Lermontov

Lermontov

Lermontov

Lermontov

Excerpt

Lérmontov still continues to puzzle both historians of literature and his readers. The more one learns about him the more complex does he appear as a personality and as a poet. In contrast to Pushkin's genius, which was all of a piece, the genius of Lermontov cannot but strike one by those antinomies which were so typical of Lermontov the man. It is all the more surprising that in spite of his early death at the age of twenty-six, he yet left a literary heritage the best of which is of the highest order. And however 'Russian' he may have been in his work and feelings, he is of special interest to British readers on account of his distant Scottish origin, going back to the Lermonts or Learmonths of Ercildoune.

One of his ancestors was, presumably, the thirteenth-century bard Thomas the Rhymer, who, according to popular tradition, had spent seven years among the fairies. Sir Walter Scott Contribution to Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border actually opens with three folk ballads about the Rhymer who had been enticed into the Elfland by the Fairy Queen herself.

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