A masterpiece of Russian prose, Lermontov's only novel was influential for many later nineteenth-century authors, including Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Chekhov. Lermontov's hero, Pechorin, is a dangerous man, Byronic in his wasted gifts and his cynicism, and desperate for any kind of action that will stave off boredom. In five linked episodes, Lermontov builds up a portrait of a man caught in and expressing the sickness of his times.
Mikhail Lermontov (1814-1841) 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. Natasha Randall has published translations of Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (shortlisted for the 2008 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize) and Osip Mandelstam's poetry as well as the work of contemporary writers Arkady Dragomoshchenko, Alexander Skidan, and Olga Zondberg. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times, she lives in London.
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