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  • Writer's pictureMetin Tiryaki

A Hero of Our Time – Mihail Lermontov

There are two people in me: one lives literally, the other thinks and judges him.

Although Lermontov is not well known in our country, he is the most important Russian representative of the romantic poetry movement after Pushkin. Among many other poems is Lermontov's novel "A Hero of Our Time", written in 1840. The novel is actually a novella consisting of 5 short stories. The protagonist, Pechorin, is literally a Byronic character. From the outside, he is a selfish, jealous, bad person who does not care about women's feelings; however, in the chapters written in his own mouth, you can understand a little bit about the reasons and the chaos he lived in.

“…I have a bad habit. I don't know if my education made me this way or God created me that way. I only know that if I am the cause of other people's unhappiness, I am more unhappy than the person I am making. I know that won't console them, but what can you do, it's the truth."

“Society has corrupted my soul, my mind does not find peace, my heart is not satisfied. I am not satisfied with anything: I get used to sadness as easily as I am used to pleasure, and my life is getting more and more empty day by day.”

"What is happiness? Happiness is a satiated pride. I would be happy if I considered myself better and stronger than anyone else in the world. If everyone loved me, if there were inexhaustible sources of love within me… This breeds evil. The first pain teaches us the pleasure of inflicting pain on others.”

“There are two people in me: one lives literally, the other thinks and judges him.”

“No matter how passionately I love a woman, just making me feel obliged to marry her is enough for my love to end! At that moment, my heart turns to stone, it will never get warm again. I am ready for any kind of sacrifice. I can put my life and my honor on it twenty times… But I will never give up my freedom. Why do I value my freedom so much?…”


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