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Byronism in Lermontov’s A hero of our time Cameron, Alan Harwood 1974

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BYRONISM IN LERMONTOV'S A HERO OF OUR TIME by ALAN HARWOOD CAMERON B.A., University of Calgary, 1968 M.A., University of British Columbia, 1970 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department SLAVONIC STUDIES We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH April, 1974 COLUMBIA In presenting this thesis in par ial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Afr, I l0} I f7f ABSTRACT Although Mikhail Lermontov is commonly known as the "Russian Byron," up to this point no examination of the Byronic features of A Hero of Our Time, (Geroy nashego vremeni)3 has been made. This study presents the view that, while the novel is much more than a simple expression of Byronism, understanding the basic Byronic traits and Lermontov1s own modification of them is essential for a true comprehension of the novel. Each of the first five chapters is devoted to a scrutiny of the separate tales that make up A Hero of Our Time. The basic Byronic motifs of storms, poses and exotic settings are examined in each part with commentary on some Lermontovian variations on them. The secondary figures, heroines, "pashas," villains and others are also assessed against Byronic tradition. Finally, the different presentations of Pechorin, the main figure, are analyzed and evaluated to determine how the hero is and is not "Byronic." To ascertain exactly what the hero's Byronic features might be, I have used^P.J. Thorslev's system of prototypes for the Byronic hero, who could have any or all of the traits of the Child of Nature, the Hero of Sensibility or the Gothic Villain. By determining how Pechorin fits into these categories, it is easy to see in what way he resembles a Byronic hero. The first chapter deals with Princess Mary and shows how Pechorin's love of nature, egocentric sensitivity and nostalgic musings are part of the Byronic mainstream, yet how his cruel penchant for evil constitutes a modifi cation. Chapter Two, on Beta, demonstrates Lermontov's alterations of the fundamental Byronic love formula; in the next chapter; which concerns Maksim Maksimych I have shown how the focal point of that story, Pechorin's external description, is strikingly Byronic. Chapter Four presents a new interpretation of Taman ' as a parody on the heroic myth of infallibility. The second last chapter points out how the Byronism of The Fatalist is filtered through the actions of the story and how Pechorin reconciles the belief in his own free will with the concept of fatalism. Chapter Six concludes the study with a view of the novel as a whole and a summation of the Byronic features of A Hero of Our Time, '• iv TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page INTRODUCTION 1 FOOTNOTES ; 7 ONE — PRINCESS MARY 8 FOOTNOTES 107 TWO — BE LA 114 FOOTNOTES 166 THREE — MAKSIM MAKSIMYCH 169 FOOTNOTES 194 FOUR — TAMAN' 196 FOOTNOTES 237 FIVE — THE FATALIST 24 0 FOOTNOTES 267 SIX — CONCLUSION 270 FOOTNOTES 291 BIBLIOGRAPHY 29 3 V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I should like to express my sincere appreciation to my adviser Dr. Michael H. Futrell, whose patience, in sight and assistance were invaluable. I would also like to thank Dr. Zbigniew Folejewski and Professor G.H. Durrant for their help and interest in the preparation of this study. Without the financial assistance of the Canada Council and the University of British Columbia I would not have been able to finish my work, so an expression of gratitude must go out to them too. Lastly, I would like to thank the staff of the library of the University of British Columbia, and especially those in the Interlibrary Loan Office whose assistance was above and beyond the call of duty. INTRODUCTION So many times has Mikhail Lermontov been called the "Russian Byron" by so many critics that the real issue of the relationship between the works of the English author and the Russian one has been clouded by generalization and oversimplification. Some1 have asserted with little concrete evidence that the influence of Byron on Lermontov 2 is obvious. Others have denied Byron's direct influence on Lermontov, stating that if the latter were influenced by the English author, this influence came through Pushkin. Certain valuable efforts to clarify the question have been made. Many are restricted to general discussion and contain little detailed analysis. Two doctoral theses, J.T. Shaw's "Byron and Lermontov: The Verse Tale," and W.K. Matthews' "The Influence of Byron on Russian Poetry," are among the exceptions. Shaw's formalistic study is an important document for Lermontov scholars: through a chronological examination of the works from the puerile apings of Byron to Lermontov's fine narrative achievements in Mtsyvi (The Novice) and Demon (The Demon)} Shaw traces Lermontov's very real desire to emulate his professed "master." Matthews points out certain Byronic features of Lermontov1s lyric poetry. Most scholars, such as M. 2 Nol'man, K. Cherny and M.N. Rozanov have restricted their discussions of Lermontov's "Byronism" to the lyric poems. There is no question that the Byronic obsession with self-centred melancholy pervades Lermontov's poetry. As E. Duchesne has said "Un trait est particulierement frappant chez Lermontov, la tristesse pessimistequi colore d'une 3 teinte sombre ses ecrits." Lyric poems such as Parus (The Sail), Vykhozhu odin ya na dorogu . . . (Alone I Walk the Way) and Utyos (The Cliff) emphasize the poet's preoccupation with loneliness. Lermontov's great love of nature is illustrated in such works as Mtsyri, Siniye gory Kavkaza, privetstvuyu vast (Blue Caucasian Mountains, I Greet You!) and Rodina (Native Land). The strange master piece demon and others such as Moy Demon (My Demon) demon strate Lermontov's Byronic penchant for evil. Lermontov's poems have all been well discussed, but up to now no detailed analysis has been made of the Byronic features of his novel A Hero of Our Time, which is the subject of this study. It is well known that Lermontov was fascinated with Byron's life and works. In his writings, including the masses of letters and juvenilia, Lermontov alludes to Byron over thirty times -- twice as many as to the next person (Napoleon), and six times the number of references 4 to Pushkxn. Byron is the only author with whom he claims 3 any kind of spiritual kinship and from whom he takes more than one epigraph. There is considerable evidence that Lermontov's passion for Byron's works began at the age of thirteen as he read translations of the English poet's works by Zhukovsky and Kozlov. A.P. Shan-Girey states that after the death of "Michel's" tutor Gindrot, a certain Englishman Winson took his place in 1829 and began to teach the young Lermontov English. In Shan-Girey's opinion he was a good pupil for soon he began to read Byron, Moore 5 and Scott in the original. It is certain that Lermontov read Moore's life of Byron for he was so impressed that he wrote a poem about it, which claimed that he and Byron had "one soul and the same sufferings." Ye. A. Sushkova, with whom Lermontov was violently in love, reported that in 1830 Lermontov would recite Pushkin and Lamartine and 7 "was inseparable from his huge volume of Byron." This volume may or may not have been the work by Thomas Moore, or it could have referred to French translations of the English author which were very popular at that time. At any rate there are a number of translations and adaptations from Byron's works, including poems which claim again that he and Byron have one soul. For example in his poem Net ya ne Bayron . . . (No3 I'm not a Byron. . . ) the poet claims that he too is an exile and a wanderer and wants to reveal his thoughts to the masses. But he states that he is still unknown; he began earlier than Byron and 4 will finish earlier. Yet "the image he used to describe the secrecy of his thoughts, significantly is related to g an image from Byron." Perhaps even more significant are the Russian author's attempts at finding resemblances between his life and that of Lord Byron. At best Lermontov clutches at straws. He sees similarities in precocious love affairs, predictions made by fortune tellers, unhappy home circumstances and even scribbling verses. As Shaw demonstrates these similarities are hardly "astonishing" as Lermontov declared they were. It seems clear that Lermontov was striving to find and emphasize any kind of 9 similarity, important or not, between himself and Byron. It is notable how little study has been made of the Byronic features of A Hero of Our Time. I do not intend to study mere influences of one author on another; rather I believe that though the Russian author did identify with many of Byron's traits in his life and works, he modified and developed them from their original forms to suit his own literary purposes. For example Lermontov used the fragmentary style of story telling. The division of the novel into five parts with their complex inter weaving of plots and characters to obtain mystery and interest, parallels the structure of such poems as Byron's The Giaour}® Naturally I shall try to mention all the 5 Byronic features of A Hero of Our Time3 but the most fruitful area of analysis lies in Lermontov's concept of the individual and how it parallels in many ways the ideas of Byron. John Mersereau has stated There is no question either that Byron's "fatal" heroes are also prominently located on Pechorin's family tree, and it is not incidental that Byron's name appears on four occasions in A Hero of Our Times. Yet it would be incorrect to assume that Pechorin's Byronic ancestors were more important in shaping his character than his French ones, for although he embodies the energy, demonism, ruthlessness, and arrogance of the Byron ic hero, he also displays the un-Byronic qualities of introspection, need for confession, and remorse inherited from the French side of his family. Pechorin is something far more than a Byronic hero, and it is not blind partisanship to affirm that Lermontov went much further than his English master in the area of character creation. 11 and Although Lermontov was doubtless acquainted with Childe Harold, the few points that Pechorin has in common with Byron's hero were probably purely coincidental. 12 These kind of oversimplifications confuse the issue. Though it is true that Grigory Aleksandrovich Pechorin is much more than a simple Byronic hero, exactly how he does and does not fit into this classification must be determined by a careful analysis of the development of the Byronic hero and Pechorin's own character delineation. 6 To accomplish this I propose to use as a basis for my study Peter J. Thorslev's excellent book The Byronic Hero. Thorslev has shown how the character of the Byronic hero developed from the four preromantic prototypes: the Child of Nature, the Man of Feeling, the Gloomy Egoist and the Gothic Villain. In addition Thorslev has proven that all Byronic heroes possess, in varying degrees, traits of each of these categories. By determining to what extent Pechorin also exhibits these features I hope to shed light on the evolution of Lermontov's hero and show exactly how he is and is not a Byronic hero. Naturally I will also discuss Byronic motifs, plots, settings and characters to illustrate the Byronism of A Hero of Our Time; I shall begin my study with Princess Mary, where the most clear expressions of Byronism are evident. 7 FOOTNOTES INTRODUCTION "''E.g. M.N. Rozanov, S. Rodzevich, K. Cherny , M. Nol'man and Georg Brandes. 2 E.g. B. Eykhenbaum, V. Spasovich. 3 E. Duchesne, M.I. Lermontov . . . , (1910), 244. 4 J.T. Shaw, "Byron and Lermontov," (1950), 435. 5 A.P. Shan-Girey in M. Yu. Lermontov v vospominaniyakh sovremennikov, (1964), 37. K*** (Prochitav zhizn1 Bayrona / napisannuyu / Murom). 7 Ye. A. Sushkova, Za^s^., (1928), 111. o J.T. Shaw, Op. Cit., 455. 9 See A. Veselovsky, "Etyudy o bayronizme," (1905), 208-210. "*"^W.J. Entwistle, "The Byronism of Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time," (1949), 143. 11John Mersereau, Mikhail•Lermontov, (1962), 148. 12 'Ibid., 171, CHAPTER ONE PRINCESS MARY-A Hero of OUT Time is a mature work, much more original than Lermontov's puerile adaptations of Byron's Oriental Tales. Rather than directly borrowing heroes, heroines, pashas, images, plots, motifs and versification from the Byronic School, Lermontov took these elements and modified them to suit his own purposes. (Of course, since the novel is in prose and Byron was primarily noted for his verse, the qualities of "versification" were not important.) These modifications are especially fascin ating in Princess Mary, the longest of the five tales which make up Lermontov's novel. "*" For example the plot triangle of hero — heroine — "type of pasha" that is so important for the development of the action in Byron's verse tales, has been altered in Princess Mary. Grushnitsky could hardly be called a "pasha." The typical love triangle has been changed. The hero intends to win Mary's love in order to humiliate both her and Grushnitsky. The variation in plot enables the author to present a psychological insight not previously found in the uncomplicated intrigues of such works as The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos and Lara. 9 The stock Byronic love formula is present in Princess Mary but it forms a sub-plot less important than the motivating basis of the story. Consisting of the threesome Pechorin, Vera and her husband, it forms a more traditional triangle and follows the usual patterns of the Byronic formula: the hero amorously pursues the heroine and with the husband as an obstacle succeeds in winning her. The husband corresponds closely to the "type of pasha" but with variations. He appears in the story in three very different aspects. His initial appearance is in the third person: Vera tells Pechorin that he cannot meet her husband, because she is afraid it would reveal their affair. Later after three weeks have passed Vera's spouse makes his first personal appearance as a friendly acquaintance. He declares that he fears for his wife's safety because of the "Circassian night raid." This short conversation shows that he is on close terms with Pechorin — an assumption reinforced by his enthusiasm for the duel after Pechorin's skandal with Grushnitsky in the restaurant. The husband makes his final appearance as Vera writes to Pechorin that she confessed their love to her spouse during her distress over the duel. It is revealing to note that Vera believes the duel is being fought over her. The husband orders the coach to be readied and Vera leaves Pechorin forever. The author presents Vera's mate as a modified 10 pasha: he is not so fully depicted as he is with Byron and there is no climactic confrontation scene between him and the hero (usually in battle). The storm motif is prevalent in the poetry of Byron and occurs often in Lermontov's novel. To be sure, this motif makes up a part of the nature theme which we shall examine later, but as a recurring image it is important in itself to show parallels in the works of both writers. Storms are used in Byron's works mainly to emphasize a description of the mood or state of mind of the hero. In Childe Harold's Pilg.rimage there are such flamboyant passages as The sky is changed! — and such a change! Oh night, AncT storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman! Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder! . . . (Ill: 92) Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye! With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul To make these felt and feeling, . . . (Ill: 96) There are many other references to thunder, lightning, tempests, thunderbolts and such. Similar images appear in The Giaour, The Bride of Abydos and others. In fact the storm motif is common throughout Byron's poems. In Princess Mary there are five examples of the storm motif, usually contained in the descriptions of the surrounding peaks. Two of the most revealing are 11 . . . when there is a thunderstorm, the clouds will descend down to my roof. . . . The view on three sides is marvellous: to the west, the five-peaked Besh Tau looms blue like "the last thundercloud of a tempest dispersed"; . . . (Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time, V. Nabokov, translator, p. 81) I am like a sailor born and bred on the deck of a pirate brig. His soul is used to storms and battles, and, when cast out on the shore, he feels bored and oppressed, no matter how the shady grove lures him, no matter how the peaceful sun shines on him. {Hero, p. 180) s-The latter passage helps to emphasize the hero's "stormy" soul and state of mind. It is also important to note that the storm motif occurs in both the first and last paragraphs of the story. The Byronic pose and all that it entails is another recurring motif in Lermontov's novel. It is also important as a literary device. Most of Byron's character depiction is produced through external detail. The most famous pose is that of the furrowed brow and noble air. Byron presents his main- characters by fixing them in a pose and concen trating on external details to portray their inner selves. Heroines such as Leila, Gulnare or Adah are beautiful idealized visions of femininity typified by a lovely gait, flushed cheeks or dark, mysterious eyes. The pashas show their inner wickedness by a malicious grin or even a furrowed brow. Like Byron, Lermontov also depicts characters through posing them and focussing on external characteristics. Pechorin takes on his ironic poses according to his mood and intention. Other personalities are conveyed by their outward appearances too. Mary has "velvety eyes"; Vera is characterized by the little mole on her cheek; Dr. Werner's legs are of uneven length and Grushnitsky's 3 "mystique" seems to be contained solely in his overcoat. Thus both writers use the pose as a motif. For the most part Byron's heroines are romantic stereotypes, idealized versions of two-dimensional creations. In contemporary terms it could be said that they are the ideal women figures for the "male chauvinist": they have little initiative, intelligence or strength of will. The only useful function possessed by Byron's heroines is to love the hero. Any commonplace feature that might make them into true flesh-and-blood women is eliminated. To a certain extent this is true of the heroines of Princess Mary, who are idealized women compelled to love the hero. B. Tomashevsky has compared the main heroine of the story to a typical coquette from one of Balzac's 4 . . novels. As a further statement of their literary traditions, V. Nabokov characterizes the heroines of Princess Mary by saying "Mary is the generalized young thing of novelettes, with no attempt at individualization except perhaps her 'velvety' eyes, which however are forgotten in the course of the story. Vera is a mere phantom, with a phantom 13 5 birthmark on her cheek. . ." These statements are correct, but the point is that the heroines of Princess Mary exist to love Pechorin, nothing more. The relation ships between Mary and Pechorin, and Vera and Pechorin, provide insight into Lermontov's developments of the "Byronic" heroine. For the story's action the princess herself is the more important of the two. It is around her that the plot revolves. It is she that Pechorin will attempt to seduce and humiliate for his selfish motives. Their affair begins in a way quite typical of romance stories: at first Mary dislikes Pechorin. By consummate skill and manipulation Pechorin turns the hatred into curiosity, then into affection, then into love (— and finally into hatred again!) As mentioned above Mary is characterized through external details: velvety eyes, virginal gait, charming movements, dignified air, ability to read Byron in the original, knowledge of algebra and boredom. Her first reaction to Pechorin is vexation mixed with indifference. She is piqued because he has stolen her audience. Shortly there after, she definitely hates Pechorin and composes vitriolic epigrams against him. During the last two days, my affairs have advanced tremendously. The young princess definitely hates me: people have already re ported to me two or three epigrams aimed at me, fairly caustic, but at the same time very flat tering. She finds it awfully strange that I, who am used to high society and am on such intimate terms with her Petersburg female cousins and aunts, do not try to make her aquaintance. (pp. 98-99) Later, on a riding excursion Mary and Grushnitsky en counter Pechorin dressed in Circassian garb. The latter dismisses her terror with a sarcastic remark in French. Pechorin wonders at the motives for her embarrassment — 7 her mistake or his insolence. At Vera's insistence Pechorin pays his first visit to the Ligovskoy household, where he is formally introduced to the princess. Mary spurns him but when Pechorin asks her to dance, she cannot hide her triumphant feelings. Their short conversation contains much ironic comment. A climactic event in the development of their relationship occurs when Pechorin saves Mary's dignity: he gets rid of the drunk whom the Captain of the Dragoons had encouraged to embarrass the princess. Thus Mary, as a "damsel in distress" needing immediate assistance, gives the cavalier Pechorin an opportunity to play the chivalrous knight and rescue her from her predicament. After this important event Pechorin is welcomed into the household at any time. More important however, is that the seed of Mary's hero-worship of Pechorin has now been sown: "The old princess started to tell of your exploits, adding her own remarks to what was probably society gossip. Her daughter listened with curiosity. In her imagination, you became the hero of a novel in the latest fashion. I did not contradict the old lady, though I was aware she was talking nonsense." (p. 95) 15 This desire for hero-worship on Mary's part is very significant. As soon as she discovers that Grushnitsky is a mere cadet, not reduced to the ranks for duelling as she had assumed, her romantic illusion of him is shattered, 8 and she wants nothing more to do with him. This hypothesis is confirmed by the "dull and cold gaze" that she has for the young cadet after her discovery of the truth. Pechorin cleverly develops Mary's infatuation with him by using an ingenious subterfuge: feigning indifference. His psychology is simple: the more he denies himself to her, the more she will want him. Mary notices that Pechorin did not listen to her singing, which injures her self-esteem. He continues to prick her vanity by sarcastically remarking that he enjoys music as an aid to digestion. Mary is no longer interested in Grushnitsky's sentimental drivel; instead, she becomes all the more enthralled with Pechorin's tales of bravura. The more his heroic adventures fascinate her, the less interested she becomes in the cadet's namby-pamby platitudes. This leads to her mocking attitude toward Grushnitsky, and her distress at Pechorin's apparent lack of interest in her happiness. In my presence she does not dare to launch upon sentimental debates with Grushnitski, and has several times already replied to his sallies with a mocking smile; but every time that Grushni tski comes up to her, I assume a humble air and leave them alone together. The first time she was glad of it or tried to make it seem so; the 16 second time she became cross with me; the third time she became cross with Grushnitski. "You have very little vanity!" she said to me yesterday. "Why do you think that I have more fun with Grushnitski?" I answered that I was sacrificing to a pal's happiness, my own pleasure. "And mine," she added. (p. 121) During the excursion for "The Hollow" Mary demon strates her attraction to Pechorin despite his caustic tongue. Her hero must inspire fear in her. "You are a dangerous man!" she said to me. "I would sooner find myself in a wood under a murder er's knife than be the victim of your sharp tongue . . . . I ask you seriously, when it occurs to you to talk badly about me, better take a knife and cut my throat: I don't think you will find it difficult." "Do I look like a murderer?" "You are worse. ..." (p. 126) This reveals her secret desire to be dominated. Immediately following the passage above, Pechorin confesses his unhappy childhood to make Mary feel sorry for him. When he relates the story of his love affair with Vera, the princess has been reduced to a state of rapt attention: she is so touched that her pride and coquetry have disappeared. Mary is now in love with Pechorin. He is her bold white knight, ready to come to her rescue. Mary's former affection for Grushnitsky has vanished; now she only has looks of secret derision for him. Mary's sarcastic remark that she prefers Grushnitsky's old coat to his new epaulettes demonstrates her contempt for him, since the cadet's old overcoat represents her former romantic illusions of his hero status. 17 The princess's attraction to Pechorin continues to flourish as Grushnitsky unwittingly plays into Pechorin's hands: The mazurka began. Grushnitski kept choosing nobody but the princess, the other men chose her continuously: it was obviously a conspiracy against me. So much the better. She wants to talk to me, they prevent her -- she will want it twice as much. (p. 135) After the ball Pechorin makes the unmistakeable advance of slyly kissing her hand. His actions throw Mary into despair; she is now so hopelessly in love with him, yet so afraid of being compromised, that she falls ill. Two days later Pechorin visits her alone in the drawing room. The princess's insistence that he does not respect her is merely a device to obtain a confession of love from him. A dull pallor was spread over the princess's pretty face. She stood at the piano, leaning with one hand on the back of an armchair: that hand trembled ever so slightly. I quietly went up to her and said: "You are angry with me?" She raised upon me a languid, deep gaze and shook her head; her lips wanted to utter something, and could not; her eyes filled with tears; she sank into the armchair and covered her face with her hand. "What is the matter with you?" I said, taking her hand. "You do not respect me! . . . Oh, leave me alone!" I made a few steps .... She straightened herself up in her chair; her eyes glittered. (p. 137) 18 Lermontov again presents Mary's fierce desire to hear from Pechorin1s own lips that he loves her, during 9 the episode where they ford the stream. His physical contact abashes Mary. Her words show that she is ambiva lent about her feelings toward Pechorin, suspecting that he may be using her. Perhaps she even desires it. "Either you despise me, or love me very much!" she said at last, in a voice in which there were tears. "Perhaps you want to laugh at me, to trouble my soul, and then leave me. ... It would be so base, so mean, that the mere supposition . . . . Oh no! Isn't it true," she added in a tone of tender trust, "isn't it true that there is nothing in me that would preclude respect? ... (P. 144) There is a distinct possibility that Mary actually wishes to be humiliated.1^* In extremes of human behaviour the domineering individual does sometimes wish to be dominated.1 Moreover, Mary admires the romantic convention of the swashbuckling merciless hero who inspires fear — and envy — in all the ladies. She knows Pechorin's reputation, so what else can she expect from a man who has made a career out of ruining women? The dual desire to conquer, yet be conquered, is important to this type of woman. The conflict in her desires is aptly demonstrated by her forgiving words after Pechorin's impertinent deed: "Your insolent action . . . I must, I must forgive it you, because I allowed it . . . Answer, do speak, I want to hear your voice!. . . (p. 144). 19 The indifference displayed by Pechorin in the ensuing conversation throws Mary into a nervous fit. Pechorin's refusal to declare his love for her reveals his real intentions. She now realizes that her previous notion about Pechorin's motives was not mere fancy. More important is that she even thought that Pechorin would use her. Mary, though "innocent," does know very well the realm of 12 social courtship and affairs of the heart. Pechorin's silence catapults Mary onto the thresh-hold of a desperate emotional crisis: she must either triumph by hearing Pechorin say that he loves her or find out what kind of game he has been playing. When they meet at the well the princess mistakenly assumes that Pechorin could not sleep because of her accusation. Little does she know that his insomnia was caused by overhearing a 13 plot against him, and had nothing to do with her. In the morning, I met the princess at the well. "Are you ill?" she said, looking at me intently. "I did not sleep all night." "Nor did I ... I accused you . . . perhaps, wrongly? But explain your behaviour, I may forgive you everything." "Everything?" "Everything .... Only tell me the truth . . . and hurry ... I have thought a lot, trying to explain, to justify your conduct: perhaps, you are afraid of obstacles on the part of my family . . . . It does not matter. When they hear of it . . . (her voice trembled) my entreaties will convince them . . . . Or is it your own situation .... But I want you to know that I can sacrifice anything for the one I love .... Oh, answer quick . . .. have pity. . . . You do not despise me, do you?" ( pp. 147-148) 20 Her passionate request for an answer merely results in Pechorin's nonchalant reply that he does not love her. Mary is totally humiliated; she can only manage a weak "Leave me." The final stage in the relationship between Pechorin and Princess Mary is illustrated in the last scene at the Ligovskoys' . Pechorin confesses that he has used her as a plaything; twice he declares that she must despise him. Her answer to this is "I hate you." For what reason has Mary's passionate infatuation with Pechorin now turned into hatred? The answer to this question lies in a subtle analysis of the exact meaning of her words. Dr. Wilhelm Stekel has astutely observed "... the normal sex impulse is always bound with a more or less brutal element. We shall not wonder at this if we keep before our eyes that love and hate are the expression of one and the same impulse, and that between partners there is a constant strife between will to power and will to submis-14 sion." For Mary this means that the most degrading experience she can have is to be humiliated by Pechorin's expression of indifference; thus the rapid transition from love to hate. Their love — hate interconnection — the desire to conquer yet be conquered, to hurt and be hurt, to humiliate and be humiliated — makes up an essential part of the dual sadomasochistic relationship. I believe that Lermontov depicted such a relationship in the story between 21 Pechorin and Mary with the sexual activity implied rather than overtly stated. Princess Mary, the proud, acid-tongued coquette3 nevertheless falls for Pechorin because he is a hero-type for her: she admires his power but despises him as a cad. Mary can be considered as an archetype of the haughty woman with subliminal masochistic roots. However, it must be kept in mind that not only is Mary Lermontov's concept of a heroine, she is also depicted through Pechorin's eyes, since Princess Mary is a part of Pechorin's journal. How then is Mary a Byronic heroine? Byron's heroines never exist independently of the hero, because the hero is their raison d'etre. Generally they have many sterling external qualities, but no function outside of loving the hero. This is definitely true of Princess Mary, who without her relationship with Pechorin, has virtually no character development. For example there are no details about possible previous love affairs. Just as the heroines of Byron, Mary's entire purpose in the story is to fall in love with the hero. Lermontov's originality in the creation of this heroine is the added dimension of her humiliation to insure the triumph of will of his hero. The other heroine of Princess Mary possesses certain qualities that set her apart. She too is a proud woman and deeply loves Pechorin, but has a great capacity for understanding which Mary lacks. Since she is older than Mary, Vera illustrates a more mature comprehension of her 22 relations with Pechorin: she accepts him for what he is. Vera is not in love with Pechorin's heroic "image" as Mary is; she sees through the vanity of hero-worship and loves Pechorin knowing he is a scoundrel and a roue. When they meet again, she expresses distrust and reproach of her former lover, but loves Pechorin in spite of herself. "We have not seen each other for a long time," I said. "Yes, a long time, and we have both changed in many ways!" "So this means that you do not love me any more? . . "I am married! ..." She said. "Again? Several years ago, however, the same reason existed, and yet . . . ." She snatched her hand out of mine. And her cheeks flamed. "Perhaps you love your second husband. ..." She did not answer and turned away. "Or is he very jealous?" Silence. "Well? He is young, handsome, he is, in particular, rich, no doubt, and you are afraid. ..." I glanced at her and was shocked: her face expressed profound despair, tears sparkled in her eyes. "Tell me," she whispered at last, "do you find it very amusing to torture me? I ought to hate you. Ever since we have known each other, you gave me: nothing but sufferings. . ." Her voice trembled; she leaned toward me to lay her head on my breast. (pp. 10 3-104) It is apparent from this passage that suffering and humilia tion play an important part in their relationship too. Vera states that she should "hate" Pechorin for the pain he has caused her."