A masterpiece of Russian prose, Lermontov's only novel was influential for many later nineteenth-century authors, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov.
A masterpiece of Russian prose, Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time is translated with an introduction and notes by Natasha Randall, and a foreword by Neil LaBute, author of reasons to be pretty, in Penguin Modern Classics.
The first major Russian novel, A Hero of Our Time was both lauded and reviled on publication. Its Byronic 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. In five linked episodes, Lermontov builds up a portrait of a man caught in and expressing the sickness of his times. Chronicling his unforgettable adventures in the Caucasus involving brigands, smugglers, soldiers, rivals, and lovers, this classic tale of alienation influenced Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Chekhov, holding up a mirror not only to Lermontov's time but also to our own.
Mikhail Lermontov (1814-41) was a Russian Romantic writer and poet. As a young man Lermontov was an officer in the guards, and was sent to fight in the Caucasus after insulting the Tsar. His dramatic life ended after being shot down in a duel.
Ifyou enjoyed A Hero of Our Time, you might like Andrei Bely's Petersburg, also available in Penguin Clasics.
'One of the most vivid and persuasive portraits of the male ego ever put down on paper'
Neil LaBute, from the Foreword