A brilliant new translation of a perennial favorite of Russian LiteratureThe first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled upon publication Its dissipated hero, twenty five year old Pechorin, is a beautiful and magnetic but nihilistic young army officer, bored by life and indifferent to his many sexual conquests Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Chekhov in Lermontovs own century, and finds its modern day counterparts in Anthony Burgesss A Clockwork Orange, the novels of Chuck Palahniuk, and the films and plays of Neil LaBute....
|Title||:||A Hero Of Our Time (World's classics)|
|Publisher||:||The Overlook Press Auflage 1 16 Januar 2009|
|Number of Pages||:||497 Pages|
|File Size||:||790 KB|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
A Hero Of Our Time (World's classics) Reviews
Nabokov has the confidence to correct what he considers obvious errors in the published versions available for translation. His notes provide a continuous critical commentary on the text and Lermontov's powers as a writer, and significantly enhance the enjoyability of this book.
Sort of before its time. Very Russian.
Mikhail Lermontov was a poet by genius, a romantic at heart, yet by the time of his death at 26, he had already become something of a disillusioned realist. This tension between streaks in his personality is expressed openly in "A Hero of Our Time": the novel starts out as a romantic adventure beautified with most exquisite imagery, but is later transformed into a disquieting tale of manipulation and dark deeds.The setting for this novel (which is really a loosely connected string of short stories) is the wild Caucasian mountains, to which Lermontov himself had been "exiled" to fight against the fierce Chechens. After the death of Pushkin, Lermontov took it upon himself to keep the great poet's legacy alive. The authorities did not take kindly to Lermontov's endeavour, and transferred the young officer to the war zone.To 19th centrury Russian writers, the experience of the Caucasus and of 'Asiatics' in general was of tremendous value as a gauge of the value of Russian civilization. Juxtaposing Russian high society with the people of the steppes and the mountains became a familiar device in Russian literature, just like American Indians were used to symbolize the natural/unadulterated or the uncivilized/savage in American literature.However, in "A Hero of Our Time" the officer Pechorin transcends the boundaries between culture and nature. In the early chapters of the book, Pechorin's adventures are described from outside, and seem extraordinary, bizzare, yet captivating. Later on, other stories are recounted in Pechorin's diary, and they draw a different picture of the modern hero: disillusioned, hateful, and profoundly unhappy. Life is a game which he has long mastered, he knows exactly how to play into people's pride, vanity and passion. Yet, at unlikely moments, a stir of long-forgotten emotion briefly produces a vulnerable, human hero with whom we, despite ourselves, are forced to identify...
As pointed out by my professor in the Russian literature in translation class that I took 40 years ago, the Russians were somewhat ahead of their time in developing the anti-hero--a main character somewhat lacking in sterling virtue. At the same time, Lemontov's book presents a parody of the romantic Byronic hero--here in the person of the young Russian officer Pechorin who is on duty in the Caucasus. Interestingly, Perchorin ascribes the feelings of uneasiness that motivate his difficult personality to the concept of "boredom" made fashionable by the British!Over the course of the novel Pechorin and his comrades are seen to interact with the volatile nationalities that we hear of in today's news including the Chechens and the Ossetians. Our reckless hero goes so far as seduce the Muslim Chechen girl Bela. It is also worth noting that Bela's brother abducted her from Pechorin's house and killed her--in what I now realize was the sort of "honor" killing that is common in tribal Muslim societies. In other adventures, contrary to Byronic type, he falls in a swoon over a girl in the smuggler-beset village of Taman.
This review will be concise:Loved the story by Lermontov. The translator's notes by Nabokov are very good as well.The only annoying aspect of Nabokov's commentary is that he critiques the literature he is tranlating a bit too harshly.