Lermontov's "A Hero of Our Time": A Critical Companion (Northwestern/Aatseel Critical Companions to Russian Literature)

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9780810116801: Lermontov's

Praised as the first Russian novel of psychological realism and as a critique of the repressive era in which Mikhail Lermontov lived, A Hero of Our Time brought to life the political and social ideas that at that time could only be expressed indirectly. This latest volume in the acclaimed Northwestern/AATSEEL Critical Companions to Russian Literature series presents diverse perspectives of leading Slavic literary theorists and specialists, ethnologists, formalist critics, and Western humanists. Lending additional breadth and depth are conservative and radical reviews of the novel written at the time of its publication, plus two new essays, one on ethnic identity and the other on women's issues in the novel.

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From the Author:

I see this work on Lermontov as a continuation of my study of problems associated with the romantic hero in Russian literature and culture. From this perspective, this Lermontov work issues directly from my earlier study of Bestuzhev-Marlinsky. I have included translations of reviews of the novel taken from 1840 and 1841 when the novel was published. This is because the caustic tone Lermontov takes in his introduction to "A Hero of Our Time" upon its second edition needs to be set against what the critics actually said. Were the reviews that awful? The Costlow and Layton original essays add greater depth to what those original critics had to say.

From the Back Cover:

After Alexander Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) is considered the most important Russian poet of the nineteenth century. When his only novel, "A Hero of Our Time," was published in 1840, it took the public by storm. Praised as the first Russian novel of psychological realism and as a critique of the repressive times in which Lermontov lived, it brought to life the political and social ideas that at the time could only be expressed indirectly. This....volume i the acclaimed Northwestern/AATSEEL Critical Companions to Russian Literature series presents diverse perspectives of leading Slavic literary theorists and specialists, ethnologists, formalist critics, and Western humanists. Lending additional breadth and depth to the volume are review of the novel written at the time of its publication by both radical and conservative critics and two new essays, one on ethnic identity and the other on women's issues in the novel. The comprehensive biography of Lermontov in Lewis Bagby's introduction tells of his difficulties with Tsar Nicholas I and the government and addresses his small but significant poetic and prose output, written almost entirely in the four years before his death in a duel at age twenty-seven. As a whole the essays provide insight into a novel that has always disturbed, challenged, and excited readers.

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