*"^ She believes that he enjoys torturing her; nevertheless, she accepts it and yields to him. With all of her past sorrows in her mind, Vera once again entrusts herself to Pechorin. She persuades her lover to gain the acquaintance of the Ligovskoys, so that by frequenting that household, they can see each other. Vera does not harass Pechorin by making him swear his fidelity to her or upbraiding him for other loves; obviously she knows where she stands and resigns herself to it. According to Pechorin, Vera believes that he will not deceive her, though she will not admit it. The reader gains the most fascinating insight into Vera1s relationship with her loved one by these remarkable statements: She colored and went on: "You know that I am your slave; I never was able to resist you . . . and for this I shall be punished. You will cease to love me; I wish, at least, to save my reputation . . . not for my own sake: you know that very well! Oh, I beseech you, do not torment me as before with empty doubts and feigned coldness. I shall die soon, perhaps. I feel myself getting weaker every day . . and, in spite of that, I cannot think of a future life, I think only of you .... You men do not understand the delights of a glance, of a handshake . . . while I, I swear to you, I, when listening to your voice, I experience such deep, strange bliss that the most ardent kisses could not replace it." (p. H9) Vera's willingness to submit to Pechorin's blandishments is very different from Mary's haughty coquettishness. The former does not deem it necessary for Pechorin to declare his love, admits that he is her master, and begs him not to hurt her. There is no question as to who dominates 16 their relationship. Moreover, Vera wants it that way: her 24 declaration that she cannot resist him could be a means for her to rid herself of the guilt that she feels over their clandestine affair. In this way she can remove the burden of blame from her shoulders, and lay it at Pechorin's feet. Pechorin himself declares that Vera must be attracted to his evil side, since she completely understands him with all his "petty weaknesses and wicked passions." His magnetism is a result of his indomitable power and will; it is this masculine force and extraordinary energy that unfail ingly draws Vera to Pechorin. Nevertheless, she becomes jealous of Pechorin's attempts to gain Mary's love; the princess has confided her infatuation with Pechorin, unaware that he is already Vera's lover. Pechorin temporarily dis pells her jealousy by agreeing to go to Kislovodsk. However, the night before the ball, Vera has another occasion for jealousy, when Pechorin regales Mary with his extraordinary tales. But Lermontov's hero once again quells her dissatis faction by clever manipulation: Vera noticed it all: deep melancholy expressed itself on her sickly face: she sat in shadow, near the window, sunk in an ample armchair. ... I felt sorry for her. Then I related the whole dramatic story of our acquaintanceship, of our love — naturally, concealing it under invented names. So vividly did I picture my tenderness, my anxiety, my transports, in such an advantageous light did I present her actions, her character, that, willy-nilly, she had to forgive me my flirtation with the princess. 25 Later on, though, Pechorin1s continued advances on the princess prolong Vera1s pangs of jealousy. The last meeting between Vera and Pechorin, a passionate rendezvous of love-making, takes place in her bedroom. She reproaches Pechorin for his flirtations with the princess, but meekly accepts the "vows and promises" that he gives her. Vera pities Mary for loving Pechorin because she knows the pain and humiliation that the princess will endure. However, it is obvious that she has enjoyed her own suffering: Vera demands to hear Pechorin confess that he has been unfaithful; she declares that since she only wants his happiness, she will submissively bear this cross. In her letter to Pechorin all Vera's tenderness and devotion are visible: here she truly epitomizes the "Byronic" heroine by demonstrating that she loves Pechorin with all her body and soul, caring about nothing else. Vera states that she has undergone her sufferings as a sacrifice to try and change her lover from the selfish rogue that he is: I shall not blame you — you treated me as any other man would have done; you loved me as your property, as a source of joys, agitations and sorrows, which mutually replaced one another and without which life would have been dull and monoton ous. This I understood from the first; but you were unhappy, and I sacrificed myself, hoping that some day you would appreciate my sacrifice, that, some day you would understand my deep tenderness, not depending on any circumstances, (pp. 172-173) 26 Furthermore, Vera states that after loving Pechorin, she was spoiled for other men: "We part forever; yet you may be sure that I shall never love another: my soul has spent upon you all its treasures, its tears and hopes. She, who has loved you once, cannot look without a certain contempt on other men, not because you are better than they — oh, no! — but because there is something special about your nature, peculiar to you alone, something proud and myster ious. In your voice, whatever you may be saying, there is unconquerable power. None is able to desire so incessantly to be loved; in none is evil so attractive; the gaze of none promises so much bliss; none knows better to use his advantages; and none can be so genuinely unhappy as you, because none tries so hard to convince himself of the contrary. (p. 173) This declaration is quite typical of one of Byron's heroines, since it is a reflection of the extraordinary hold that the Byronic hero has over his loved one. It exemplifies the "Byronic" heroine's sole function of loving the hero: if she cannot have him, she wishes no one. Vera's passionate words are an expression of the mysterious power that Pechorin 17 has over her, rather than a distinct character trait. Thus Vera admires Pechorin's inflexible will and his tremen dous power, but she says ironically that someday he will understand her torments and will have compassion for her. Although some critics have said that Vera possesses 18 great charm and warmth, it is difficult to understand Pechorin's fascination with her, simply because she is a two-dimensional figure with no individuality. Lermontov provides the reader with little information about the back ground to the love affair. One must accept Vera's intense passion and Pechorin's affection for her as a foregone conclusion occurring previous to the events in the story, otherwise their relationship has no motivating force behind 19 it. Although a different woman than Mary, beyond her primary function of loving Pechorin she has even less character development than the princess. Au surplus, que Vera soit une creation incolore, obscure, dessinee de traits vagues et incertains, on peut le regretter, mais ce qui est grave, c'est que l'on n'entre point dans les sentiments qu'elle inspire a Petchorine. On est surpris de 1'emotion qu1excite en. lui la derniere lettre de Vera: cette tendresse exaltee ne s'accorde guere avec ce que nous savons de son caractere. 20 Thus the two heroines of Princess Mary , Pechorin's women conceived in Lermontov's mind, are different, yet similar. They both represent types of women from the author's misconception of chauvinistic ideals. Mary is the proud woman desiring to conquer and be conquered; Vera is the submissive mistress who enjoys being dominated. Both exist only to demonstrate the hero's power over women and as such are similar to the conventional heroines of Romantic litera ture. It is true that these heroines are based on real life figures, but their lack of character depiction shows that Lermontov's female figures in Princess Mary have only the external features that he wished to emphasize. They possess the uni-dimensional personality traits of what the 28 author thought they should be, not necessarily what they would be. Although the female figures of the novel occupy an important place, not one of them, however, is depicted in any sort of finalized form, which could be considered an independent existence. Though they are portraits of feminine grace, each one is merely a transient shadow, flitting through Pechorin's life. The female personages from Princess Mary are no exceptions: for example, from hints provided in the story, Vera could have been a profound, well-developed character (witness her last letter to Pechorin), but even more than the others, she plays a subordinate role in the subject matter. 21 The two male personages in Princess Mary who are most important for the story's action next to Pechorin 22 himself, are Grushnitsky and Doctor Werner. Boris Eykhenbaum has suggested that the two figures complement each other: on one side of Pechorin is the pseudo-romantic poseur, Grushnitsky, who embodies a parody of the hero and who confides in him; on the other, the sardonic, Mephistophel-23 ean character of the doctor, who is Pechorin's confidant. Both persons are necessary to maintain an equilibrium in the story; both are introduced early — within the first ten pages — and Doctor Werner appears immediately after Pechorin's initial episode with Grushnitsky. The young cadet poses a fascinating yet perplexing problem. In certain ways he resembles the hero, but these resemblances are caricatured by the author to such an extent that in no way can one compare the two as equals. Basically Grushnitsky constitutes a parody of the romantic sentimental ist: each of the traits that he has in common with Pechorin 29 is exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness. As Freeborn has stated, Grushnitsky acts as a kind of catalyst for the philosophy of Lermontov's hero: He is Pechorin's alter ego in several senses --in the sense of the 'romantic fanaticism' which brought him to the Caucasus, where he affects a disillusionment which resembles a parody of Pechorin's crippling despair; in the sense of re sembling and rivalling Pechorin in his desire to produce an effect; in the sense of being a solipsistic portrait of a novelettish hero by the novel's hero; in the sense of being the cause of the 'intrigue,' without which Pechorin would not have been able to kill him; in the sense of body ing forth the ordinariness, the ingenuousness, the weakness which Pechorin sought at all costs to eradicate in himself. The resemblance between them, as recorded by Pechorin in his description of Grushnitsky's appearance and character, suggests an immediate comparison with the itinerant author's description of Pechorin, save that Pechorin ostensibly understands his rival better than the itinerant author understands the hero of his own work. 24 It is vital to remember that Grushnitsky is depicted through Pechorin's eyes; the value judgments that he makes must be assessed very carefully. The primary aspect of Grushnitsky is his pose: his entire existence and function in the story is contained in his playing a role, which is chiefly depicted through his mysterious overcoat. Under his cloak is nothing but banality. His "lack of personality and character compel Grushnitsky to drape himself in romantic clothes and, by using a 25 'borrowed' image, to conceal his own personal failings." Grushnitsky wears his soldier's coat to make people believe that he has been reduced to the ranks for duelling, a rumour that he does his best to encourage. The cloak acts as both a literal and symbolic expression of the romantic illusion of "suffering in secret" that Grushnitsky is attempting to assume: his goal is to be considered as the hero of a novel. He takes on his pose at most times, yet when he does cast off the Byronic cloak, he can be "quite pleasant and amusing. During his initial conversation with Pechorin, in an exaggerated attempt to.gain sympathy, Grushnitsky makes two references to his soldier's coat as a seal of rejection, refusing him entry both into high society and into women's hearts. Pechorin sees the cadet's vanity through the mask and tersely mocks him with a sarcastic "Poor coat!" Grushnit sky is so enthralled with his false guise that he does not realize the significance of Pechorin's laconic jibe. On May 16 the young poseur announces that he has made the acquaintance of the Ligovskoys, but is still at a disadvantag because of his old cloak. Pechorin openly declares his opinion, but Grushnitsky fails to discern the irony in his words. "Not yet. I have talked to the young princess a couple of times, and more. It is kind of embarrassing to fish for an invitation, you know, though it is done here. ... It would have been another matter, if I wore epaulets. . . ." "Oh come! You are much more intriguing this way! You simply don't know how to take advantage of your lucky situation. In the eyes of any sentimental young lady, your soldier's coat is bound to make a hero of you, a martyr." 31 Grushnitski smiled smugly. "What nonsense!" he said. "I'm sure," I went on, "that the young princess is already in love with youi" He blushed to the ears, and puffed out his chest. 