A Hero of Our Time is the masterpiece of Russian Romantic prose that influenced generations of readers and writers. Published in 1840, a year before Lermontov’s tragic death in a duel, the novel was a sensation with a generation that identified with the hero, Pechorin, who feels that life has robbed him of the possibility of noble passion. As Nabokov writes in his introduction, "Lermontov managed to create a fictional person whose romantic dash and cynicism, tigerlike suppleness and eagle eye, hot blood and cool head, tenderness and taciturnity, elegance and brutality, delicacy of perception and harsh passion to dominate, ruthlessness and awareness of it, are of lasting appeal to readers of all countries and centuries." Nabokov's translation, introduction, and notes make this the best edition of the novel available in English.
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