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No single treatment of Bazarov could possibly do this archetypal character justice. The fact that Bazarov is an archetype at all-the archetypal nihilist-provides a flexible and sliding image which is nearly impossible to pin down with a single characterization. According to Mersereau, Bazarov is one of the first round Russian realistic characters who undergoes a psychological evolutionary development and whose legacy extends to Raskol'nikov, Prince Andrew, Anna Karenina, and Dmitrij Karamazov (354-5). Yet the realistic treatment of character, passed on to Turgenev by Lermontov and Pushkin before him and Henry James within his generation, provides an excellent springboard for the development in Bazarov of what Brumfield called "the culmination" of Turgenev's romantic hero conceived in 1845 (499).

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Perhaps the best way to read the Byronic influence upon Bazarov is, as Brostram puts it, to consider Turgenev as an heir to Romantic pessimism or -"ironic pessimism and despair which could find no relief in the momentary ecstasies of transcendence"-not really an example of nihilistic "absolute pessimism" but of metaphysical doubt and uncertainty (81-2). Yet even this conception of Bazarov leaves something to be desired, for it seems to place the character within a framework in which there is little room for change or development. Some critics have argued that the strongest characteristic of is that it is the only novel Turgenev wrote which contains a character who undergoes realistic development. Without a doubt, the strong-willed negating nihilist of the first chapters seems far removed from the bored, restless, resigned son of the last chapters before his death. To explain this development with a Romantic twist, John Mersereau, Jr. in "Don Quixote-Bazarov-Hamlet" relates Bazarov's evolution to an essay entitled "Hamlet and Don Quixote" in which Turgenev wrote in 1860, "It seemed to us that all people to a greater or lesser degree belong to one of these two types, that almost every one of us resembles either Don Quixote or Hamlet." Mersereau summarizes the essay's argument with, "These two become, therefore, archetypes, on the one hand, for enthusiastic but naive dynamism with action and, on the other hand, for analytical skepticism leading to alienation and inactivity" (347-8). Inasmuch as Don Quixote and Hamlet , a brief discussion of Bazarov in these terms might shed light on Bazarov's Byronic roots. Mersereau describes Bazarov at the beginning of the novel " 'tilting at windmills' in the guise of Nikolai Petrovich and his effete brother, Pavel" (349). This explains the considerable hostility between Bazarov and Pavel, particularly since Bazarov actively engaged in trying arguments with Pavel that resulted in anger and confusion on Pavel's part. Mersereau identifies the beginning of the shift toward a Hamlet-like persona when he receives the shock of Odintsova's rejection of his love, particularly since he was prepared to love no matter what the consequences. This led to introspection and self-doubt, characteristics Bazarov had never experienced before, characteristics which possibly caused Bazarov to escape the boredom of having no real purpose by "willing" himself to die like his Russian romantic counterparts Pechorin, Pushkin, and Lermontov (350). Mersereau's interpretation allows for Bazarov's evolution from beginning to end of novel while providing a hint of the influence of Byronic romanticism.

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A final suggestion, though perhaps not logically sound, is to present the strong affinity between the biographies of Turgenev and Byron. Both reflect a sympathetic view toward their apotheosis-prone characters: Turgenev finds he believes in almost all of the nihilist positions Bazarov posits throughout the novel, while Byron portrays himself in characters like Don Juan's narrator and the Giaour while he deifies himself in Manfred's self-determination and decisive sense of justice. Both experience similar exiles from their homeland as a direct result of their writings-Turgenev's was self-imposed in many cases by Russia's lack of appreciation for his work and by his desire to be near Pauline Viardot; Byron's was forced by English intolerance for his irreverence and misunderstood morality. Tragically, Byron never returned to his homeland, while Turgenev did, hailed a hero of Russian literature. Both reflect an inability to find fulfillment in romantic relationship, and both sired children for whom they seemed to have little regard (although Turgenev eventually accepted and finally learned to love Paulinette). Although these similarities provide little insight into the Byronic influence exerted upon Bazarov by Turgenev, they do present an interesting insight into the similarities of the ill-received author.