0 vanity! you are the lever by means of which Archimedes wished to lift the earth! "You always joke!" he said, feigning to be cross. "In the first place, she knows me so little as yet." (p. 100) Though Pechorin sees through his act and indicates that he knows Grushnitsky's real motives, the young fop only reacts with a self-satisfied smugness; when Pechorin suggests that Mary may already be in love with the cadet, the latter believes it, but says it must be a joke. Shortly thereafter, Grushnitsky himself admits it would be "quite absurd" (oohen' smeshno) to have any hopes, yet this is exactly what he does have. , The poseur's conceit and belief in his own pretense is so great that he already calls her "my" Mary, after only a casual acquaintance. When he and Mary are out riding, the coat, symbolizing his heroic status, again plays a central part: "What is Russia to me?" answered her companion, "a country where thousands of people will look on me with contempt because they are richer than I am -- whereas here — here this thick soldier's coat has not prevented me from making your acquaintance ii "On the contrary. . ." said the princess, blushing. Grushnitski's face portrayed pleasure. (p. 108) After Pechorin has saved the princess at the ball and the seed of her hero-worship of Pechorin has been planted, Grushnitsky has ceased to attract her. The reason for this has been the revelation of the truth behind Grushnitsky's Byronic cloak: his coat, which formerly represented the myth of the hero or martyr, now only 2 6 symbolizes his mediocrity. The fakery of the poor coat has run its course, for a few days later when Grushnitsky receives his promotion, his epaulettes now merely provide a denouement >to his'ridiculousness. Doctor Werner sarcastically points out that, whereas Grushnitsky's shabby cloak gave him some mystery and individuality, his new garb will provide less glamour because he will be the same as everyone else. Naturally the young poser is too inflated with his own opinions of himself to see the bitter truth of this statement: he thinks that his epaulettes will give him the social status he needs to ask for Mary's hand. Little does Grushnitsky realize, but the princess' discovery that he was not reduced to the ranks for duelling, means that derision of his true status has replaced the former admiration that she had for his sham heroism. "Oh, I've made a bitter mistake! ... I thought, in my folly, that at least these epaulets would give me the right to hope . . . No, it would have been better for me had I remained all my life in that miserable soldier's coat to which, maybe, I owed your attention." "Indeed, that coat suited you much better. ..." At this point I came up and bowed to the young princess: she blushed slightly and said quickly: 33 "Am I not right, Monsieur Pechorin, that the gray soldier's coat was much more becoming to Monsieur Grushnitski?" "I disagree with you," I replied. "In this uniform, he looks even more youthful." Grushnitski could not bear this blow: like all youths, he professes to be an old man; he thinks that deep traces of passions replace the imprint of years. He cast on me a furious glance, stamped his foot and walked away. "Now confess," I said to the young princess, "that despite his having always been very absurd, still, quite recently, you thought him interesting . . . in his gray coat?" She dropped her eyes and did not answer. (p. 134) In summary then, Grushnitsky's overcoat is the most important part of his portrayal in Princess Mary. He uses it as a mask to give the impression that he is something that he is not. The soldier's coat almost takes on a character of its own to act as a personification of Grushnitsky's character. Ironically, the cloak which originally served to attract 27 Mary to him, contributes directly to his downfall. Grushnitsky's affectation colours all the aspects of his behaviour. In the introductory descriptive paragraphs of his rival, Pechorin notes that the young man had been awarded a St. George's cross for bravery, but later on this too is inferred to be a mere pose: "Grushnitski has the reputation of an exceptionally brave man. I have seen him in action: he brandishes his sword, he yells, he rushes forward with closed eyes. Somehow, this is not Russian courage!" (p. 85) Grushnitsky's full blown oratory and long blithering tirades are characteristic of the ordinary 2 young man assuming an air of suffering and exalted passions. 34 He almost always seems too comic to be real. For example when he spies the princess and her daughter, he waits until they are within earshot, assumes a dramatic attitude ("uspel pvinyat' dramatioheskuyu pozu"), and declaims his nonsensical claptrap about hating all mankind. Later on he expresses displeasure at Pechorin's sardonic remarks on Mary's beauty, failing to note their ironic intent. In fact, on three occasions during the short span of their conversation, Pechorin coins nasty anecdotes (particularly his spoof of Grushnitsky's French aphorism) which clearly reveal that he perceives the youth's vain humbuggery. How ever, Grushnitsky is too mundane, too stupid and too entangled in his egocentric pose to realize the full import of Pechorin's sarcasm. This first episode between Pechorin and the cadet concludes with the trivial incident of Mary's picking up the glass. (For people like Mary and Grushnitsky, under the spell of romantic illusion, this incident is far from 29 trivial.) Pechorin is quick to notice the passionate glance that the young man gives to the princess. It is obvious from his remarks ("A very angel!") and his "blurrily tender glance" that Grushnitsky is already infatuated with Mary. Later Pechorin concludes that the youthful charlatan is hopelessly in love with the princess, for he has an 35 engraved ring on his finger as a memento of the incident of the "famous glass," and becomes very upset at Pechorin's suggestion that she will tire of him if he does not gain ascendancy over her. Grushnitsky looks truly ridiculous at the May 22 ball: unable to go in, he is content to remain outside like a faithful pup, mawkishly staring at the beautiful princess through the windowpane. On the following day Grushnitsky, totally smitten by the charms of Mary, is convinced for no reason other than his own conceit, that she too is in love with him. With "absurd exaltation" glittering in his eyes and a ridiculous feeling of tragedy in his voice, he thanks Pechorin for saving Mary at the ball, when he should be expressing anger. The poseur's inanity does not make him comprehend Mary's "dull and cold" gaze that she now has for him. Grushnitsky continues to fawn over her, "devouring her with his eyes" as she is singing. Despite the princess's indifference to his boring sentimental platitudes, the young man cannot stop fooling himself. His "What do you think?" is an open invitation for Pechorin to ecstatically declare that Mary is madly in love with the cadet. The moment of truth for Grushnitsky comes at the ball on June 5. Lermontov depicts the youthful dandy in a remarkably vivid description which epitomizes the comic mediocrity of the late adolescent beneath the garish exter ior. 36 Half an hour before the ball, Grushnitski appeared before me in the full splendor of an infantry army officer's uniform. To the third button, he had attached a bronze chainlet from which hung a double lorgnette; epaulets of incredible size were turned upward like the wings of a cupid; his boots squeaked; in his left hand, he held a pair of brown kid gloves and his cap, and with his right hand he kept fluffing up, every moment, his shock of hair, which was waved in small curls. Self-satis faction and, at the same time, a certain lack of assurance were expressed in his countenance: his festive exterior, his proud gait, would have made me burst out laughing, had that been in accordance with my plans. (p. 131) At this ball Grushnitsky finally discerns the princess's true feelings toward him. Throughout the evening she directs remarks of sarcasm and derision at him, which at first he fails to understand. He continues to pester Mary, even though her condescension should be painfully obvious to him. When he finally realizes that Mary thinks he is a ludicrous yahoo, instead of dropping his foppish mantle, Grushnitsky insists on revenge. He is now transformed into a petty scheming fool, with all his banality totally visible. The result is that Grushnitsky basely agrees to humiliate Pechorin through a "fixed" duel. The duel is the climactic event in Princess Mary. It is worthy of note that in each of the events leading up to the duel itself, Grushnitsky has had to have been prompted by the Dragoon Captain to take any action. On the morning of the duel the former cadet is disturbed, 37 but when Pechorin states that he is willing to negotiate, Grushnitsky, thinking that Pechorin is afraid, (after the captain winks at him) assumes a "proud air" and insists that they fight. However, Pechorin1s demand that they duel on the edge of a precipice throws Grushnitsky into a quandary: His face kept changing every minute. I had placed him in an awkward position. Had we fought under ordinary conditions, he might have aimed at my leg, wounded me lightly and satisfied, in this way, his thirst for revenge, without burdening his conscience too heavily. But now he had either to discharge his pistol into the air, or become a murderer, or lastly, abandon his vile plan and expose himself to equal danger with me. At this moment, I would not have wished to be in his place. He led the captain aside and began to say something to him with great heat. I saw his livid lips tremble, but the captain turned away from him with a contemptuous smile. (pp. 165-166) Although extremely agitated by this turn of events, at the captain's urging Grushnitsky decides to go on. He is ashamed to shoot an unarmed man, but the Dragoon Captain disgustedly spits out "coward." The poseur, his vanity offended, fires, but only wounds Pechorin in the knee. The light wound and the knowledge that Pechorin's pistol is not loaded, reassures him and he calmly faces his adversary. At this moment Pechorin plays his trump card by insisting on an examination of the gun. Now Grushnitsky has been boxed in: there is no way to escape with his self-esteem intact without facing death. Although Pechorin 38 provides him an opportunity for repentance, rather than face humiliation and cast off his heroic mantle, Grushnitsky chooses to die. He maintains his pose and actually plays in real life the role of the suffering martyr that he had only assumed before as make-believe. Grushnitsky has taken on a false identity so much, that he believes in it at the end. Self-love made him believe in the imaginary love for the princess and in her love for him; self-love made him see Pechorin as a rival and enemy; self-love made him decide to insult Pechorin's honour; self-love did not permit him to obey the voice of his own conscience and follow his good principles by admitting his part in the conspiracy; self-love made him shoot an unarmed man, and this same self-love, concentrating all the power of his being into one decisive moment, forced him to prefer certain death over certain salvation through a confession. This man is the apotheosis of petty vanity and weakness of character; out of this come all his actions, and even his last seemingly heroic deed arises directly out of the weakness of his personality. 30 Thus from beginning to end Grushnitsky has played a heroic role to cloak the weak commonness of his personal ity. He is a fine example of that type of person who, disgusted with his own mediocrity, stifles his real human qualities by trying to be an extraordinary individual. Taken together, Grushnitsky and Pechorin repre sent contrasting reflections of the Byronic hero. Pechorin, with his courage, assurance, individuality and aloofness, embodies the inner, dignifying qualities of the type, whereas Grushnitsky wears only a badly designed Byronic mask under which one 39 can glimpse the insecure late-adolescent. He has only learned to ape the external characteris tics of the Byronic hero, and lacking the inner qualities his performance becomes ridiculous. Pitted against an antagonist such as Pechorin, he is inevitably destroyed. 31 Although the character of Doctor Werner does not play a great part in the development of Princess Mary's action, he does fulfill the important function of Pechorin's confidant. By frankly revealing his thoughts and deeds to the doctor, Pechorin also presents them to the reader. After the story's climax, Doctor Werner acts as a kind of conscience for Lermontov's hero. As mentioned above, the doctor's ironic presence serves as a balance to offset Grushnitsky's comic pretentiousness. There has been much discussion concerning the real life identity of the doctor. A certain Doctor Nikolay Vasil'yevich Mayyer, whom Lermontov knew through a mutual acquaintance N.M. Satin, was supposedly the model for Doctor Werner. The most informative article on this supposition was written by N. Bronshtein. He appends the anecdote that, upon reading Lermontov's novel, Mayyer quipped 32 "pauvre sire, pauvre talent." If this is true, then obviously the doctor was even more sardonic in real life than in Lermontov's depiction of him. Pechorin compiles.a striking initial impression of his confidant. Werner's "remarkable" features include his skepticism and materialism tempered by his;poetic 40 nature. Though possessed of an acid tongue, which Pechorin greatly admires, Doctor Werner can be a sensitive Man of Feeling: Lermontov's hero has seen him weep over a dying soldier. The doctor's external appearance is perhaps his most noteworthy characteristic: he is small, thin and frail with legs crippled "like Byron"; his large head, small penetrating eyes and clothes of black lend him a Mephisto-like mystique and, indeed, he bears Mephistopheles as a nickname. Werner's appearance may be shrouded in suggestions of mystery and evil, but at heart he is a worthy man. His incisive, analytical intelligence complements Pechorin's, for the latter himself states that they "read in each other's souls." During their first conversation in Princess Mary it is easy to discern that the two men follow each other's thoughts very closely even though they do not believe in exactly the same things: when Pechorin says that he has the beginning of a plot, Doctor Werner immediately guesses that Grushnitsky is going to be his victim. As he tells Pechorin about the pretty blonde with the expressive face and his young friend reacts with discomfort, the doctor lightly mocks Pechorin: "A little mole!" I muttered through my teeth. "Really?" The doctor looked at me and said solemnly, plac ing his hand on my heart: "She is someone you know! . . ." My heart, indeed, was beating faster than usual. 41 "It is now your turn to triumph," I said, "but I rely on you; you will not betray me. I have not seen her yet, but I am sure that I recognize, from your depiction, a certain woman whom I loved in the old days. Don't tell her a word about me; should she ask, give a bad account of me." "As you please!" said Werner with a shrug. (p. 97) (Note also that the doctor uses the same kind of gestures of indifference as Pechorin, showing once again that the two figures often complement each other.) Except for his sarcastic remark about Grushnitsky's new epaulettes, Doctor Werner does not take any more part in the story until the climax is quickly approaching. He drops in on Pechorin to ask about the rumour of the impending marriage to Mary, wishing to be assured that Pechorin is not going to marry the young princess. A most revealing passage occurs at the end of this section. "I do not say it . . . But you know there are cases," he added with a cunning smile, "in which an honourable man is obliged to marry, and there are mammas who do not at least avert such cases. Therefore, I advise you as a pal to be more careful. Here at the spa the atmosphere is most dangerous: I have seen so many fine, young men, worthy of a better lot, who have gone straight from here to the altar. Would you believe it, there has even been an attempt to have me marry! Namely, on the part of a provincial mamma whose daughter was very pale. I had had the misfortune to tell her that her daughter's face would regain its color after marriage. Then, with tears of gratitude, she offered me her daughter's hand and their entire fortune — fifty serfs, I believe. But I answered that I was incapable of marriage." (pp. 138-139) 42 The doctor's "incapability" of marriage closely parallels Pechorin's own fears of wedding bells, caused by a fortune teller's pronouncement that Pechorin would die at the hands of a "wicked wife." Thus they share another striking characteristic. After he has agreed to be Pechorin's second in the duel, Werner again demonstrates his prevailing skepticism. His keen sense of intrigue makes him suspect that Grushnit sky and the Captain of Dragoons have altered their plan and intend to kill Pechorin. Though apprehensive of Pechorin's assurances of not falling into the trap, Werner agrees to follow his designs. On the morning of the duel the doctor appears with a long face. Pechorin manages to cheer him by appealing to Werner's scientific and philosophical nature, stating that "the expectation of a violent death is a genuine illness." But the personal human aspects of the doctor's > character become manifest when he asks Pechorin if he has 33 no one to leave a remembrance to. Twice during the final preparations for the duel, Werner's skepticism is made clear as he expresses concern that Pechorin may permit Grushnitsky to shoot at him. After Grushnitsky wins the toss, the doctor once again pleads with Pechorin to reveal that they know about the conspiracy in order to stop the duel from going any further. 