Герой нашего времени {PDF ebook} by Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov ó 8 characters

T and Lord Byron so beloved by Russian society in the 1820s and '30s In the character of its protagonist Pechorin the archetypal Russian A Hero of Our Time part swashbuckler part travelogue which first appeared in 1839 cleary had an influence over another certain famous Russian writer who sported a great big long grey beard Infact this could uite easily have been written by Tolstoy himself Opening in a vast landscape the narrator is travelling through the Caucasus he explains that he is not a novelist but a travel writer making notes Think a sort of Paul Theroux type The mountainous region were supposedly fabled Noah s ark apparently passed by the twin peaks of Mount Elborus Must have been a wonderful spectacle for the elephants giraffes and rhinos Beyond the natural border of the River Terek was an alluring and dangerous terrain where Ossetians Georgians Tatars and Chechens harried Russian soldiers and travellers or offered uncertain alliances But just who could you trust Lermontov s narrator marvels at the purity of the mountain air and the delights of welcoming a sense of withdrawing from the world But he also feels a sombre and bewildering depth that the hidden valleys hold a foreboding He meets an old Caucasus hand a staff captain called Maxim Maximych who has been in Chechnya for a decade and who warns him about the dangerous ways of the region s inhabitants Maxim Maximych begins to rabble on to his new found friend about the ravishing tale of a young officer he met five years earlier Pechorin who is now dead had a lively energy and a changeable temperament he could hunt for days one minute and hide in his room the next Whilst spending time at Maximych s fort Bela the daughter of a Tatar prince caught his eye casting flirtatious looks at him as one does And even sings him a love song Ahhh how sweetThis story then involves the Prince s son who is after the horse of a local bandit Pechorin offers him a deal He steals the horse if Bela is delivered to him But after the exchange the bandit goes looking for bloodUnlike Tolstoy this is not some huge Russian beast of a novel as it sits comfortably at under two hundred pages Although there turns out to be three different narrators the whole thing works well and is perfectly graspable for anyone who has read any of the old Russian classics Lermontov doesn t beat around the bush when kicking things off and builds a picture straight away The book makes its points efficiently in a little amount of time The character of Pechorin was far intriguing than anyone else and his part of the overall story I found the better What is striking is Lermontov s handling of form the way Pechorin emerges gradually in a fragmented narrative that anticipates Modernism in its perspectival shifts The book not only pleased Leo but Gogol Dostoevsky and Chekhov as well Lermontov deserves to mingle in with this crowd He really wouldn t be out of place He demonstrates that literature is the most beautiful artform when written in this fashion

