useless - words!" Pavel is totally baffled by Bazarov’s nihilism and despises him, while Bazarov in turn sneers at him and what he stands for.

The day after this argument takes place Arcady and Bazarov, on the suggestion of the latter, leave for the town on the pretext of accepting the invitation of Matvey Ilyich Kolyazin. Matvey Ilyich, an unintelligent but "modern" official with an extraordinarily high self-opinion advises Arcady that he should pay a visit to the governor, who is holding a large ball for him. Arcady and Bazarov duly go to pay their respects to the governor, who in turn invites them to the ball. Returning to their lodgings they encounter an old acquaintance of Arcady’s, a bizarre and foolish character named Sitnikov who persuades them to join him in a visit to the house of Eudoxia Kukshina, a tireless name-dropper who revels in her ability to include the ideas of the most current international thinkers in her every utterance. Perhaps her most important role however is that she brings Madame Odintzova into the story, describing her as the only good-looking woman she knows in the town who is not "light-headed", and saying how she too will be attending the governor’s ball; a fact that, unusually, captures Bazarov’s attention.

A few days later, at the ball, Arcady meets, dances with and talks to the twenty-nine year old Anna Sergeyevna Odintzova, by whom he is evidently quite taken, believing her to be quite beautiful, and moreover, a lady of the world. The next day, on her invitation, Bazarov and Arcady pay a visit to Odintzova’s hotel. We discover at this point that Odintzova (nee Loktyeva) is the daughter of a speculator and gambler, who on his death left her rather impoverished. She then married a rich and much older man named Odintzov who on his death six years later left her his entire fortune, and at the point at which we find her now she lives with her sister and aunt in some luxury at her favourite estate at Nicolskoye, some thirty miles from the town. For once Bazarov is impressed by someone and is even somewhat nervous in her presence, and at the end of their meeting Odintzova extends an invitation to both of them to visit her at her estate, which they decide to do in two days’ time.

At Odintzova’s estate they meet her younger sister, Katya, a charming but far less self-assured young lady than her sister, and also Princess K., Odintzova’s ageing and cantankerous aunt. That evening Odintzova, Bazarov and a local gentleman, Porfiry Platonich play cards together, while Katya plays the piano for Arcady. We are then told how later that evening Odintzova thinks of the liking she has taken to Bazarov and how she has never fallen in love.

The next two weeks are passed over very quickly as the well-ordered pattern of life on the Odintzova estate goes on, with Arcady spending most of his time with Katya and Bazarov with Odintzova. However, Bazarov has become anxious and thrown off balance by Odintzova’s obvious favour of him, while Arcady has decided that he is in love with Katya, a thought that occasionally besets him with bouts of depression. Then Timofeyich, the steward of Bazarov’s father’s estate, appears to remind Bazarov of his duty to return home and see his parents. Bazarov and Odintzova have a dispute about the perfectly ordered nature of her life. Then the next day he declares to Odintzova that he loves her; a declaration that she, scared of a possible disruption of her ordered life, does not return, claiming that Bazarov has "misunderstood" her. The next day Arcady and Bazarov leave for the latter’s family estate, where they meet Bazarov’s doting parents, who are quite baffled by their son’s lack of affection and snooty attitude towards their simple ways. We soon see that Bazarov’s parents have none of the world-weariness or modern ideas of their son, but are instead honest, old-fashioned people who desire nothing more than the simple pleasures of life and to make their only son happy. Bazarov meanwhile becomes increasingly uneasy and his relationship with Arcady starts to show the strain, especially when Bazarov suggests that perhaps it would not be bad if they let one of their discussions lead to a real fight, an event only averted by the timely arrival of Vassily Ivanich, Bazarov’s father.

Bazarov soon decides to leave again, and he and Arcady depart once more for the latter’s estate at Maryino and on the way stop off at Nicolskoye to see Odintzova and Katya. The visit is a failure: Katya is ill and does not come downstairs and the conversation with Odintzova is stilted and after four hours she complains of an attack of spleen and they take their leave. They are then received well back at Maryino where all has been going far from well on the estate for Nikolai, who has been having great trouble with

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