43 "It is time!" the doctor whispered to me, pulling my sleeve. "If you do not tell them now that we know their intentions, all is lost. Look, he is already loading .... If you do not say anything, I myself shall. ..." "Not for anything in the world, doctor!" I replied, holding him back by the arm. "You would spoil everything. You gave me your word not to interfere. . . . What does it matter to you? Perhaps, I wish to be killed. ..." He glanced at me with surprise. "Oh, that's different! . . . Only do not bring complaints against me in the next world." (p. 168) It is noteworthy that Pechorin calms the doctor only by appealing to the cold scientific side of his nature: Pechorin states that he may wish to die. When Grushnitsky wounds his adversary only slightly, Pechorin remarks that Werner is "paler than Grushnitski had been ten minutes before." However, he loads the pistol and gives it to Pechorin, perhaps thinking that his friend will fire into the air; but after the young poseur is killed, he turns away "in horror." In his letter Doctor Werner later tells Pechorin about the disposal of the bullet and the lack of proof against him. His last state ment "... you can sleep in peace ... if you can . . . Good-by," is very important. This is the only occasion in Princess Mary where Pechorin is upbraided for the coldblooded murder of Grushnitsky. Since the doctor and Pechorin clearly and positively knew about the conspiracy, Werner feels disgust for Pechorin's nefarious deed. In this case he acts as a conscience for Lermontov's hero and 44 speaks as the voice of moral outrage. The reader last glimpses Doctor Werner on the day after the duel. He arrives at Pechorin's lodgings to inform him of Mary's illness and of the suspicions of the authorities. Werner is caught between two urges: he does not proffer his hand when he enters but, if we are to believe Pechorin, would have liked to fall on his neck as a farewell gesture. Pechorin's own coldness turns him away. As the voice of Pechorin's conscience, the doctor is immediately put at a disadvantage: he makes no mention of Pechorin's blame. Instead it is Pechorin, who has perpetrated the murder, who refuses to acknowledge the appeal to morality and be remorseful; thus Pechorin triumphs over his conscience and his base urges win out. Thus Doctor Werner's Mephisto-like yet basically noble character acts as a balance to Grushnitsky's ridiculous pose, as well as a person in whom Pechorin can confide. He shares many features with Pechorin and thus can stand as a kind of secondary altev ego: although sarcastic and skeptical, he is often a man of profound feeling; he possesses a dread of marriage like Pechorin but noble impulses still control his spirit. Unlike his friend the doctor has not allowed himself to be totally taken over by base desires. His final criticisms of Pechorin emphasize • the former's lack of remorse; the stark contrast demonstrates definitively that Pechorin has no desire to heed the voice of his conscience. 45 **** The most important aspect of Lermontov's pre occupation with Byron is his concept of the hero. Motifs, images and heroines from Byron are important, but the key to a true understanding of A Eero of Our Time and, indeed, of all of Lermontov's works, consists of the fundamental idea of the hero as an individual. All of Lermontov's philosophical concepts of love, hate, morality, will, religion and sex are contained within his depiction of the hero. Lermontov was not Pechorin, but through the hero's thoughts, words and deeds and, perhaps even more important, through his relationships with other people and their views of him, the author expressed his own concepts of the ego's confrontation with its own existence. Pechorin is not simply the central figure of the novel, he is the very essence and meaning behind A Eero of Our Time. Before determining how Pechorin is and is not a Byronic hero, some sort of criteria must be established for deciding exactly what constitutes a Byronic hero. There are many types of Byronic heroes; one hero may undergo a metamorphosis within one particular work. (Compare the hero of the first two cantos of Childe Earold's Pilgrimage with the changed person in cantos 46 34 three and four. It is obvious also that the figure of Pechorin is not the same in the various parts of A Hero of Our Time.) Peter J. Thorslev in his book entitled The Byronic Hero argues convincingly for a series of types and prototypes of the Byronic hero. This method is excellent for it permits a study of the hero as a changing figure in a constant state of flux, instead of a static character who must fit into patterns. According to Thorslev a typical Byronic hero can embody any or all of the features of his eighteenth-century precursors: the Child of.Nature, the Hero of Sensibility consisting of the Man of Feeling and the Gloomy Egoist, and the Gothic Villain. The actual heroes of romanticism such as the Noble Outlaws, Faust, Cain, Ahasuerus, Satan and Prometheus have taken various qualities from their predecessors. The point is.that literary figures do not just suddenly appear; they develop. Byron's heroes are not static characters; nor is Pechorin, the "hero of our time." Thorslev points out that Childe Harold embodies characteristics of the Child of Nature, Man of Feeling, 35 Gloomy Egoist and Gothic Villain, as he is depicted in Cantos I and II. Thereafter he becomes a new legacy to literature after Byron. He is now a Hero of Sensibility, having emerged "from a union of secularized Gloomy Egoist 3 6 with the ethically uncommitted Man of Feeling." In the four Turkish Tales the heroes waver between the two poles 37 of the Gothic Villain and the Hero of Sensibility. The heroes of Byron's Oriental Tales, i.e., the Noble Outlaws, are men of action and possess traits not held by 3 8 Harold, Cain or Manfred. Manfred, for example, has characteristics of a Child of Nature, a maturing Satan-Prometheus, and a Hero of Sensibility. Cain is the Byronic Hero in his last stage of development, the romantic rebel. He cannot love, is defiant and thirsts for knowledge. Therefore, there are many possible features that the Byronic hero may possess: he can be evil, defiant, ego tistical, mysterious, an outcast, aristocratic and a lover of nature. Thus Byron's hero is essentially a complex figure, generally a development from earlier types, con taining characteristics from each of these types. For this study exactly the same principle can be applied to analyze the Byronic qualities of Pechorin. Because Pechorin is such a complicated figure the process to determine to what extent he is a Byronic hero is not a simple one. However, if one ascertains to which degree Pechorin contains the features of Byronic heroes or modifications of them, I believe one can safely state how the hero of Lermontov's novel is a "Byronic" hero. Firstly, it is true that Pechorin can be classified as a Child of Nature. This is not on the simple plane 48 of the typical eighteenth-century sentimental naive man from humble origins who a. la Rousseau is handsome, strong/ aggressive and always in love, but rather as the subtle, sophisticated appreciation of nature on the part of an 39 aristocrat, as in the case of Childe Harold. From the beginning of Princess Mary there is much evidence of Pechorin's love of nature's majesty, i.e. the Caucasian splendour, for Pechorin revels in describing the magnificent setting of his story. This aspect is characterised by the usage of the motifs of nature in various parts of the novel. These motifs appear to be one of the structural elements of the novel. The book is conceived as "Caucasian" with indispensible descriptions of the Caucasian countryside. The mountain backdrop provides the novel with a special colouring, i.e. a special stylistic tint. Not without reason did the Caucasian descriptions in A Hero of Our Time become classics as well as current in school text books, and even were reproduced as models for descriptive epistolary prose (in Model Writing, 1845) . The lyrical descriptions of nature are equally present in the travelling note-taker's sections and in Pechorin's journal. They have one style; even the rhythm of speech is identical in corres ponding places. 4 0 Pechorin narrates in the first person and gives his own ideas on love of the Caucasus' natural splendour at the end of this section: "It is gay to live in such country! A kind of joyful feeling permeates all my veins. The air is pure and fresh, like the kiss of a child, the sun is bright, the sky is blue — what more, it seems, could one wish? Who, here, needs passions, desires, regrets?" 49 (pp. 81-82) Pechorin does not express the wide-eyed adoration of a naive school-boy, but rather the world-weary attitudes of a sophisticated man who loves the con trast between the intrigues of society and the simple 41 freshness of the mountain air. There is much of the Child of Nature in Childe Harold. The similarities in attitudes of both Harold and Pechorin are remarkable. Here are but three examples of the hero's love of nature in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell, To slowly trace the forest's shady scene, Where things that own not man's dominion dwell, And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been; To climb the trackless mountain all unseen, With the wild flock that never needs a fold; Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean; This is not solitude; 'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unroll'd. (II: xxv) Dear Nature is the kindest mother still, Though always changing in her aspect mild; From her bare bosom let me take my fill, Her never-weah1 d, though not her favour ' d child. Oh! she is fairest in her features wild, Where nothing polish'd dares pollute her path: To me by day or night she ever smiled, Though I have mark'd her when none other hath, And sought her more and more, and loved her best in wrath. (II: xxvii) But when he saw the evening star above Leucadia's far-projecting rock of woe, And hail'd the last resort of fruitless love, He felt, or deem'd he felt, no common glow: And as the stately vessel glided slow Beneath the shadow of that ancient mount, He watch'd the billows' melancholy flow, And, sunk albeit in thought as he was wont, More placid seem'd his eye, and smooth his pallid front. (II: xli) 50 The prerevolutionary scholar M.N. Rozanov insists that in Lermontov these motifs are direct borrowings from Byron and that these came originally from Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Above all this leads us to the problem of nature and culture. From Rousseau Byron completely mastered this cult of nature, this "naturalism" in the widest sense of the word, which is one of the fundamental bases of Rousseau's doctrine. This cult brought with it the brunt of the esthetic perception of nature, a fondness for everything natural, simple and primitive, as well as an alienation from the "mendacious" blessings of civilization and so on. This "naturalism" was mastered by Lermontov in its general traits and stands out in all his works. As we have already seen his love for nature appeared in his very early years, and all his works are filled with an esthetic enthusiasm for the beauties of nature. This intense "feeling for nature," i.e. the sensitivity and exactness of its artistic perception, resulted in one of the most remarkable depictions of nature in world literature. Lermontov rivalled Byron not only with the wide scope of his artistic conception and with the brilliance and clarity of his beautiful images, but also with his concentrated energy and the plasticity and sculptured vividness of his descriptions, he even surpasses him. 42 A significant passage of nature occurs immediately before Pechorin's first meeting with Vera in Princess Mary. However, it contains no lyrical love of nature. Instead there is a description of a thunderstorm which serves as an introduction to the "electrically charged" scene that follows. It was getting hot; furry white clouds were rapidly scudding from the snowy mountains with the promise of a thunderstorm; the top of Mount Mashuk smoked like an extinguished torch; 51 around it there coiled and slithered, like snakes, gray shreds of cloud, which had been delayed in their surge and seemed to have caught in its thorny brush. The air was pervaded with electricity. I plunged into a viny avenue that led to a grotto; I was sad. (pp. • 102-103). This particular description shows that Pechorin like Harold and other heroes of Byron is at origin a Child of Nature. The passage with its motifs of mountains, clouds and electric air sets the mood of expectation for the sudden rendezvous between Pechorin and his former beloved. Even more revealing is the emotional lyricism of the shift immediately after the meeting. When I returned home, I got on my horse and galloped out into the steppe. I love to gallop on a spirited horse through tall grass, against the wind of the wilderness; avidly do I swallow the redolent air and direct my gaze into the blue remoteness, trying to distinguish the nebulous outlines of objects that become, every minute, clearer and clearer. Whatever sorrow may burden my heart, whatever anxiety may oppress my mind, everything is dispersed in a moment: the soul feels easy, bodily fatigue vanquishes mental worry. There is no feminine gaze that I would not forget at the sight of mountains covered with early vegetation, and illumined by the southern sun, at the sight of the blue sky, or at the sound of a torrent that falls from crag to crag. (p. 106) It is significant that Pechorin turns to nature after meeting Vera again, to express the ebullient feelings of gladness in his heart. Thus nature acts as a kind of leitmotiv both to introduce and conclude the highly emotional episode with Vera. 52 A similar attitude is expressed by Manfred, who in his youth, also exhibited this profound love of nature in his soul. My joy was in the wilderness, — to breathe The difficult air of the iced mountain's top, Where the birds dare not build, nor insect's wing Flit o'er the herbless granite; or to plunge Into the torrent, and to roll along On the swift whirl of the new breaking wave Of river-stream, or ocean, in their flow. {Manfred, Act II, scene ii, 62-68) Almost any emotional crisis makes Pechorin contem plate nature. Storm clouds echo the turbulent tortures of his brain, addled by loneliness. The expressions of the pathetic fallacy are not so important in themselves as they were for the eighteenth-century Rousseauesque "Noble Savage," but they do serve to illustrate Lermontov's modifications of the sensitivity to nature in Pechorin's character. Nature helps to reveal Pechorin's personality and the subtle 43 psychological aspects of his attitudes toward the world. When Pechorin moves to Kislovodsk and introduces the area in his diary, he expresses an adoration so naive and sentimental, that he closely resembles a Child of Nature: And, indeed, everything here breathes seclusion; everything here is mysterious -- the dense canopies of linden avenues that bend over the torrent which, as it noisily and foamily falls from ledge to.ledge, cuts for itself a path between the verdant mountains; and the gorges filled with gloom and silence that branch out from here in all directions; and the freshness 53 of the aromatic air, laden with the emanations of tall southern grasses and white acacias; and the constant deliciously somniferous babble of cool brooks which, meeting at the far end of the valley, join in a friendly race and, at last, fall into the Podkumok River. On this side the gorge widens and turns into a green glen; a dusty road meanders through it. (pp. 14 0-141) This description is not merely a pretty picture of the story's place of action. . . . and in this case the landscape does not appear just as the designation for the place of action, or as an arena for the hero's activity or as a backdrop for his movements. Its function here is mainly psychological. These and other descriptions are given through a prism of sensa tions, feelings and attitudes of the "journal's" author. For this reason they are both directly and indirectly linked with the lyrical meditations and are transposed into them, as in the magnificent description of the morning of Pechorin's first day in Pyatigorsk. 