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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.

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Mikhail Lermontov 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. Find your local bookstore at booksellers. Our Lists.

Hi-Res Cover. A masterpiece of Russian prose, Lermontov's only novel was influential for many later nineteenth-century authors, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov. Mikhail Lermontov. This next passage does not have spoilers, but I hid it because it is quite long and some people might prefer not to read the whole thing—but I just couldn't quote less without damaging the essence.

So, you have been warned. I only know this, that if I am the cause of unhappiness in others I myself am no less unhappy. Of course, that is a poor consolation to them—only the fact remains that such is the case. In my early youth, from the moment I ceased to be under the guardianship of my relations, I began madly to enjoy all the pleasures which money could buy—and, of course, such pleasures became irksome to me. Then I launched out into the world of fashion—and that, too, soon palled upon me. I fell in love with fashionable beauties and was loved by them, but my imagination and egoism alone were aroused; my heart remained empty I began to read, to study—but sciences also became utterly wearisome to me.

I saw that neither fame nor happiness depends on them in the least, because the happiest people are the uneducated, and fame is good fortune, to attain which you have only to be smart. Then I grew bored Soon afterwards I was transferred to the Caucasus; and that was the happiest time of my life. I hoped that under the bullets of the Chechenes boredom could not exist—a vain hope!

In a month I grew so accustomed to the buzzing of the bullets and to the proximity of death that, to tell the truth, I paid more attention to the gnats—and I became more bored than ever, because I had lost what was almost my last hope. When I saw Bela in my own house; when, for the first time, I held her on my knee and kissed her black locks, I, fool that I was, thought that she was an angel sent to me by sympathetic fate Again I was mistaken; the love of a savage is little better than that of your lady of quality, the barbaric ignorance and simplicity of the one weary you as much as the coquetry of the other.

I am not saying that I do not love her still; I am grateful to her for a few fairly sweet moments; I would give my life for her—only I am bored with her Whether I am a fool or a villain I know not; but this is certain, I am also most deserving of pity—perhaps more than she. My soul has been spoiled by the world, my imagination is unquiet, my heart insatiable. To me everything is of little moment.

I become as easily accustomed to grief as to joy, and my life grows emptier day by day. One expedient only is left to me—travel. That was just a sample of the beauty that can be found in here. It might be the simplest plot in the world, but if it's wonderfully written, if the author lets me enter into his character's mind, then I feel like home.

And that is exactly what happened to me with this novel. Lermontov deals with those universal feelings that defy time and with a masterful prose. No matter how many things we can buy, how many people we meet, occasionally we cannot escape from the inexorable feeling of emptiness. I cannot despise bored, hateful, cynic, manipulative, brutally honest Pechorin.

Sometimes our desires are bigger than our own existence. And that is one of the worst tragedies of all. View all 32 comments. Shelves: favorites , russian-lit , translated-texts , nihilism. It'll be heard by who it's meant for, and who isn't meant to hear won't understand.

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 alienated for his nullifying philosophical and vilifying romantic views. There is something superfluous about this story, a superficial one might think. I ask you, dear readers: Haven't you ever felt superfluous about your life at all? If the answer is NO, you better not read this book and also my super- superfluous words.

If the answer is YES, I welcome you to read further, starting with the words of the poet whose words on superfluity are too profound to be categorized as superfluous : "That man of loneliness and mystery, Scarce seen to smile, and seldom heard to sigh; Whose name appalls the fiercest of his crew, And tints each swarthy cheek with sallower hue; Still sways their souls with that commanding art That dazzles, leads, yet chills the vulgar heart. What is that spell, that thus his lawless train Confess and envy—yet oppose in vain? What should it be, that thus their faith can bind? The power of Thought—the magic of the Mind!

Linked with success, assumed and kept with skill, That molds another's weakness to its will; Wields with their hands, but, still to these unknown, Makes even their mightiest deeds appear his own. Such hath it been—shall be—beneath the Sun The many still must labour for the one! But, at the same time, his feelings for them are genuine, even if they are only transient. The futility of existence and the certainty of death drives him away from the banal lives which others live, to live in an ineffable solitude. His fleeting romantic adventures do not give him much hope.

