Hero of our Time
LermontovISBN: 0-486-45129-1; 9780486451299;
Russian literature's first major prose novel, this gripping work was a primary influence on Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and other great nineteenth-century writers. Mikhail Lermontov, "the poet of the Caucasus," drew upon his personal Byronic exploits to create these tales of treachery, abductions, and sexual intrigue. Published in 1840, one year before the author's death in a duel at age twenty-six, the novel retains its overwhelming power and fascination. Centered on the escapades of Pechorin, a dashing young officer and the hero of the title, the book consists of a series of interconnected short stories which reflect his cynical but passionate worldview. Set amid the rugged Caucasian wilderness - an exotic land populated by bandits and smugglers, transplanted society women, and lawless freebooters - the novel offers a thrilling blend of brutality, elegance, and enduring romance.