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Герой нашего времени

Antihero Lermontov's novel looks forward to the subseuent glories of a Russian literature that it helped in great measure to make possibl The story of a man s soul even the pettiest of souls is only slightly less intriguing and edifying than the history of an entire people especially when it is a product of the observations of a ripe mind about itself and when it is written without the vain desire to excite sympathy or astonishment Driven by an early infatuation with Romanticism tempered by subseuent disillusions Mikhail Lermontov constructed his only novel around the troubled personality of a young Russian officer exiled from the high society of Leningrad and Moscow to the wild frontier of the Caucasus A melange of autobiographical elements and sharp observations of his fellow officers this Pechorin is indeed both larger than life in his turbulent passions and representative of a certain period in the development of Russian society and of its literary identity a true hero of his times as proven by the enduring popularity of the present novel His name was Grigory Alexandrovich Pechorin A wonderful fellow I dare say Only a little strange too I knew many readers hold this novel in high regard yet I was still surprised by how vibrant the mountain setting is how memorable the character of Pechorin turned out to be and how modern the approach to the character study still feels after all these years Lermontov himself as I read from his online biography was both controversial in his temperament and fiery in his passions just like Pechorin I am convinced that while actual details from the five novellas included in the book and most of the characters are fictitious the internal monologues and the big uestions about life and fate love and sadness passion and tedium are coming from the heart of the author than from his literary fancy The soul inside me is corrupted by the world my imagination is restless my heart is insatiable Nothing is ever enough I have become as used to sorrow as I am to delight and my life becomes empty from one day to the next Probably the most unsettling and eerily visionary episode in the novel is a deadly duel between Pechorin and Grushnitsky a fellow officer Life imitates art as a similar episode will put a tragic end to the poet s life only a few years after the novel was published But there is than meets the eye in this duel Grushnitsky a vain and self centered opportunist is only a fake Romantic hero who strikes a pose in order to impress a young lady while Pechorin may be by his own admission one of the cleverest rakes of his generation but at least his doubts and his search for meaning feel genuine This is how Grushnitsky is presented He doesn t know people and their weak strings because he has been occupied with himself alone for his whole life His goal is to be the hero of a novel He has so often tried to convince people that he is not of this world but is doomed to some sort of secret torture that he has almost convinced himself of it I see in Lermontov s disillusionment with the Romantic movement and his adoption of keen psychological study his greatest gift to the next generation of Russian writers the transition from Goethe Hugo Byron Scott and Pushkin all idols of young Lermontov all referenced directly in the novel to Chekhov Tolstoy Dostoyevsky and so on I wonder what else this talented student of life would have written if his life was not cut down in his primeComing back to the novel itself I called it a psychological study but I don t want to gloss over the fact that these stories are also damn entertaining as tales of adventure from the kidnapping and seducing of a Circassian princess to a perilous winter traverse of a high Caucasus mountain pass from a meeting with smugglers by the sea of Azov to a replay of les liaisons dangereuses in a mountain spa finished with a game of Russian Roulette in an army barracks The author plays both with the timeline of events and with the narrative voice re enforcing my conviction that he is well ahead of his times as regards the modern novel Most importantly a lesson many new authors seem to have forgotten Lermontov does not prejudge his characters he presents the facts and lets the readers come to their own conclusions Is Pechorin really a tragic misunderstood hero or just a dangerous scoundrel There are arguments to be made for both positions I was prepared to love the whole world and no one understood me and I learned to hate My colorless youth elapsed in a struggle with myself and the world Fearing mockery I buried my most worthy feelings in the depths of my heart and they died there I was telling the truth and no one believed me so I started lying I hesitate to use the modern trope of the unreliable narrator maybe it s the thought that a man has no reason to lie in his private journals as most of the story is presented maybe it s the fact that this disillusionment with life this uest for meaning in Pechorin s journey is just as timeless as it is unsolvable Few of us are without conflicted emotions and contrarian impulses