He was strangely struck by the feminine tenderness and servile relationships. Fickle friendships made him disillusioned. Triumph over others' losses and his being the reason for them made him relish his existence. Vanity extends his claws deep inside him. There is nowhere he can go. There is no love which can absolve him from his troubled life. Lost loves make him more wretched. Friendship has become more or less an obligation rather than an enchantment. Life has become an After-Life he is afraid of. Duel has become his destiny.

His women feel No! He is not the one who is meant to be happy. With his growing dissatisfaction with his life, everyone gets rid of him or, sometimes, he forces them to But nobody can understand how far he would go, just to take even a last look of his lost love, even if he needs to torment another soul willy-nilly. Such is the ordeal of our hero.

Closing the argument with the preface from the author, "A Hero of Our Time, my dear readers, is indeed a portrait, but not of one man. It is a portrait built up of all our generation's vices in full bloom. You will again tell me that a human being cannot be so wicked, and I will reply that if you can believe in the existence of all the villains of tragedy and romance, why wouldn't believe that there was a Pechorin?

If you could admire far more terrifying and repulsive types, why aren't you more merciful to this character, even if it is fictitious? Isn't it because there's more truth in it than you might wish? Truly Splendid! I decided that I am not going to write anything about this book which is quite amazing and puzzling in its own ways. And it is indeed sad what had happened to Lermontov. Check out Florencia's amazing review of this great book.


View all 17 comments. One of the most interesting, eye-opening books I've read. I'm not that familiar with Russian literature, but the more I read, the more I'm falling in love with them. This book has got to be one of the most extended, sustained meditation on the egotistical mind of a young casanova. But strangely, the novel doesn't make me despise its protagonist. There is something intriguing, almost refreshing about the calculated cruelty yet disarming honesty of the protagonist.

He knows he can't commit and say One of the most interesting, eye-opening books I've read. He knows he can't commit and says so. Then he ponders about the meaning of life and why he was born when he causes the misery of so many around him. This book raises the questions of why we do somehow, irrationally, get attracted to such characters. As a female reader, I'm just amazed by the intricacies of the protagonist's mind and I loved the experience of entering into his psyche - with his elaborate schemes to seduce women.

This is definitely also a great book for those who want to 'educate' themselves on how crafty a casanova's mind can be while some male readers may secretly admire the protagonist's antics and admit him to be a 'hero of our time' I highly recommend it! View 1 comment. A Hero of Our Time, part swashbuckler, part travelogue, which first appeared in , cleary had an influence over another certain famous Russian writer who sported a great big long grey beard. Infact this could quite 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, Noa A Hero of Our Time, part swashbuckler, part travelogue, which first appeared in , cleary had an influence over another certain famous Russian writer who sported a great big long grey beard. 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? But he also feels a sombre and bewildering depth, that the hidden valleys hold a foreboding. 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. And even sings him a love song.

Ahhh, how sweet. This 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 blood. Unlike 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 more 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. View all 6 comments. 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 pages you'd think that Lermontov would have actually focused on some sort of plot instead of piss arseing around with the structure. Not to mention that this nov I've been meaning to read this one for a while. Not to mention that this novel is basically Caucasus fanfiction.

At points you'd think Lermontov got off with the mountains or something the way he writes about them. It's like Tolkien and his blades of fucking grass. However, eventually the story does actually being at some point near the end and we are presented with an enjoyable and classic love story, Russian style which is shorthand for death.

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Why would you read this? Well because it's basically Russian literature's equivalent of David Copperfield and the main character, Pechorin, is a whiny cunt. I mean he hates everything and is constantly complaining about women and life and life and women, he's basically the Russian Holden Caulfield but without the brother issues. I saw a lot of myself in Pechorin.

Which worried me slightly. It is an example of the superfluous man novel, noted for its compelling Byronic hero or antihero Pechorin and for the beautiful descriptions of the Caucasus. There are several English translations, including one by Vladimir Nabokov and Dmitri Nabokov in Mar 31, Whispering Stories rated it liked it.