44 Pechorin's overt cynicism shows that he is not a pure example of the eighteenth-century prototype, but these examples prove that Lermontov's hero, like Byron's, had his roots in the Child of Nature of the 1700's. Another lyrical passage of nature sets the stage for Pechorin1s nocturnal rendezvous with Vera. The storminess on the mountains epitomizes Pechorin's excite-45 ment. (The reader may well wonder about the logic of the description, since it is "pitch dark" outside, yet the hero can still discern the clouds on the mountains.) "It was pitch dark outside. Heavy, cold clouds lay on the 54 summits of the surrounding mountains; only now and then ' a dying breeze soughed in the crests of the poplars around the restaurant." (p. 150) Perhaps the most remarkable nature passage in A Hero of Our time occurs directly before the duel with Grushnitsky. The joyous effervescence of the description contrasts powerfully with the despair of the previous night's musings about death, and the horror of the events to come. We see a young man in love with life, yet fearful that he may be spending his last moments amongst the natural 46 splendours of the Caucasian countryside. Here Pechorin demonstrates a more Rousseauesque Child of Nature apprecia tion of the landscape; his attitude closely resembles that of the introductory passage to Princess Mary. I do not remember a bluer and fresher morning. The sun had just appeared from behind the green summits, and the merging of the first warmth of its rays with the waning coolness of the night pervaded all one's senses with a kind of delicious languor. The glad beam of the young day had not yet penetrated in to the gorge; it gilded only the tops of the cliffs that hung on both sides above us. The dense-foliaged bushes, growing in the deep crevices, asperged us with a silver rain at the least breath of wind. I remember that on this occasion, more than ever before, I was in love with nature. (pp. 161-162) After the duel however, his effervescent adoration of the magnificent countryside has vanished. Mother Nature seems to be cold toward him for the deed he has done: "The sun seemed to me without luster; its rays did not warm me." 55 (p. 171) The hero's feelings of disillusion and despair are portrayed within a pathetic fallacy as nature, i.e. the mountains and ravines, seems to echo Pechorin's own pain upon reading Vera's farewell letter: "The sun had already hidden in a black cloud that rested on the ridge of the western mountains; it had become dark and damp in the gorge. The Podkumok River roared dully and monotonously as it made its way over stones." (p. 174) With great skill the author has used nature to express the hero's moods and attitudes; the freshness and serenity of the landscape typify Pechorin's verve before the duel, but after he has murdered Grushnitsky Mother Nature seems to . 47 be condemning him. Nevertheless, it is certain that Pechorin contains many of the qualities of the Child:of Nature in his make-up just as Byron's heroes do. The second preromantic type considered to be an evolutionary step toward the Byronic hero is the Hero of Sensibility. This hero usually had two expressions: the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling. Once again, certain features of these men were evident in the Byronic hero, though with further development. Pechorin is no exception: he too is at times both a Gloomy Egoist and a Man of Feeling. In Childe,Harold 's Pilgrimage "the general elegiac tone of the first two cantos of the poem, and the recurring themes of ubi sunt and sic transit are very much in the tradition of the Gloomy Egoist of the preceding century." Some good examples of Childe Harold as the Gloomy Egoist are these: Here didst thou dwell, here schemes of pleasure plan, Beneath yon mountain's ever beauteous brow: But now, as if a thing unblest by Man, Thy fairy dwelling is as lone as thou! Here giant weeds a passage scarce allow To halls deserted, portals gaping wide: Fresh lessons to the thinking bosom, how, Vain are the pleasaunces on earth supplied; Swept into wrecks anon by Time's ungentle tide! (I: xxiii) Look on its broken arch, its ruin'd wall, Its chambers desolate, and portals foul: Yes, this was once Ambition's airy hall, The dome of Thought, the palace of the Soul: Behold through each lack-lustre, eyeless hole, The gay recess of Wisdom and of Wit, And Passion's host, that never brook'd control: Can all saint, sage, or sophist ever writ, People this lonely tower, this tenement refit? (II: vi) Oh! ever loving, lovely and beloved! How selfish Sorrow ponders on the past, And clings to thoughts now better far removed! But Time shall tear thy shadow from me last. All thou couldst have of mine, stern Death! thou hast; The parent, friend, and now the more than friend; Ne'er yet for one thine arrows flew so fast, And grief with grief continuing still to blend, Hath snatch'd the little joy that life had yet to lend (II: xcvi) These same sentiments are echoed in the numerous verses on "ruins" in Byron's works. E.J. Simmons compares Pechorin with the heroes of Byron as Gloomy Egoists: 57 Like Childe Harold, Pechorin has tasted all pleasures to the point of satiety. He is bored with life, and nothing remains except travel. In appearance he resembles very closely Conrad in The Corsair. He is of average height but powerful frame, with an uncommon face which is particularly pleasing to women. He has the characteristic pale and noble forehead, and his eyes do not laugh when he laughs, — a sign, says Lermontov, of a wicked nature or of a profound and constant sadness. This last trait immediately recalls Lara: "That smile might reach his lips, but pass'd not by, None e'er could trace its laughter to his eye." What exactly was the Gloomy Egoist made up of? 50 Primarily, he meditated on death. The attributes of the Gloomy Egoist included melancholia, self-dramatization, egocentricity; there were often images such as cemeteries, graves, ruins and other Gothic delights. Pechorin reveals that he is a Gloomy Egoist, or rather a modification of it, by a few key passages in Princess Mary. There are no instances of stark Gothic imagery, but an atmosphere of gloom pervades the entire story; moreover, there are many musings on death and sadness. Pechorin's most developed meditation on death occurs immediately before his duel with Grushnitsky. However, it is important to note that Pechorin is not simply musing on death here. There is a certain Promethean desire for accomplishment and purpose, certainly a clear variation on the pure Gloomy Egoist type. Well, what of it? If I am to die, I'll die! The loss to the world will not be large and, anyway, I myself am sufficiently bored. I am like a man who yawns at a ball, and does not drive home to sleep, only because his carriage is not yet there. But now the carriage is ready . . 58 good-by! . . . I scan my whole past in memory and involun tarily wonder: why did I live, for what purpose was I born? . . . And yet that purpose must have existed, and my destination must have been a lofty one, for I feel, in my soul, boundless strength . . .. And perhaps tomorrow, I shall die! . . . . . . After this, is it worth the trouble to live? And yet one lives — out of curiosity. One keeps expecting something new . . . Absurd and vexatious! (pp. 158-159) Another occurrence of a fixation on death can be found on page 92 during Pechorin's discussions with Doctor Werner. Although it appears to be a preoccupation with death, it is really disgust with the boredom, futility and despair of life. The Gloomy Egoist is also characterized by a deep sadness and often uncontrollable melancholy. When he hears mention of Vera, through a direct description of her, a "dreadful sadness" constrains Pechorin's heart. Princess Mary herself makes a reference to Pechorin's gloomy countenance: "Who is that gentleman with that unpleasant oppressive gaze?" (p. 101) Pechorin tends to wallow in his melancholy, witnessed by the repetition of grust' (grief) and its compounds: ". . .In the evening, on the contrary, it irritates my nerves too much; my mood becomes either too melancholy, or too gay. Both are exhausting, when there is no positive cause to be sad or to be joyful, and, moreover, melancholy at a social gathering is absurd, while immoderate gaiety is improper. . . ." (pp. 119-120) During his long-winded speech to the doctor Pechorin demon strates both attitudes of the Gloomy Egoist: sadness and ego-centricity. The hero exhibits more than just a self-centred preoccupation with moroseness however, and this again sets him slightly apart from a true Gloomy Egoist. The expression here is more of a cynical disillusion and despair. "... Sad things seem to us funny, funny things seem to us melancholy, and generally we are, to tell the truth, rather indifferent to everything except our own selves. Thus, between us there can be no exchange of feelings and thoughts: we know everything about each other that we wish to know, and we do not wish to know anything more." (p. 93) Pechorin demonstrates his kinship with the Gloomy Egoist in the revelation of his childhood, where he contrasts the merry exploits of other children with his own profound sadness: "I felt deeply good and evil -- nobody caressed me, everybody offended me: I became rancorous. I was gloomy — other children were merry and talkative." (p. 127) The climactic example of Pechorin as a Gloomy Egoist in Princess Mary occurs after his futile attempt to pursue Vera after he has read her letter. The hero releases all of his pent-up emotion over the duel and his loss of Vera in his bitter act of weeping like a child. In order for the hero to be considered nothing but a Gloomy Egoist, there would have to be some sort of fade-out here to leave the reader the impression of Pechorin's profound grief. 60 However, we see that after his emotional outburst the hero's main feeling is no longer sadness, but disgust and bitterness over the love affair. He sardonically detaches himself from the human side and remarks that he is pleased to see that he is "capable of weeping." Taking a cold, calculating attitude to his condition, the hero declares that his distress was probably the result of lack of sleep, excitement over the duel and, an empty stomach. So Pechor in 's cynicism shows that though he possesses certain traits of the Gloomy Egoist, he is much more than a simple expression of this type. In conclusion, like many of the heroes of Byron, Pechorin had features which go back to the preromantic classification of the Gloomy Egoist, but in essence was a variation on the pure manifestation of it. It is true that with Byron these traits generally were overtly expressed. Byron fused them with the new features that were typical of his poetry, and the results produced variations on earlier "gloomy men,". From this, considering the indications of Lermontov's enthusiasm for Byron, i.e. indubitable traces of imitations of him in Lermontov's youthful lyrics and poems of the Caucasus, arises the belief in the "Byronism" of Pechorin, based on his super ficial resemblances to the heroes of Byron. Mean while, Pechorin, as a hero belonging to the literary classification of "gloomy men," exhibits not only the character traits of one category of "gloomy men," that is the Byronic, but also of those other types who arose in the second half of the eighteenth century [namely Saint-Preux of Rousseau and Goethe's Werther]. 51 61 The second aspect of the Hero of Sensibility, is found in the Man of Feeling. The Man of Feeling is characterized not by great intelligence, extraordinary deeds or self-centred sadness, but by a profound capacity for feeling — be it a gentle, tearful love, a pervasive nostalgia or, as already seen in the Gloomy Egoist, a deep melancholy. It is obvious that there is no fine line separating the two heroes, i.e. the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling, since they are essentially forms of the same type. As demonstrated above Pechorin does possess characteristics of the morose egocentric individual; he has the capacity for great sensitivity also. Nevertheless, in Lermontov's hero the latter is masked by his open cynicism and bored self-interest. Pechorin frequently expresses sentimental feelings, but he is not a sentimen talist. Through his guise of harsh skepticism, traces of his sensitivity often appear. Moreover, unlike most 52 eighteenth-century, examples of this hero type, Pechorin is not timid or effeminate, nor is he a member of the middle or lower classes. Like them, however, he is not exceedingly handsome and is often morose. The first instance of Pechorin's expression of deep feeling is his admission — to himself — that he was affected by Mary's countenance: " 'And did you not at all feel touched looking at her at the moment her soul shone in her face?' 'No.' I lied, but I wanted to infuriate him.'" (p. 89) An excellent example of a combination of the qualities of the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling is contained in the passage where Pechorin hears that Vera has arrived in Pyatigorsk. He admits his self-centred nostalgia very readily and summarizes it in the phrase "I am stupidly made, I forget nothing . . . nothing!" (p. 97) Moreover, he states flatly that there is no man over whom the past has such control, (p. 97) echoing the necessary preoccupation with the past and its memories. Paradoxically, Pechorin is quick to rebuff his meditations of the past by his statements that he is past the age when he feels things deeply, (p. 105) although his actions and declarations in other parts of the story contradict this. In this comment Pechorin brings to mind the hero of Cantos III and IV of Childe Harold's 53 Pilgrimage. Pechorin's agitation before the duel and his despair upon Vera1s departure demonstrate his great capacity for emotional outbursts, yet something is not quite right. It would seem that Pechorin has developed beyond the simple Man of Feeling into a Man of Unfeeling, setting him apart from the eighteenth-century archetype. Although Pechorin does have sensitive feelings, his cynicism, disillusion and disgust with life force him to hide them. When he is in the company of others, the hero's most out ward expression of emotion is apt to be a shrug of the 63 shoulders. Pechorin believes that his cynicism has destroyed the noble yearnings of the true Hero of Sensibil ity: "From their crucible, I emerged as hard and cold as iron, but lost forever the ardour of noble yearnings — the best blossom of life." (p. 159) Nevertheless, from underneath the mask of unfeeling Pechorin!s emotions can emerge. For example, after he has murdered the youthful Grushnitsky in cold blood, Lermontov's hero shrugs his shoulders and sarcastically utters "Finita la commedia," when he is in the presence of other people. This action is to make the others think that he is cold and unfeeling and has no remorse for the foul deed he has perpetrated. But as he makes his way down the mountain trail he glimpses Grushnitsky's corpse, blood-stained and mutilated, but cannot bear to look at it and involuntarily shuts his eyes. Because he is now alone, Pechorin can allow his true emotion of remorse to be shown. At the duel Pechorin's mental condition is characterized by an internal preparedness and keenness of perception. This gives him the oppor tunity at the climactic moments to be hard, resourceful and to see through his rival and achieve a victory. It would seem that Pechorin should have experienced great satisfaction from the fact that he discovered the conspiracy by his personal enemies, did not allow it to overwhelm him, and gained the upper hand. But upon seeing the bloody corpse of Grushnitsky, Pechorin exper ienced a powerful shock to his moral system and felt that something horrible and inhuman had happened. 54 64 The reader is also reminded of the hero's train of emotion after discovering the conspiracy behind the duel. At first he feels sorry for himself ("What do they all hate me for?"), but soon this emotion is replaced by bitterness and rancour. Thus although Pechorin is an unfeeling person on the outside, underneath this false exterior he is still a Man of Feeling where, for our purposes, it is important: he corresponds closely to Thorslev's definition of the Hero of Sensibility. His essential characteristics are that he is always passive, not acting but being acted upon (as was Harvey, the Man of Feeling); that he is given to prolonged, intense, and sometimes even morbid self-analysis, especially of his emotional states as was Parson Yorick, or the later Werther; that since he is always egocentrically self-concerned, the whole world becomes colored with his own particular ennui and world-weariness as is the case certainly with Edward Young's persona, and is pre-eminently the case with Werther; and finally, that most of these characteristics stem from his peculiar psychic malady of Weltschmerz: the tension in his personality that results from the conflict of two contradictory drives, one toward total commitment, toward loss of self in a vision of absolutes, the other toward a skeptical and even aggressive assertion of self in a world which remains external and even alien. 