A Hero of Our Time Paperback – Jul 7 2006
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"It's high time an up-to-date and idiomatic version of A Hero of Our Time was made available to American readers. Marion Schwartz's translation of Lermontov's classic adventure novel captures all the suppleness and wit of Lermontov's prose, the fine texture of his descriptions and the galloping rhythm of his narrative passages. This is a fine addition to the Modern Library." -- Michael Scammell
“Military life in the Caucasus, bandits, duels, romance--at the hands of a passionate adventurer with "a restless imagination, an insatiable heart. That is Pechorin, and also Lermontov. If you have a personal all-time bestseller list, make room for A Hero of our Time. “-- Alan Furst
"In Russia Mikhail Lermontov is considered one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century. Marian Schwarz's compelling translation shows us why." -- Peter Constantine --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Inside Flap
Introduction by Timothy Binyon Translated by Vladimir and Dmitri Nabokov --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As for the book itself, Taman ..., but the other four stories are wonderful, especially Princess Mary and The Fatalist. Anyone with a little Romantic spirit can't help but be entranced by Pechorin. Other than Stendhal, no one else covered this ground in a novel nearly as well as Lermontov.
'He who, without negating it, does nothing for the eternal...he prefers his courage and his reasoning. The first teaches him to live without appeal and to get along with what he has; the second informs him of his limits. Assured of his temporally limited freedom, of his revolt devoid of future and of his mortal consciousness, he lives out his adventure within the span of his lifetime. That is his field, that is his action, which he shields from any judgement but his own.' (Myth of Sysiphus, Camus). Great book, read it now!
In structure, the book consists of a collection of short stories and novellas rather than a single narrative. These stories, however, are linked in two ways. Firstly, all feature the same protagonist, Grigoriy Pechorin, a young officer serving with the Russian army in the Caucasus. Secondly, they are bound together by a complex framework featuring a single anonymous narrator (not to be identified with Lermontov himself), a traveller in the Caucasus. The first story, Bela, is supposedly told to this narrator by Maksim Maksimych, a brother-officer of Pechorin. The second, Maksim Maksimych, is related by the narrator himself and deals with a meeting between Pechorin and Maksim. The other three, Taman, Princess Mary and The Fatalist, are all told in Pechorin's own words, taken from his journal which has come into the narrator's hands after Pechorin's death.
It is the fourth tale, Princess Mary, which is the longest and the one which lies at the heart of the work. Bela and Taman are adventure stories with an exotic setting (the Caucasus had the same sort of appeal for nineteenth-century Russians as India had for their British contemporaries). Maksim Maksimych is a linking narrative, and the final story, The Fatalist is an unsettling, spooky treatment of the concepts of fate and predestination.
In Princess Mary, the mood changes abruptly from the romantic exoticism of the earlier stories. Pechorin is stationed in a fashionable spa town in the northern Caucasus.Read more ›
represents the society, distinguished from all other
contemporaries. However, he is not a usual or heroic hero. The
title is perhaps named this way because he has the most general
characteristics that we have inside. In other words, Pechorin
is not a portrait of someone specific, but of ourselves. Or we
may be more evil and vice than he.
Personally, I don't think he truly loved anyone, but himself.
From this egoism arises all the vice and faults. On one hand,
we could easily identify him with the main character,Meursault,
of "The Stranger"(Albert Camus) in that they both are
indifferent in other people's business and never harming them
in any way, unless the people try to harm them.
Arrogance is what's inside of Pechorin. He stands still even
when he faces the risk of death, although he already knows the
trick and gets ready for it, kneeling toward not to fall back
under the valley. Then is he a fatalist? Does he really believe
in fate as he says? Fate,or luck here,has been with him always.
It is too vague to limit the boundary of fatalst, because if
someone believes in fate only in some parts, he or she is still
a fatalist, as a limited-fatalist.
Some people might say that Pechorin has a lot in common with
Onegin, as Lermontov is called, "The Second Pushkin,"
or "Pushkin's Successor." In my opinion, Lermontov is yet far
away to be a "Pushkin." In this book, Lermontov shows distinct
orientalism towards Kavkaz and other Asia. He failed to see the
whole world without biased discrimination and literary
prejudices which Pushkin got over with when mature.
Still Pechorin is a hero, compared to Onegin.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
a hero of our time is one of the memorable stories I have ever read and it still haunts me with its beauty. Read morePublished on Aug. 31 2005 by Piervy Sto
'Hero of Our Time' is comprised of four parts, which differ greatly in narrative and length. It is a great read. Read morePublished on July 6 2004 by Mike Bavli
The first I ever heard of this book was in a quote prefacing Camus' "The Fall." I stumbled upon a used copy and decided to give it a shot. Read morePublished on Oct. 21 2003
This book is ignored much more than it should be in America. Pechorin is a must know literary character in my opinion. Read morePublished on July 16 2003 by Tommy Long
This novel describes the life and times of Pechorin, a rogue-ish officer of the Russian army, through his journals and interactions with narrator. Read morePublished on Jan. 14 2003 by Brendan J. Foreman
I gave my 34-year old son a copy of this edition for Christmas. I had read a couple Lermontov short stories in college (in Russian) and remembered that I had enjoyed them, but not... Read morePublished on Dec 27 2002 by Mike Varhola
Similar to Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov has received disappointingly little recognition in the West, despite the fact that he is almost considered as a cultural titan in the former... Read morePublished on Dec 20 2002 by Ray Farmer
This novel burns with vitality and passion, the m ost romantic russian novel ever written. Pechorin is evil....Published on Dec 11 2002 by John Malkovich