational reformer, moral thinker, and an influential member of the Tolstoy family. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky or Dostoievsky  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821 – February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) is considered one of the greatest writers of Russian literature, whose works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century world literature. ... Utilitarianism (1861), see Utilitarianism (book). ... See Utopia (disambiguation) for other meanings of this word Utopia, in its most common and general meaning, refers to a hypothetical perfect society. ... Notes from Underground (also translated in English as Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld) (1864) is a short novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. ... “Lenin” redirects here. ... What Is to Be Done? (Russian: ) was a political pamphlet, written by Vladimir Lenin at the end of 1901 and early 1902. ...


  1. ^ Middlebury College
  2. ^ Emory
  3. ^ Boston theological


  • The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces page 1085-1086

External Links

What is to be done? (Russian text)



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