55 This description fits Pechorin very well except that in no way could he be considered a passive individual in Princess Mary. This prime consideration demonstrates that Lermontov's hero is a distinct modification of the Hero of Sensibility type. 65 In Byron's works there are a number of examples of the Man of Feeling. The best instance would probably be the figure of Selim from The Bride of Abydos: he contains more effeminate purity of feeling than most of Byron's heroes. However, almost all of Byron's leading men contain the necessary deep capacity for feeling to be considered within this category. For example, Manfred has a profound soul of sensibility beneath his Gothic mask.~^ Cain, too, can express sensitivity especially in his feel ings for his wife: My sister Adah. — All the stars of heaven The deep blue noon of night, lit by an orb Which looks a spirit, or a spirit's world — The hues of twilight — the Sun's gorgeous coming — His setting indescribable . . . The forest shade, the green hough, the bird's voice — The vesper bird's, which seems to sing of love, And mingles with the song of cherubim, As the day closes over Eden's walls: — All these are nothing, to my eyes and heart, Like Adah's face: I turn from earth and heaven To gaze on it. (Cain: A Mystery, Act II, scene ii, 11. 259-269) The third preromantic archetype that developed into a later Byronic hero was the Gothic Villain. Of course, in eighteenth-century literature he was exactly that -- a villain -- and in only very few cases could he be remotely considered to have any heroic features. Nevertheless, the Gothic Villain found his final expression in Byron as the Noble Outlaws of the Turkish Tales or as the romantic rebels of the metaphysical dramas. What happened in the intermediate step was that the former villain acquired a "soul of sensibility" to combine features from the other types. Thus he could commit crimes or could have committed them, have the reader's sympathy or identification and still be recognized as the hero. However, it was a long, involved process to develop and modify the starkly evil villains embodied in the works of Mrs. Radcliffe, Joanna Bailey, M.L. Lewis and William Sotheby into figures that could be considered as heroes. Moreover, the villains of these writers were mostly repentant, itself a development from the earlier forms. The prime characteristic of the Gothic Villain, his raison d'etre so to speak, was the commission of evil. In the first canto of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage the character is portrayed in the midst of a confession of sin and satiety, though the actual crimes are not named. This adds another feature.common to the heroes traced from the Gothic Villain: mysteriousness. Perpetration of evil deeds is very important for Harold's character development. The Noble Outlaw, a direct descendant from the Gothic Villain, was the "single most popular hero of the romantic 5 8 movement." Each one of Byron's Noble Outlaws possesses the "secret sin." Even though he had committed certain crimes, the Giaour's escapist adventures were popular during the romantic era. The hero of The Giaour is essentially a remorseful Gothic Villain. Conrad, the leading man of The Corsair, is a kind of melodramatic variation on a por trait of Childe Harold. He admits that he is the "author of many crimes" but Gonrad seems to be too sentimental and humane to be the perverse monster that Byron wishes the 59 reader to think he is. The case in Lara is quite similar. The question of evil in Parisina concerns incest and horror and reveals biographical analogies from Byron's own life. Manfred also contains possible references to this crime and is now studied more often for insights into the author's 60 life than for literary content. In Cain: A Mystery the two leading figures, Lucifer and the first murderer, conjure up new visions of the attractiveness of evil and embody 'Byron's final developments of the Gothic Villain: "They are true Romantic rebels, and free as they are from the taint of Gothic melodrama, they show this heroic tradition for what it was: a metaphysical rebellion in the cause of Romantic self-assertion."^ Thus, evil is an important aspect in the make-up of the personality of Byron's heroes. If evil plays an important role in the character of Pechorin, then it can be safely concluded that he is descended from the prototype of the Gothic Villain like the heroes of Byron. Pechorin does have a distinctly evil streak in his personality. The plot of Princess Mary concerns his destruction of two human beings: Mary and Grushnitsky. Pechorin has an overwhelming desire to 68 infuriate others and particularly Grushnitsky. On page 22 of this study there is a perfect example of Pechorin's delight in torturing the gentle Vera. There are inferences that Pechorin had a sordid past, though mystery enshrouds his many "crimes." The author openly refers to the allure of evil in Pechorin's character: I spent the rest of the evening at Vera's side and talked of old times to my heart's content. What does she love me for so much — I really don't know; particularly since she is the only woman who has completely understood me with all my petty weaknesses and wicked passions. Can evil possibly be so attractive? (p. 120) In his long discourse on love and suffering it is obvious that Pechorin has an egocentrically sadistic strain in his character; he enjoys tormenting others and views their pain and sorrow as a nutrient for his sustenance: "I feel in myself this insatiable avidity, which engulfs everything on its way. I look upon the sufferings and joys of others only in relation to myself as on the food sustaining the strength of my soul." (p. 123) Pechorin compares himself to a kind of executioner whose prime duty is to destroy the lives of others. "Is it possible," I thought, "that my only function on earth is to ruin other people's hopes? Ever since I have lived and acted, fate has always seemed to bring me in at the denouement of other people's dramas, as if none could either die or despair without me! I am the indispensable persona in the fifth act; involuntarily, I play the miserable part of the executioner or the traitor." (pp. 132-133) 69 E. Duchesne compares the penchant for evil in both Childe Harold and Pechorin and concludes that in this respect, they are quite comparable: On pourrait soutenir, croyons-nous, sans paradoxe, que Petchorine, en tant qu'il n'est pas une repro duction pure et simple du type byronien, en est le developpement, le prolongement naturel et logique. On se figure aisement Childe-Harold, devore par 1"ennui, renoncant a chercher dorenavant dans les voyages un remede a sa tristesse et se decidant a vivre dans le monde, comme par le passe. II continu-erait a s'analyser sans pitie, a nourrir, dans une meditation solitaire, le sentiment d'une superiority peut-etre imaginaire. II seduirait, pour charmer son ennui, d1innocentes victimes, il se bornerait peut-£tre, tant il est las de conqu^tes faciles, a troubler leur ame et a jouir du spectacle de leur confusion. Il s'aigrirait, deviendrait egoiste et mechant. 62 Thus Pechorin contains the basic element of the Gothic Villain, the desire to commit evil, and like many of Byron's leading figures he does so without remorse. There is one facet of the evil streak in Pechorin's nature which places him close to the original concept of the Gothic Villain, yet sets him apart from Byron's characters. While it is evident upon closely examining the motives and personalities of many Byronic heroes, that they do possess the "secret sin," they are not cruel 6 3 people. There is no case of one of Byron's heroes sadistically committing evil; it is generally something that he was forced to do. This is not the case with Pechorin; cruelty is an essential part of his personality, 70 not at all typical of Byron's heroes. Even with their exaggerated list of "crimes," Byronic heroes do not perpet ate their evil deeds with unnecessary cruelty. Lermontov's hero does. The cold-blooded wickedness that he displays while engaged in his charade to humiliate Mary is only matched by his brutal savagery in shooting down the youth ful Grushnitsky. Pechorin demonstrates by his actions and words in Princess Mary that cruelty is a fundamental element in his make-up. Some of the previously quoted sections on Pechorin's evil side contain inferences of cruelty. More over, when he entertains his friends with caustic anecdotes Pechorin enjoys saying wicked things about other people: "I never ceased talking; my stories were clever to the point of stupidity, my raillery directed at the freaks who passed by, was wicked to the point of frenzy." (p. 98) After he has stolen the princess from Grushnitsky, Lermon tov's hero shows a wicked delight in contemplating that he was the cause of the poseur's despair and disarray: "Grushnitsky's hair was all awry and he looked desperate: I think he is really distressed. His vanity, in particular is injured; but, oddly enough, there are people who are ludicrous even in their despair!" (pp. 136-137) Pechorin's sham humility as he declares his actions to be those of a "madman" and bids Mary adieu, is designed solely to cause her anguish; as he leaves he believes (and hopes) that he hears her crying. After the hero has put his arm around Mary's supple body as they are fording the Podkumok River, 71 she attempts to have him declare his love for her. His deliberate refusal throws her into despair, whereupon he savours the thought that Mary will not sleep because of the misery he has caused her. And the old princess inwardly rejoiced, as she looked at her daughter; yet her daughter was merely having a nervous fit. She will spend a sleepless night and will weep. This thought gives me boundless delight: there are moments when I understand the vampire .... And to think that I am reputed to be a jolly good fellow and try to earn that appellation! (pp. 144-145) The statement about the "vampire" refers to the horror story entitled The Vampyre: A Tale, which had been mistakenly considered to have been written by Byron. Today scholars believe that this tale was written by Byron's physician Doctor Polidori for the same occasion as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The point is that Pechorin can identify with such a macabre incarnation of evil as the vampire, which Lermontov believed was a creation of his professed master. There is a fascinating parallel between the vampire's murderous thirst for blood to sustain his life-force and Pechorin's confessed "insatiable avidity" as food for his soul. A. von Gronicka has shown that Pechorin shares certain features with Faust and Mephistopheles of Goethe. Not only does Lermontov's hero feel close personal ties with Doctor Werner, a Mephisto-like personage, but like 72 Faust he has a dual soul which contains two antithetical forces. Pechorin's unpleasant gaze and oppressive personality has a powerful effect on Mary. Like Gretchen, Mary feels instinctively the diabolical evil in Pechorin, the basic differ ence being that Pechorin possesses for poor Mary an irresistable, a Faustian attraction. For all that, his kinship to Mephisto is un deniable. There is in him Mephisto's cynicism, Mephisto's diabolical compulsion of casting an icy chill of sardonic laughter over genuine emotions, over the enthusiasms of friendship and of love. "I laugh at everything in this world, especially I laugh at feelings." He delights Mephisto-like in goading with contra diction, in wounding with biting irony and bruising sarcasm. "I am born," he confesses of himself, "with a passion for contradiction," "I lied, but I wanted to infuriate him (Grushnitski). Contradiction is with me an innate passion; my entire life has been an endless chair of sad and frustrating contradic tions to heart and reason. The presence of an enthusiast envelops me with icy coldness, and contact with a disillusioned dullard would, I think, make of me an enthusiastic visionary." Pechorin is indeed the "Geist des Widerspruchs."64 Although Byron's leading men developed beyond the morbid cruelty of the Gothic Villain, Lermontov diverged from this tradition and modified his hero to personify this trait. The modification consists of depicting Pechorin's cruelty as an essential feature of his tremen dously voracious will-power. Thus we could consider Pechorin in Princess Mary as an extension of the Byronic hero who forms a new category: the Man of Will. This will, inexorable in its power, actually dominates all of Pechorin's character and determines the other aspects of his personality. Above all, Lermontov's hero has an insatiable desire to subject everything and everyone to his will. This wish is manifest in his attitudes to three interconnected areas: power, cruelty and sex. These three traits of the hero's desire to dominate are inextricably woven into his personality. Many times in Princess Mary the hero expresses his obsession to conquer the emotions and wishes of other people. Pechorin gets an almost psychotic satisfaction out of plotting and conspiring to triumph over others. Pechorin revels in reducing people to ashes with a few pointed epigrams. One of the reasons that Lermontov's hero despises Grushnitsky is that the cadet does not know how to play cruelly on the weaknesses of people: "He is fairly witty; his epigrams are frequently amusing, but they are never to the point or venomous: he will never kill anyone with a single word; he does not know people and their vulnerable spots ..." (p. 84) When Grushnitsky takes his exaggerated pose and utters his pointless French axiom, Pechorin mocks him a. la Rochefoucauld with his own maxim which emphasizes his need to be cruel to women: "'Mon cher,' I answered trying to copy his manner, 'je meprise les femmes pour ne pas les aimer, car autrement la vie serait un melodrame trop ridicule.