Lermontov was a Russian army officer, an artist and a writer, principally of poetry but also some prose including this work. A Hero of Our Time was eventually published as a novel although it is five short stories linked by the central character Pechorin and told by two different narrators. Two of the stories were previously published as stand-alone works. The book starts with an introduction by Neil Cornwell which I found very useful to explain the make-up of the book and the nature of Russian p Lermontov was a Russian army officer, an artist and a writer, principally of poetry but also some prose including this work.

The book starts with an introduction by Neil Cornwell which I found very useful to explain the make-up of the book and the nature of Russian popular fiction at the time. I do not speak or read Russian so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the translation but the text reads easily. The story is set in the Caucasus Mountains and is full of detail about the terrain, the local people and the lives of the Russian nobility who travelled to the spas in that area.

Lermontov tends to mock those society travellers although I could not help thinking that they would also be a large part of his intended audience. He has peppered both books with quotes from previous European literature including Shakespeare, Balzac, Goethe, Byron and his compatriot Pushkin which would have resonated with his audience and given credibility to his own status as an educated man. This claims to be the first volume in English to contain both A Hero of Our Time and Princess Ligovskaya which is an unfinished novel written earlier.

Both books feature Pechorin and both feature a Princess Ligovskaya but not the same lady which is a little confusing. I found this abandoned novel a bit of a tease as the setting and the characters were promising but of course we never reach the conclusion of the story.

Although I enjoyed the historical viewpoint, A Hero of Our Time will probably not appeal to all contemporary readers. I have therefore awarded three stars. 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. But they were assumed to be there, and so they were born in me.

I was modest — and I was accused of craftiness: I started to be secretive. I had deep feelings of good and evil. No one caressed me; everyone insulted me. I became rancorous. I was sullen — other children were merry and chatty. I felt myself to be superior to them — and I was made inferior. I grew envious. 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. Now I only want to be loved, and at that, only by a very few. Dec 26, Terry rated it liked it. From his ability to sway any woman with little more than a glance from his deep, sorrowful, mesmeric eyes and a healthy dose of the cold shoulder, to his barely suppressed glee at the ease with which he can manipulate the feelings and actions of those he sees as his inferiors everyone really with little more than a bon mot or roll of the eyes, and his long internal monologues bemoaning the tragic fate that has unfairly made him a pariah in the eyes of the world Pechorin is an exemplar of the Byronic template.

There is a playful, maybe even precious, level of self-awareness in this novel as Lermontov gleefully fills his protagonist with all of the foibles and features of the self-loving and loathing Byronic hero. Pechorin is also often used as a mouthpiece for the social and intellectual issues of the day that Lermontov wants to bring front and centre.

At times he displays an almost post-modern regret for the lost innocence of mankind and his earlier beliefs: …And we, their miserable descendants, roaming over the earth, without faith, without pride, without enjoyment, and without terror — except that involuntary awe which makes the heart shrink at the thought of the inevitable end — we are no longer capable of great sacrifices…because we know the impossibility of such happiness…[and] we pass from doubt to doubt… At others he spouts typically romantic paens to the grandeur of nature, the tininess of mankind and the greatness of his own spirit destined to be crushed by life and fate.

Whether considering the first part of the novel in which he is viewed with an almost hero-worshipping fascination by the old soldier Maksim Maksimych who relays his reminiscences to our unnamed narrator, or we read the words of the man himself in his private journals, Pechorin truly is in his own mind at least a hero of his time. What business have they with such a thing? He is a man whose philosophy seems to hearken back to the teaching of Machiavelli and perhaps even looks forward to those to come of Nietszche: …ambition is nothing more nor less than a thirst for power, and my chief pleasure is to make everything that surrounds me subject to my will.

To arouse the feeling of love, devotion and awe towards oneself — is not that the first sign, and the greatest triumph, of power? I enjoyed this novel, primarily for its delicious irony, and was shocked to find that upon its release it was apparently taken as an honest tribute to the Byronic rake, so much so in fact that the author felt obliged to spell things out in a preface to the second edition.

Sadly it might be said that Pechorin is as much a hero of our time as he was in his own. Apr 07, Sidharth Vardhan rated it liked it Shelves: list , russian. A Hero of Our Time, gentlemen, is in fact a portrait, but not of an individual; it is the aggregate of the vices of our whole generation in their fullest expression. To be honest, in Camus' Stranger t "Some were dreadfully insulted, and quite seriously, to have held up as a model such an immoral character as A Hero of Our Time; others shrewdly noticed that the author had portrayed himself and his acquaintances.