Few of us can still lay claim to our youthful optimism and enthusiasm after experiencing a few hard falls down the road through life What is a bit shocking is how early Pechorin Lermontov came to this crossroad I hoped that boredom didn t exist under Chechen bullets but it was in vain within a month I was so used to their whirring and to the nearness of death that really I paid attention to the mosuitoes And I was bored than before because I had lost what was nearly my last hope If there was a choice between youth and wisdom which way will you travel Pechorin is uniue in the fact that he is both young and wise and probably this is the source of his pain and his boredom Passions are nothing other than the first developments of an idea they are a characteristic of the heart s youth and whoever thinks to worry about them his whole life long is a fool many calm rivers begin with a noisy waterfall but not one of them jumps and froths until the very sea And this calm is often the sign of great though hidden strength This Pechorin knows how to present a compelling argument in defense of his whimsy yet his actions are often impulsive and driven by lust or by pride even by boredom Still if I was to chose a theme that links the five novellas together it would be love there are hints at a wild life and crazy loves in the life of our hero before he came to the Caucasus and these events are probably responsible both for his enduring passion for the gentle sex and for his eually strong disinclination to commit to a lasting relationship Moving his ardor from the nubile rebel daughter Bella to a strange fisher girl by the sea then torn between a married woman Vera and a virginal princess Mary Pechorin is both attracted and repulsed by the eternal mystery of a woman Finally they have arrived I was sitting at the window when I heard the clatter of their carriage my heart started what was that I couldn t be in love Yet I am so inanely composed that you might expect something like this of me This condescending domineering attitude towards women is another aspect of the times described in the novel and Pechorin is mostly a typical male in this field of battle interested in conuest than in dialogue There isn t anything as paradoxical as a woman s mind it s hard to convince a woman of anything you have to lead them to convince themselves Since poets started writing and women have been reading them and for this profound gratitude is owed women have been called angels so many times that with heartfelt simplicity they actually believe this compliment forgetting that these are the very same poets who glorified Nero as a demi god for money There are probably many theories about Pechorin s inability to truly fall in love but my favorite is an admission he makes after he loses both women soon after they confess their love for him I sometimes despise myself is that not why I despise others I have become incapable of noble impulses I am afraid to seem ridiculous to myself An even better observation and probably one of the best passages in the whole novel is an alternating perspective coming from one of these conuered ladies in the form of a farewell letter You have behaved with me as any other man would have behaved with me You loved me as property as a source of joy anxiety and sadness all mutually exchangeable without which life is tedious and monotonous I understood this at the beginning But you were unhappy and I sacrificed myself hoping that at some point you would value my sacrifice that at some point you would understand my profound affection which didn t come with any conditions Much time has passed since then I penetrated every secret of your soul and became convinced that it had been a useless aspiration How bitter it was for me But my love had grown into my soul It had dimmed but it had not gone out The novel ends in multiple failures lovers lost enemies killed friendships misplaced The last episode is titles The Fatalist a coda to a futile effort to understand and to enjoy life Why strive if it all ends absurdly on the turn of a dice Yet here is Pechorin writing down his thoughts in his private journals here is Lermontov writing the only novel of his brief career trying to say something important We almost always forgive those we understand They may not have been heroes or angels brave or righteous trustworthy or sincere but they were young passionate conflicted like the times they lived through Some will say he was a good fellow others will say I was a swine Both one and the other would be wrong Given this does it seem worth the effort to live And yet you live out of curiosity always wanting something new Amusing and vexing When the men and their troubles are gone the mountains will remain massive patient majestic inspiring I was so delighted to be so high above the world it was a childlike feeling I won t deny it but withdrawing from the demands of society and drawing near to nature we become children without meaning to and everything that has been acuired falls away from the soul and it becomes as it once was and probably will be once again a painting of the Caucasus by Lermontov

