In five linked episodes, Lermontov builds up the portrait of a man caught up in and expressing the sickness of his times. A marvelous novel and an early landmark in Russian literature, A Hero of Our Time served as an inspiration for many later Russian authors, including Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.
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'A hero for our times, too, perhaps.' -- The Evening Standard
‘galloping new translation’ -- The Independent
When this novel appeared in Russia in 1840 there was shock, there was horror. It was a slander and a libel and a slur on the younger generation. This often happens when a novel or play touches to the quick, but we do have to admit to our appetite for shock and horror. The equivalent in our time was The Angry Young Men, and while the fuss and noise was largely the creation of the Media, nevertheless it all went on for about ten years, and that couldn’t have happened if people hadn’t wanted to be shocked. There were actually reports of fathers trying to horsewhip their daughters’ impudent suitors. Splendidly anaphronistic stuff.
The emotions A Hero of Our Time evoked went rather deeper. Lermontov, unpleasantly attacked, said the book was indeed a portrait, not of himself, but of a generation. He was far from apologetic and spoke out of that sense of responsibility and authority then possessed by Russian writers. They saw themselves, and were generally regarded, as a public conscience. The writers of no other country have ever enjoyed this role.
So when Lermontov said he had diagnosed the illness but it was not his business to prescribe the cure, he disappointed.
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Book Description Penguin Classics, 1966. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 014044176X
Book Description Penguin Classics, 1995. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX014044176X
Book Description Penguin Classics, 1966. Mass Market Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11014044176X