To be honest, in Camus' Stranger too, you meet a character that shows vices of his generation racism, sexism, cynicism, nihlism. He reminds me of some of lead characters in some of Bollywood movies - who too are handsome themselves and who too are admired for their ability to make jokes on and cheat on people lacking physical beauty in that ridiculously limited traditional sense of the word, women or simpler minds. His other vices include habit of taking needless risks, inability to apreciate anything and complete lack of values.

I don't know what exactly they mean Byronic character is - but I think that is what they are like. Characters who have qualities which we admire consciously or unconsciously instead of qualities that are worthy of admiration. View 2 comments. Dec 09, Ivana Books Are Magic rated it it was amazing. A true literary masterpiece, well worth the hype. Well, that would be my opinion in as little words as possible. If you want to read more, why you know what to do- continue reading this review.

What kind of novel is this? Hero of Our Time is often describes as a predecessor to a psychological Russian novel. It could also be considered a turning work, a literary mix of some sort, in it that it contains elements of both romanticism and realism. It is an interestingly structured little wonder, it A true literary masterpiece, well worth the hype.

It is an interestingly structured little wonder, it reads almost as a collection of interconnected stories, all focusing on the same protagonist-our Byronic hero Pechorin but it still very much feels like a novel. Despite its somewhat complex narrative perspective and shifting perspective, this classic is easy to read. Populated with memorable characters, filled with plenty of suspense and completed with poetic descriptions, it is really an accomplished work.

To whom would I recommend this novel? To lovers of classical literature, for one. Hero of Our Time is a classic for a good reason. Secondly, I would also recommend it to those who enjoy both realism and romantics, as this novel is a mix of both. Thirdly, it would surely appeal to poetical souls as it contains many poetic descriptions of nature.

What did I like most about this novel? That is easy to answer: the characters especially Pechorin , the form the complex narrative and the writing itself. The characters: I was enchanted by pretty much every character in this book, with an exception of the person who is supposed to have collected the stories and published the book. You know the guy who besides Maxim, is one of the characters employed in the frame narrative.

Lermontov's a Hero of Our Time: A Critical Companion

Was he supposed to represent the author? Indeed, perhaps he was; I sensed traces of self-irony in him. I would have to think about that. Pechorin: The hero or antihero of our novel and his time , Pechorin is wonderful sum of contradictions, as he himself seems to be very much aware of. He is terribly honest- and perhaps this honesty is his most rewarding virtue. His inability to settle anywhere, his restlessness and finally his openness about the horrid void in his soul- all of these things contribute to making of this tragic hero per excellence.

It is hard to hate Pechorin, for there is intelligence in his cynicism and honesty in his self-mocking. There is no doubt about the fact that Pechorin has hurt many people in his life but the question is whether he was able to avoid it- and it what measure.

I was fascinated by him. Bela: The sad destiny of this innocent girl really moved me. It is hard not to be moved by it really, especially as we learn the whole story from a perspective of an older man Maxim who cared for Bela. What is more, I feel like her character played an important role. It is through her, an isolated girl that we get to know Pechorin and even Maxim better.

Maxim, filled with fatherly feelings for Bela, is angry at Pechorin for his loss of interest in her. This shows us, quite early on, Pechorin in a very negative light- something that is important for the novel, for Pechorin is by no means a good guy. Pechorin, despite all her qualities, and despite his status as a tragic hero, does seem to have something vicious in himself.

However, as unflattering to Pechorin as the whole episode with Bela was, as cold as he can be, he also shows a sensitive style- a human side. For our antihero has truly hoped that Bela could turn him into a decent man- and in that sense they both fell for this illusory love. Perhaps Pechorin was already a shadow of a man at that time, but he must have been moved. That is part of his tragedy- and perhaps his destiny is indeed much sadder than that of Bela, who in her innocence, was never capable to feel that kind of melancholy and sadness. What remains true is that Pechorin deliberately hurt her, hurt her in a profound way.