free read Герой нашего времени

In its adventurous happenings its abductions duels and sexual intrigues A Hero of Our Time looks backward to the tales of Sir Walter Scot Ask a Westerner about great Russian writers and chances are you will hear the names of Dostoyevsky Tolstoy or Chekhov But my mind instead immediately jumps to the earlier Romanticist generation of the early 19th century Pushkin and Lermontov two young geniuses neither of whom has lived to see 40It s easy to forget how ridiculously young Lermontov was Pushkin Russia s greatest poet was killed in a duel at only 37 Lermontov the second greatest died in the same ridiculous way but at the age of only 26 And by that young age he already reached fame and recognition having barely spread his literary wings Funnily enough in the saddest way possible Lermontov himself wrote a passionate and angry poem Death of the Poet about Pushkin s death condemning the societal scorn that pushed Pushkin to such an end only to repeat the same fate himself And both Pushkin and Lermontov have written and condemned pointless duel scenes in both of their greatest works Pushkin in Eugene Onegin Lermontov in this one A Hero of Our Time Writing the scathing Death of the Poet about Pushkin s death was what earned the young previously little known writer both skyrocketing fame in the literary circles and displeasure of the Tsar culminating in basically what amounted to the exile to serve in the army in the Caucasus mountains the place where his masterpiece A Hero of Our Time is set and where a Lermontov himself eventually was killedThe Romanticism gave us the much loved and much hated Byronic hero a noble solitary scoundrel misunderstood lonely and suffering brooding and disillusioned dark and alluring haughty and cynical yet charismatic and irresistible to women painfully self aware and blinding in his superiority to the otherwise banal and mediocre society Countless characters were inspired by this just think of Eugene Onegin in Pushkin s novel for instance The painful echoes of the allure of such heroes still are heard in so much of romance and young adult literature to this dayIn A Hero of Our Time Lermontov portrays his stark disillusionment with such a Byronic hero shocking and scandalizing society You d expect him to paint Pechorin in a dramatic or sympathetic light given the inherent allure in such a character especially to a very young writer who idolized Byron actually lived a life similar to that of a Byronic hero Supposedly Lermontov himself was not the nicest person A very wealthy and spoiled young man he was famous for seducing women and breaking their hearts writing rambunctious and lurid poetry after joining a cadet school a sharp and caustic wit that could border on casual cruelty impressive intelligence bordering on cynical arrogance and boundless bravery in war battles leaning towards careless recklessness But again the man was only 26 when he died with no chance to ever reach maturity and wisdom of age to outgrow the swagger stage of a young rich guy with all the life ahead of himBut there is no alluring glow to Pechorin s character Pechorin is an appalling egotistical arrogant cynical fellow an antihero surely who still embodies the Byronic ideal perfectly but in this case so appalling to the society still full of admiration for Byronic tragic antiheroes that Lermontov in the foreword to the novel had to point out translation is mine This is a portrait indeed but not of one man it is a portrait comprised of the vices of our entire generation in all of their form You will tell me again that a man cannot be this bad and I will tell you that if you could believe in the possibility of the existence of all the tragic and romantic scoundrels why wouldn t you believe in the reality of Pechorin If you enjoyed creations much terrible and uglier why would this character even as an invention not find mercy with you Is it because that he carries truth than you would have wished for Pechorin certainly has a remarkable insight into his appalling character and is uite contradictory in his complexity He tends to be spot on in astute recognition of human fallacies which fuels his cynicism He is very well aware and almost alarmed by his purposelessness and a tendency towards self destruction His pride in his detachment and cynicism even briefly falters when his genuine feelings for Vera lead him on a mad gallop to reach her but that flame is extinguished uickly and we know that from here on he goes on to carelessly destroy young Bela and her familyIt s interesting how the best regarded work of the man usually thought of as a poet is a slim novel written in prose But really the prose is ridiculously unbelievably poetic so perhaps it s not strange at all The dancing choirs of the stars were interwoven in wondrous patterns on the distant horizon and one after another they flickered out as the wan resplendence of the east suffused the dark lilac vault of heaven gradually illuminating the steep mountain slopes covered with the virgin snows To right and left loomed grim and mysterious chasms and masses of mist eddying and coiling like snakes were creeping thither along the furrows of the neighbouring cliffs as though sentient and fearful of the approach of day This book is told in five parts told out of chronologic order It opens with Bela where our narrator while traveling through the Caucasus in the middle of the Russian multi decade expansion to that territory known collectively as the Caucasian Wars meets an old army man Maxim Maximych who tells him a story of his younger officer friend Grigory Pechorin a world weary rich man of twenty five or so and his kidnapping and seduction of a young local girl Bela five years prior followed by the tragic end of this romance shortly before Pechorin would have been tired of this conuest Then we move on to Maxim Maximych a short piece where the narrator meets Pechorin himself and what an unpleasant figure Pechorin turns out to be and comes into possession of Pechorin s travel journals Three excerpts from these journals conclude the novel after a brief interlude informing the reader that by now Pechorin is dead Taman where pre Caucasus Pechorin poetically runs afoul of a small band of smugglers Princess Mary a long section chronologically preceding the events of Bela where Pechorin tells us of his cruel courtship of a young noble woman done at the reuest of a married woman whom he actually loves ending tragically for a former friend the girl and Pechorin himself who may or may not have actually fallen in some sort of love and finally The Fatalist a short piece on the inevitability and predetermination of destiny and death On reading over these notes I have become convinced of the sincerity of the man who has so unsparingly exposed to view his own weaknesses and vices The history of a man s soul even the pettiest soul is hardly less interesting and useful than the history of a whole people especially when the former is the result of the observations of a mature mind upon itself and has been written without any egoistical desire of arousing sympathy or astonishment Rousseau s Confessions has precisely this defect he read it to his friends Putting Pechorin aside which would undoubtedly injure his vanity and pride another protagonist of the novel is the setting the majestic Caucasus Mountains where he spent a large part of his life a lot of it in military service punctuated by leisurely pursuits the place where he ultimately lost his own life in ridiculous unnecessary duel What a glorious place that valley is On every hand are inaccessible mountains steep yellow slopes scored by water channels and reddish rocks draped with green ivy and crowned with clusters of plane trees Yonder at an immense height is the golden fringe of the snow Down below rolls the River Aragva which after bursting noisily forth from the dark and misty depths of the gorge with an unnamed stream clasped in its embrace stretches out like a thread of silver its waters glistening like a snake with flashing scales A childish feeling I admit but when we retire from the conventions of society and draw close to nature we involuntarily become as children each attribute acuired by experience falls away from the soul which becomes anew such as it was once and will surely be again He whose lot it has been as mine has been to wander over the desolate mountains long long to observe their fantastic shapes greedily to gulp down the life giving air diffused through their ravines he of course will understand my desire to communicate to narrate to sketch those magic pictures The ridiculous duel that cost Mikhail Lermontov his life at age twenty six robbed literature of a budding genius I can only imagine how interesting his voice would have been as a mature writer a man with life to experience illusions to be shattered mountains to climbI first read it while in elementary school not understanding anything about it but persevering with weird childish stubbornness Since then I ve read it a few times each time appreciating Lermontov s astute understanding of human nature and And now I am a decade older than Lermontov ever had a chance to be and I still find it utterly brilliant

