Item description for A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov...
A Hero Of Our Time (1839) is the only novel written by one of Russia's greatest Romantic poets, Mikhail Lermontov -- considered by many to be the Russian counterpart of Lord Byron -- who died in a duel at the age of 26, leaving behind an unforgettable literary legacy.
This beloved classic has everything for the modern reader -- dangerous liaisons, elegant psychological complexity, dark passion, emotional tension, romantic duels and deception, fiery action in the Caucasus, beautiful and exotic women with flair . . .
And the sexiest Byronic anti-hero in all of Russian literature.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.6" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Sep 8, 2006
Publisher Norilana Books
ISBN 1934169056 ISBN13 9781934169056
Availability 55 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 21, 2017 10:38.
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More About Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov (1814 -1841), a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus," was the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death. His influence on later Russian literature is still felt in modern times, not only through his poetry, but also by his prose. His poetry remains popular in Chechnya, Dagestan, and beyond Russia.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Hero of Our Time?
A pleasure to read Jul 10, 2008
Having bought this book mainly as something to read while travelling I found it to be not only a wonderful read but a gold mine of information.
The book is not simply a translation of Lermontov's "A hero of our time" But also includes a biography of Lermontov with corresponding time like to historical events and notable poets and writers of the time, a large and detailed introduction to the novel and also well written comprehensive notes to the text which included geographical place names, explanations of words both Russian and Turkish that are used throughout and some commentary on the text.
Not being a native speaker of Russian I am in no position to comment on the quality of the translation but in the introduction to the text the translator comments on some of the poor translations that have come before him and also that some translators have either only partially translated the text or have elaborated on the text believing that by doing so it would become more readable to the English speaking audience. Our translator however, seems to be of the opinion that he is faithful to the original Russian.
The novel itself consists of 5 stories centred around the north Caucuses where Russian troops were stationed while fighting the mountain Circassian and Chechen people in the 19th Century. The novel revolves around a young officer who on arriving meets up with a senior officer who having spent several years in the Caucuses has a fair few stories to tell and begins to narrate one of a young man who fell in love with a young Circassian girl and its tragic end. It seems clear that the senior man has a great deal of admiration for the junior officer and on meeting him again is disappointed at being given the cold shoulder. The younger officer does however, leave behind a collection of his journals that make up the last 3 stories of the novel.
Is is a wonderful short novel evoking the likes of Tolstoy and Pushkin in its tragedy. The main character is something of a reflection of Lermontov himself.
My edition is the everyman classic edition and on checking on this site US it seems the paperback edition is the only one available in the US. I would however advise buying the everyman edition as it is a hardback and I believe not much more expensive than the paperback.
The influence of the superfluous man proves ultimately vast. Mar 29, 2008
Lermontov is a sleeper by which I mean that he is lesser known and read outside Russia than other immortals. This novel was recommended to me by a Russian friend from Georgia and I was delighted to find a germinal work influenced greatly by Pushkin and Lord Byron. I read Hero of Our Time after Pushkin's Eugene Onegin. Both Puskin and Lermontov were mad for Byron's poetry as he had earned a certain rock star status. Pushkin was intrigued by blending poetry into the novel as a literary structure in Eugene Onegin. Lermontov's hero, Pechorin, and Pushkin's Onegin have much in common -- both are lovers named after Russian rivers. They both achieve the character type which became known as the "superfluous man" -- an intellect with charisma who finds his gifts are insufficient to influence his world in the way he has imagined. He becomes an outcast or misfit, in a sense, operating outside the conventions of morality and society -- disdainful of both -- with a clear sense of the futility and absurdity of his life. In Pechorin's case the young soldier chooses to influence his life but does so without hope. Perchorin's superfluous man emerges the underground man of Dostoyevski. This perspective is expressed multifariously in the next century in Camus' Stranger, the characters who in habit Beckett's tragicomedies and in the invisible man of Ralph Ellsion. Perhaps his experience in the Russian military created this sense of despair. His exile to the Caucasus Mountain between the Black and Caspian Seas ultimately had an uplifting affect upon Lermontov from the sheer beauty of the landscape which is memorably described in this novel. Like Pushkin, Lermontov was killed in a duel, in the latter's case at the tender age of 26. Chekhov was said to have remarked, "Still a boy and he wrote that." Lermontov is a must read to understand how the superfluous man personified in Lermontov has so influenced writers of diverse genres who followed him.
Groundbreaking for its time Oct 24, 2007
Hero of Our Time is Lermontov's autobiographical story and the only complete novel he ever wrote. Lermontov built on what Pushikin started with Onegin (except that Pushkin wrote Onegin in verse) he took a step further and established the ground work for the physiological fiction form which inspired the golden age of nineteenth century Russian literature.
Lermontov exposes the vanity and cynicism as the overriding vice in Russia's nobility to only contrast it with an even darker picture of the state of the Russian serfdom and peasantry. Deeply reflective, Pechorin's search for a purpose is perhaps symbolic to Russia's search for its own identity and purpose.
Although Gregory Aleksandrovic Pechorin's life and deeds constitute the central theme of the story, on a larger historical scale, Hero of Our Time is also a thorough depiction of the Russian presence in, and their understanding of the Caucasus as well as the overall Russian colonialist attitudes of the time. The exotic depiction of Bella, the Chechens and the tribes of the region is somewhat Byronic but probably very real for the author.
A short note: I have read many reviews that claim this to be one of the most prophetic literary works, given that Lermontov foresees his own death! In reality Lermontov plans and publishes his death two years before it actually takes place i.e. there is nothing coincidental, so to speak, about the death of Pechorin and his own death two years after the novel was published in 1841.
Excellent portrayal of the classical Russian soul Oct 14, 2007
An inspiring and dramatic novel that depicts the overwhelming power of the Russian soul as it was in the 19th century.
Nabokov edition? Hard (impossible) to tell. Apr 10, 2007
A note of caution to those considering purchasing the Hard Press edition of "A Hero in Our Time." I bought this edition based on the reviews that mentioned the edition as having been translated by Vlad & Dmitri Nabokov. So I was surprised when I received the Hard Press edition (soft cover, with grayish-green panels on the top and bottom, and grey and white panels in the center; no picture on the cover, only the text of the title/author). NOWHERE in the book does it state that it was translated by Nabokov; indeed, the book contains absolutely no translator info whatsoever, leaving the reader completely at sea in determining who translated it (despite this site's description that it contains a "Translator's Foreword"). Instead, the book appears more like a manuscript submitted for review, rather than a publication. There isn't even any Library of Congress or ISBN info anywhere in the book, nor is there a publication date (usually included on one of the opening pages). "Page 1" is completely blank (other than to say it is "Page 1"); "Page 2" consists of a table of contents, and page 3 launches straight into the author's text (despite page 2's table of contents indicating that the book starts with a "Foreward").