III
Lermontov and the Romantic Mind

I

The trouble with romanticism is that it means so many things and can be approached from so many angles. A number of its facets may look contradictory or even incompatible, at least on the surface. The important thing however is to find out what they have in common rather than where they differ.

The rise of European romanticism shows, on the whole, two main stages, each of them dominated by a mood of its own. Whereas the mood, as well as the impetus, of the first stage had been one of liberation, the second stage was imbued with disillusionment and frustration. What both phases had in common was, of course, their protest against the existing pattern of life. Rousseau, the German 'storm and stress' ( Sturm und Drang) group, the ideologists of the French Revolution--they all were animated by their wish to destroy what they regarded as obsolete, even when their ideals of a new life were either too vague or too utopian. Still, they believed in those ideals.

Not so the representatives of the second and more important wave of the romantic tide. The

-47-

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Lermontov
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in Modern European Literature and Thought 1
  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • I- The Biographical Background 9
  • II- A Poet's Progress 32
  • III- Lermontov and the Romantic Mind 47
  • IV- The Climax 62
  • VI- The Last Phase 92
  • VII- Conclusion 106
  • Biographical Note 108
  • Bibliography 109
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