10 thoughts on “Герой нашего времени

  1. says:

    And now Childe Harold was sore sick at heartAnd from his fellow bacchanals would flee;'Tis said at times the sullen tear would startBut pride congealed the drop within his e'e Lord Byron Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto I Stanza VIAnother life that vanished too soon Mikhail Lermontov was only 26 years old when he was killed in a duel Same fate as another Russian genius Alexander Pushkin to whom he dedicated his poem Dea

  2. says:

    I started reading this book in ebook form because I was so eager to get to it prompted by the references in the

  3. says:

    Ask a Westerner about great Russian writers and chances are you will hear the names of Dostoyevsky Tolstoy or Chekhov But my mind instead immediately jumps to the earlier Romanticist generation of the early 19th century Pushkin and Lermontov two young geniuses neither of whom has lived to see 40It’s easy to forget how ridiculously

  4. says:

    “I sing whatever comes into my head It'll be heard by who it's meant for and who isn't meant to hear won't understand” Free will is the ability to chooseNo I would like to believe so But there are countless limitations and restrictions which make me wonder why we have been granted with it if we are going to be judged and chastised for our choices This is such an argument of a man Pechorin who is often alie

  5. says:

    A Hero of Our Time part swashbuckler part travelogue which first appeared in 1839 cleary had an influence over another certain famous Russian writer who sported a great big long grey beard Infact this could uite easily have been written by Tolstoy himself Opening in a vast landscape the narrator is travelling through the Caucasus he explains that he is not a novelist but a travel writer making notes Think a sort of Paul Theroux

  6. says:

    One of the most interesting eye opening books I've read I'm not that familiar with Russian literature but the I read the I'm falling in love with them This book has got to be one of the most extended sustained med

  7. says:

    I've been meaning to read this one for a while It's one of those Russian classics that's always on those lists A Hero of Our Time has an interesting format It's split into sections but these sections are all very different and sometimes don't even involve our hero Pechorin This is all well and good but for a novel that's under 200 pages you'd think that Lermontov would have actually focused on some sort of plo

  8. says:

    The story of a man’s soul even the pettiest of souls is only slightly less intriguing and edifying than the history of an entire people especially when it is a product of the observations of a ripe mind about itself and when it is written without the vain desire to excite sympathy or astonishment Driven by an early infatuation with Romanticism tempered by subseuent disillusions Mikhail Lermontov constructed his only

  9. says:

    There is something in A Hero of Our Time that even time is powerless to destroy The novel is full of everlasting feelings and motives that ruled human beings in ancient times and keep ruling now“I was so delighted to be s

  10. says:

    “Zamanımızın Bir Kahramanı was published in 1840 It is Mikhail Lermontov's only complete prose work The novel begins relatively simple with a portrayal of Pechorin The beginning it´s written in a third person perspective After this it turns in to a diary perspective of Pechorin so to speak so the reader gets to know

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