'After all that - how, you might wonder, could one not become a fatalist?'Lermontov's hero, Pechorin, is a young army officer posted to the Caucasus, where his adventures - amorous and reckless - do nothing to alleviate his boredom and cynicism. World-weary and self-destructive, Pechorin is alienated from those around him yet he is full of passion and romantic ardour, sensitive as well as arrogant. His complex, contradictory character dominates A Hero of Our Time, the first great Russian novel, in which the intricate narrative unfolds episodically,transporting the reader from the breathtaking terrain of the Caucasus to the genteel surroundings of spa resorts. Told in an engaging yet pointedly ironic style, the story expresses Lermontov's own estrangement from the stifling conventions of bourgeois society and the oppression of Russian autocracy, but it alsocaptures a longing for freedom through acts of love and bravery. This new edition also includes Pushkin's Journey to Arzrum, in which Pushkin describes his own experiences of Russia's military campaigns in the Caucasus and which provides a fascinating counterpoint to Lermontov's novel.
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