As the writer himself said, we learn from being hurt- and soon we repeat the actions of our torturer, becoming tortures ourselves. Being wronged, we feel justified in wronging others. Evil always breeds more evil- how true is that! Will she end up becoming a female parody of Pechorin, hurting men just for the fun of it? Or will she learn from her mistakes? Anyhow, Mary was a very well-drawn character.

Her change from a proud coquette to a woman madly in love was most convincing. Vera: She was without the doubt, the most interesting female character in the novel. Her understanding of Pechorin adds a whole new dimension to his character. Even he himself admitted that Vera knows him like nobody else. Interestingly enough, Vera seems to be the woman that he cared about the most. Still, he cannot bound himself to her, something is holding him back- and Vera seems to understand that.

From all the female characters in the book, Vera is the one most like to him. Perhaps it is no wonder that she will end up the same way as he did. I really warmed up to him. Hence, I was annoyed when in the second chapter, Pechorin treated him so coldly. He deserved better- but was Pechorin really able to react in any other way?

A Hero of Our Time

Maxim is, I believe, portrayed quite warmly and he really stands out as a character. Final words: Can a man truly be hold guilty for being what he is, even if what he is, means hurting others? Well, obviously he can. I mean, Pechorin is by no means an ideal man. There were plenty of instances where he could have acted better, plenty of chances for him to do the right thing. Do we not all crave love? Do we not expect it? Do we not often believe in this rather absurd idea that others are there to make us happy? Are we not all, at least at times, terribly selfish? The genius of Lermontov is that by creating a flawed protagonist, he was also able to portray the flaws that exist in any human society and in almost every human being.

Pechorin is a mirror, once in which both the individual and the social darkness is reflected. Is it enough to make him a hero? Is it enough that he managed to go down in flames? Is it enough to justify his cruelty? I have been dipping my toes into the waters of Russian Literature this year so when I needed to choose a title for my October Literary Birthday Challenge, I thought that A Hero of Our Time would make an interesting read. I was wrong.

It was not interesting, it was extremely annoying. At first I did not know who was supposed to be the hero. There was a nameless narrator who meets a soldier on the road and listens to his stories about another soldier. So which of the three was our hero? Turned out to be the other soldier, a man and I use the term loosely by the name of Pechorin. This man Wait, I really need to find a different word Okay, this pickle has all sorts of adventures, related in a way that looks and reads like a collection of short stories but is claimed as the first Russian prose novel.

With every paragraph, the pickle becomes more cruel, until in the Princess Mary section he goes beyond cruel to I felt sorry for anyone around him, men and women both. He had no heart, no feelings, although he could pretend with the best of them. I wanted to smack him upside the head more than once. I wanted to DNF a few times too, but I kept reading because I was hoping we would eventually be told how he dies. I wanted it to be something gruesome, bloody, and extremely painful.

But although we know he does die, the nameless narrator never tells us how it happens. I suppose in a way this is a good thing, since I can now imagine all sorts of lovely and deserved tortures for him.

Anyway, the whole time I was reading I wondered what Lermontov was trying to say. What was the point of this story with the hero who is so cold-blooded? Did he represent Russian society or Russian men of the day? Or was he Lermontov's image of his own self? I thought surely he was saying, or at least trying to say, Something Deep And Profound and I just wasn't intelligent enough to catch it. But in the appendix, which was the author's preface to the second edition of the book, he admits to nothing except this as his reason for writing: He has simply found it entertaining to depict a man, such as he considers to be typical of the present day and such as he has often met in real life—too often, indeed, unfortunately both for the author himself and for you.

When Pechorin the pickle writes in his journal, I couldn't help but think Ah, Lermontov here you are: I feel within me that insatiate hunger which devours everything it meets upon the way; I look upon the sufferings and joys of others only from the point of view of their relation to myself, regarding them as the nutriment which sustains my spiritual forces.

I myself am no longer capable of committing follies under the influence of passion; with me, ambition has been repressed by circumstances, but it has emerged in another form, because ambition is nothing more nor less than a thirst for power, and my chief pleasure is to make everything that surrounds me subject to my will. To borrow the succinct comment of a buddy reader View all 16 comments. Jun 03, Orient rated it liked it Shelves: desperado , hero , historical , psychological , killer. He was a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter. His prose founded the tradition of the Russian psychological novel.

