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The Superfluous Man is an 19th Century Russian literary concept. It relates to an individual, possibly of talent and capability, who does not fit into the state-centered pattern of employment. The consequence may be a man who apparently is lazy and ineffectual.
It was popularized in the books of Ivan Turgenev and books like Ivan Goncharov's Oblomov and Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground. Other, earlier examples of the superfluous man in Russian literature include Alexandr Griboyedov's character Chatsky in the play "Woe from Wit," and the titular character in Alexandr Pushkin's novel in verse Eugene Onegin. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfluous_man [Jan 2006]
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