Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

Mikhail Lermontov

Excerpt

For over half a century the Western world has been familiar in some degree with the works of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Gorky. Other Russian classical writers, such as Pushkin, Gogol, and Turgenev, have been less well known, although almost any Russian with a modicum of literary sophistication, were he asked to establish a hierarchy of the ten most important authors in his native literature, would probably top his list with Pushkin and certainly rank Gogol above Chekhov and Gorky. The non-Russian, presented with this hierarchy, might also be surprised to find close to the name of Pushkin another author with whose works and literary significance he was completely unacquainted: Mikhail Lermontov. Yet for over a century Lermontov has been appreciated by Russians as a poet second only to Pushkin, and his one completed novel, A Hero of Our Times, has undeniably been the prose source of that impressive current of psychological realism which has been so enthusiastically received by Europe and America. Turgenev, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Gorky and a number of lesser talents were all demonstrably influenced by this author in some important areas of their prose art.

Mikhail Lermontov was pre-eminently a poet, but . . .

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