The reason I chose this book is that the main character has a lot of similarities with the author. They both were talented, noble, served in military, had sharp wit, enjoyed harsh humor, the story in the book has some similarities to the life of the author. It's a strange type of diary. Nature, customs, peo "A hero of our time" is Russian classics, written by Mikhail Lermontov. Nature, customs, people of different nationalities and the adventures of the main character are written in a quite interesting way.

This book offers a view to the main character through the people who knew him and through his diaries. Now the ugly part. Can there be a more unhappy person, than the main character, Pechorin, in this book? I doubt that. He is disappointed with his life, people and reality. Though he is rich and highborn, it seems that his only purpose is to end his pointless life. He is looking for the aim which he can't find.

So the title shows only sarcasm. Pechorin is not a hero. In some way he looks like a monster, though talented and noble. He has everything he needs and that is why his life is pointless. That is a problem to people who have everything, because they are fed up with life. The only things that distract Pechorin for some time are love and passion for women who at first are inapproachable, but after some time they become just dependable on him that their only purpose is to be near him.

And then he just acts like a real ass with them. He uses people. He is despicable. Pechorin led me through his disillusions to the point where insanity, wisdom, honor, baseness, loyalty, betrayal, joy and despair interlace to make a sad but quite unique book. It's just classics. There are several stage adaptations and even a ballet adapted from this book. View all 7 comments. Nov 02, Ipsita rated it it was amazing Shelves: russian-literature. And how often is a deception of the senses or an error of the reason accepted as a conviction! I prefer to doubt everything. Of two friends, one is always the slave of the other, although frequently neither acknowledges the fact to himself.

Now, the slave I could not be; and to be the master would be a wearisome trouble, because, at the same time, deception would be required. After all this, is life worth the trouble? And yet we live -- out of curiosity! We expect something new. How ab And how often is a deception of the senses or an error of the reason accepted as a conviction! How absurd, and yet how vexatious! A Hero of Our Time, my dear readers, is indeed a portrait, but not of one man.

An engaging read with captivating prose and engrossing characters. The protagonist is a Byronic Romantic who fluctuates between nihilism and romanticism. The main purport of Pechorin's life would be to make himself understood which as a reader, I could try in a judgement-free state of mind. He raises many valid questions and I guess, a major cause of his unhappiness would be his self-awareness. He commits nefarious crimes in what he assumes to be a guilt free state.

However, he still acknowledges them and sometimes, even berates himself. This shows his contradictory nature and in his own words, "I have an innate passion for contradiction -- my whole life has been nothing but a series of melancholy and vain contradictions of heart or reason. A must read for everyone into Dostoyevsky. View all 4 comments. Anyway, I had started reading this about two weeks ago and was kinda disappointed.

I know I shouldn't judge a book before finishing it but I simply couldn't bring myself to finish it. I will try again, based on your luminous review. Ipsita tia wrote: "I was gifted this book by a dear friend from a lifetime ago, back when people chatted about books in AOL chatrooms and formed friendships, tia wrote: "I was gifted this book by a dear friend from a lifetime ago, back when people chatted about books in AOL chatrooms and formed friendships, sending one another books and the occasional love note wh I really hope that you end up enjoying it.

There are some brilliant fragments in this book which I think will be more to your liking if you still can't help enjoying it even after finishing the book. You'll definitely gain some insights from this book. PS - Lucky you for having such a dear friend! It's partly due to the playful self-awareness and utterly modern attitude of the second and third sentences, which shine through in every translation I've tried, and in this version mention: one valise of average size, half-filled with my travel notes about Georgia.

The majority of these luckily for you, were lost; but the valise with the rest of my things, luckily for me, remained intact. I know these days that 'postmodernity' is about as old as the novel itself a look at reviews of Steven Moore 's histories of the novel will help , but meeting phrases like these, sparkling out from the dust of years, still brings nearly the same surprise and delight as I got twenty years ago from discovering The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

Despite my enthusiasm, each previous time I began to read A Hero of Our Time , I was waylaid by things I can no longer remember, and got nowhere near finishing the book. But now I have finished it, and straight away went back to re-read various bits and pieces. There are few books I like enough to bother doing this. It's also a testament to it that I started again from the beginning so many times.