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Mikhail Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time (1840) is one of the great classics of Russian nineteenth-century literature, is a novel of unique structure, based on a series of short storied held together by a
Byronic hero, Pechorin, whose gifted but embittered nature typified the so-called superfluous men of the 1830's. The novel, however, raises issues of imperialism, fate, free will and the limits of self-knowledge.
The present study draws together the now considerable body of secondary material on Lermontov's novel, and offers new insights in the light of the recent critical and theoretical trends on such aspects as ethnicity, materialism, narrative implications of diary form and the ludic dimensions of fate. This up-todate, comprehensive study of A Hero of Our Time will appeal to students at all levels of specialism.