Geroĭ nashego vremeni

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Basil Blackwell, 1965 - Fiction - 192 pages
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)In its adventurous happenings-its abductions, duels, and sexual intrigues-"A Hero of Our Time" looks backward to the tales of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, so beloved by Russian society in the 1820s and '30s. In the character of its protagonist, Pechorin-the archetypal Russian antihero-Lermontov's novel looks forward to the subsequent glories of a Russian literature that it helped, in great measure, to make possible.This edition includes a Translator's Foreword by Vladimir Nabokov, who translated the novel in collaboration with his son, Dmitri Nabokov.

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About the author (1965)

One of Russia's greatest nineteenth-century poets, Lermontov was at first an officer in an elite Guards regiment. Because of the views he expressed in a poem written on the death of Pushkin in 1837, he was arrested, tried, and transferred to the Caucasus. The poem, a passionate condemnation of the St. Petersburg elite for inciting Pushkin's ill-fated confrontation with D'Anthes, brought Lermontov instant fame. He returned to the capital a year later and began to publish regularly; two volumes of poems and the novel A Hero of Our Time appeared in 1840. Next year, as punishment for a duel, he was sent again to a line regiment in the Caucasus, where he distinguished himself in battle. In July 1841 he was killed in his last duel, the consequence of his own quarrelsome conduct. Lermontov was strongly influenced by Byron and Schiller, writing striking confessional poems that presented him in typically romantic defiance toward society. In his final years, he wrote more reflective and philosophical lyrics, as well as longer narrative poems, also derived from Byronic models. The most important of these is The Demon (1839), on which he worked for a number of years. The story of a fallen angel's love for a woman, it has provided Russian literature and art with a powerful archetype. Besides poetry, Lermontov also wrote plays and fiction, of which A Hero of Our Time is the most important. Made up of several tales by different narrators, the novel centers on Pechorin---a seminal example of the egotistical nineteenth-century "superfluous man," a specifically Russian derivative of the Byronic hero. Both this protagonist and Lermontov's complex narrative technique gave a powerful stimulus to Russian realist fiction.

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