*" (p. 88) Lermontov's hero also alludes to the need to either be completely dominant over women or 74 be despised by them. . . . she will begin to torment you, and after that she will simply say that she cannot stand you. Unless you gain some ascendency over her, even her first kiss will not entitle you to a second: she will have her fill of flirting with you. . . . (pp. 101-102) The implication of the rapacious will is clear. Pechorin1s main purpose in life is to subject the desires and wills of other persons to his own. He especially obtains gratifi cation for his ego when he conquers his foes. I am very glad; I love my enemies, although hot in a Christian sense: they amuse me, they quicken my pulses. To be always on the lookout, to intercept every glance, to catch the meaning of every word, to guess intentions, to thwart plots, to pretend to be fooled, and suddenly, with one push, to upset the entire enormous structure of cunning and scheming — that is what I call life. (p. 136) Pechorin's goal is to triumph; he loves his enemies because they promise a struggle in which he will be victorious by foiling their plots against him. There is a real amount of egocentric paranoia here. Pechorin emphasizes the final conquest, not the struggle itself; he does not enjoy the challenge, only the victory. It is doubtful that he would accept a challenge unless he were certain that he would be the final victor. Submission to the hero's will forms the essential plot and sub-plots of the story. The main intrigue of Princess. Mary3 i.e. to humiliate the princess and destroy 75 Grushnitsky, epitomizes the hero's desire to conquer. Before he vanquishes both of them, he toys with Mary and Grushnitsky until he tires of the game of "cat-and-mouse." Conquest occurs frequently in Princess Mary both as a leitmotiv and a motivational force. It begins with the conversation between Pechorin and Doctor Werner. Pechorin's declaration about loving his enemies, where he stresses victory through subterfuge, is echoed by his comments to himself upon discovery of Grushnitsky's love for Mary. He must conceal his plot and make the cadet think he is his friend. Grushnitski hit the table with his fist and started to pace up and down the room. I inwardly roared with laughter, and even smiled once or twice, but fortunately he did not notice . . . I concealed my discovery. I do not wish to force a confession from him. I want him to choose me for a confidant himself — and it is then that I shall enjoy myself! . . . (p. 102) As his plan to ensnare the young princess develops, the wicked hero expresses delight at the way his intrigue is progressing: Mary's anger at his feigned indifference greatly pleases him. "Meanwhile, my indifference was annoying to the young princess, as I could conjecture by a single angry, blazing glance . . . Oh, I understand wonderfully that kind of conversation, mute but expressive, brief but forcible! ..." (p. 118) Later on, Pechorin's trap closes in on the innocent Mary as he pours out the 76 sentimental history of his unhappy childhood to gain her sympathy. He gloats over his success in this first step toward his ultimate victory: "She is displeased with herself; she accuses herself of having treated me coldly . . . Oh, this is the first, the main triumph!" (p. 129) Pechorin is so elated that he is hardly able to hide his real intentions from Mary, when she expresses the suspicion that he is using her. He knows the truth and reacts with a self-satisfied smugness. ". . . Your insolent action ... I must, I must forgive it you, because I allowed it . . . Answer, do speak, I want to hear your voice! ..." In the last words, there was such feminine impatience that I could not help smiling. Fortunately, it was beginning to get dark. . . I did not answer anything, (p. 144) Pechorin's enjoyment in the progress of his triumph is so intense that he barely maintains his guise and for an instant he loses his composure. Although Pechorin delights in using people as play things and triumphing over them, he cannot stand the thought that others are attempting to do the same to him. . . . And I felt a venomous rancour gradually filling my soul. "Take care, Mr. Grushnitski!" I kept saying, as I paced to and fro in my room, "I am not to be trifled with like this. You may have to pay dearly for the approval of your stupid cronies. I am not a plaything for you!" (p. 147) The story's climactic episode contains, many references to the concepts of triumph over the emotions of other human beings. The hero believes, or perhaps hopes, that Grushnitsky will crawl to him and beg for for giveness. However, this is not the case. "He colored; he was ashamed to kill an unarmed man. I was looking at him intently; for a moment it seemed to me that he would throw himself at my feet, begging for forgiveness, but who could own having such a villainous design?" (pp. 167-168) Pechorin is so sure that Grushnitsky will fire into the air that he permits himself to face certain death in front of the young man's pistol. When Pechorin realizes he has made a grave error and sees Grushnitsky aiming directly at his forehead, "ineffable fury" flares up in his breast. The poseur fires, but only grazes Pechorin. Lermontov's hero is understandably furious: Grushnitsky did indeed try to kill him. His rage is a mixture of injured vanity that he misjudged his adversary, and shock that he might have fallen victim to his own plot and been denied his conquest. . . . It was the irritation of injured vanity, and contempt, and wrath which arose at the thought that this man, now looking at me with such confidence and such calm insolence, had tried, two minutes before, without exposing himself to any danger, to kill me like a dog, for if I had been wounded in the leg a little more severely, I would have certain ly fallen off the cliff. (p. 169) Remarkably, the idea of death itself is not the fundamental motivating factor in Pechorin's feelings of intense anger. 78 Pechorin means that not only would he have suffered from his own trickery within Grushnitsky's scheme, but that more important for him, his conquest of the youthful poseur would have been incomplete: Grushnitsky1s fate would not have been subjected to his will. The fact that he was nearly killed is not of primary importance. As for the princess herself, the denouement of Pechorin's subjugation of her occurs with her three final, desperate words. The hero arrives to play the final act of his intrigue, since he has already revealed to Mary that he does not love her. He wishes to find out her reaction. This gives him another opportunity to enjoy his malicious destruction of another human being. Mary's words of hate are important. If she admitted that she still loved him and wanted him to marry her, then she would be acknowledging defeat. But in saying the words that Pechorin wants to hear, she admits that he has won. . . . You see, I am base in regard to you. Am I not right that even if you loved me, from this moment on you despise me? She turned to me pale as marble; only her eyes glittered marvelously. "I hate you," she said. I thanked her, bowed respectfully and left. (p. 180) Pechorin's triumph over both Grushnitsky and Mary temporarily slakes his thirst for power. Princess Mary illustrates a third aspect of Pechorin's will to power that sets him apart from the typical Byronic hero: his attitude toward sex. Although he was not allowed to portray overt sexual acts, the author included, nevertheless, certain implied references to sexual conduct in the story. These "sexual passages" show that the hero's desire to subjugate everything and everyone, extends into the realm of his sexual behaviour. In my view it would be quixotic to take a Freudian stand and insist that Pechorin's desire for power stems out of the gratification of his sexual needs. If Pechorin's wish for conquest were due only to his sexual proclivities, then there would probably be little desire for the humili-6 5 ation and destruction of males also. I prefer to see Pechorin's sexual identification as a reflection of his great will and thirst for power, not vice versa. In contemporary psychological terms Pechorin's sexual proclivities could be considered to be those of a sadist, latent if not overt. To prove this the terms must first be carefully defined. According to the Ency clopedia of Psychology sadism or sado-masochism (or algolagnia) is related to the principle of pleasure through pain. Sadism. A sexual anomaly in which sexual satis faction is achieved by inflicting pain. The intensity of the anomaly varies from those who are sexually aroused by pained facial expression to those who achieve organismic relief only from blood, pain, torture and even death. Loosely, the term sadism is used also for pleasure in cruelty without obvious sexual arousal or satisfaction. 66 80 We have already seen some examples of the desire of Lermontov's hero to dominate women by derision and cruelty. The actual infliction of physical pain on the woman is not necessary, since cruel humiliation can be sufficient to obtain sadistic pleasure. The sexual scene between Vera and Pechorin during their nocturnal rendezvous fades out before the reader can see the sexual activity. However, immediately before the "fade-out" the possibility of sadistic sexual activity is certainly implied in Vera's timid and submissive remarks to the domineering Pechorin. The latter states that he does not desire actual coitus 6 7 with Mary, often the case with sadists. The fulfillment of the desires can come with the infliction of either physical or mental pain. Pechorin constantly selects either weak women like Vera who will submit to him readily and be his slave of their own volition, or ones like Mary, whom he thinks he can master despite their external arrogance. The hero himself declares that he cannot be happy with a strong woman: I must admit that, indeed, I never cared for women with wills of their own; it is not their department. True, I remember now — once, only once did I love a strong-willed woman, whom I could never conquer. We parted enemies — but even so, perhaps, had our meeting occurred five years later, we would have parted differently, (p. 105) 81 These statements reveal that Pechorin could not maintain a relationship with a strong woman; because she would not allow him to master her, his ego was not satisfied and they parted as enemies. This slave-master relationship forms the unifying bond between Pechorin and the woman he loves. One thing has always struck me as strange: I never became the slave of the woman I loved; on the contrary, I have always gained unconquerable power over their will and heart, with no effort at all. Why is it so? Is it because I never treasured anything too much, while they incessantly feared to let me slip out of their hands? Or is it the magnetic influence of a strong organism? Or did I simply never succeed in encountering a woman with a stubborn will of her own? (p. 105) Thus Pechorin's will to power is not only the main force in his relationships with other people, it is also the primary motivating impulse in his sexual attitudes and behaviour. The wish to sofejugate women is the mainspring in his psychological drive for power; this places Pechorin in the classification of a Don Juan. In its pure form the "Don Juan" is the man who fulfills his sexual needs through an endless chain of conquests by clever seduction. Since it has already been pointed out that the victory is the primary desire of the hero in Princess Mary and that seduction is only secondary, then Pechorin cannot be con sidered a Don Juan figure in the strictest sense. Never theless, because he does exhibit many of the features of this type, one could say that Pechorin is a modification 82 of a Don Juan. Like most of these types, Pechorin's thrill is in the conquest: once a woman has fallen victim to his intrigues and implores him for a declaration of love, he no longer wants her. And then again . . . there is boundless delight in the possession of a young, barely unfolded soul! It is like a flower whose best fragrance emanates to meet the first ray of the sun. It should be.plucked that very minute and after in haling one's fill of it, one should throw it away on the road: perchance someone will pick it up! (p. 123) There is little doubt that gaining Mary's love has distinct sexual overtones, although the sexual activity itself is restricted to a few furtive caresses. I often wonder, why do I so stubbornly try to gain the love of a little maiden whom I do not wish to seduce, and whom I shall never marry? Why this feminine coquetry? Vera loves me more than Princess Mary will ever love anyone: if she had seemed to me to be an unconquerable belle, then perhaps I might have been fascinated by the diffi culty of the enterprise. (p. 122) The reader gains a fascinating insight into Pechorin's thoughts during his final conversation with the princess. At the moment when the tension is at its height, he says "This was becoming unbearable: another minute, and I would have fallen at her feet." (p. 179) This confession illus trates the paradoxical mixture of humility and arrogance in the hero's character. Only once before in the story was 83 this submission to be found: Pechorin's admission that he would fall on Grushnitsky's neck if the cadet refused to enter into the Captain's murderous scheme. It is vital that on neither of these occasions does the hero follow through with his impulse of humility; he maintains his haughty dominance throughout the story. Pechorin's power over Vera closely resembles the traditions of the Don Juan lover. The glimpses of the mutual relationship between Pechorin and Vera which are presented in the tale, expose its unfortunate sense. This is the remarkable portrait of the unlimited power of one person over another — a drama of absolute slavery in love and of the profoundly sweet sorrow of loving a person like Pechorin and being the object of his torturous love. 68 Pechorin expresses his delight in receiving an invitation to a sexual dalliance in his exclamation "At last I am getting my own way" (p. 150). This would seem to be a declaration of pleasure at the anticipation of the sexual act itself and, more important, at the female's final submission. Pechorin's power over women, i.e. that deep affection which he inspires in them, in spite of the fact that to most of them "he gave nothing but suffering," and that Pechorin strove to retain his own freedom, comes into the forefront in Pechorin1s attitudes to the women close to him . . . By revealing the secret of this power and by showing why Pechorin was loved by such women as Vera and Mary, Lermontov gives the opportunity to obtain a better and deeper understanding of this strange man. 69 84 In the sphere of sexual behaviour Pechorin's attitudes toward women exemplify the supreme desire for subjecting other people to his powerful will. The concept of will itself is important in clarify ing the basic personality of Lermontov's hero. The vise like power of Pechorin's will can be expressed by his con trol of the fate of certain human beings in general or by the sexual manhandling of women specifically. Moreover, this power contains a distinct element of cruelty in its final representation. Byron, on the other hand, developed his heroes beyond the essential rapaciousness of the Gothic Villain who defiled the feminine sex at every turn. Byron's heroes were never cruel to women. Mario Praz, however, maintains that the Byronic hero is a direct descendant of the Marquis de Sade and that algolagnia forms a fundamental 70 part of his love-life. This assertion seems to be based mainly on passing references to Byron's life and his alledged sadistic behaviour in the bedroom. The latter can be cast into serious doubt not only because of Lady Byron's motives but also because of the mountains of gossip involved in 71 Mrs. Stowe's questionable contentions. No comment need be made on the confusion of the personalities of Byron's characters with his own personality traits. More basis for the Byronic hero's so-called sadism is the penchant for necrophilia and vampirism which stems mainly from a passage referring to the curse of the vampire 85 in The Giaour (added, no doubt, to achieve authenticity through local colour) and the story of the vampire which for a long time was mistakenly assumed to have been composed by Byron. The critics also base their contentions that the Byronic hero is a sadist upon the persistent imagery of ruins, graves and cemeteries that serve as the backdrop for the heroes' nostalgic musings. Thorslev points out that this is nonsense and proves nothing; he maintains that, though the Byronic hero is descended from the Gothic Villains of the previous century and that algolagnia is present in his origins, it is absent from his fundamental 72 make-up. He is never cruel to women. The sensitivity of Byron's heroes toward their loved ones is easy to demonstrate. In Childe Harold's reminis cences over past loves there is a deep and tender nostalgia; Harold has none of Pechorin's cruelty toward the female sex. Nor was all love shut from him, though his days Of passion had consumed themselves to dust. It is in vain that we would coldly gaze On such as smile upon us; the heart must Leap kindly back to kindness, though disgust Hath wean'd it from all worldlings: thus he felt, For there was soft remembrance, and sweet trust In one fond breast, to which his own would melt, And in its tenderer hour on that his bosom dwelt. ********************************************** And there was one soft breast, as hath been said, Which unto his was bound by stronger ties Than the church links withal; and though unwed, 86 That love was pure, and far above disguise, Had stood the test of mortal enmities Still undivided, and cemented more By peril, dreaded most in female eyes; But this was firm, and from a foreign shore Well to that heart might his these absent greetings pour! (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, III, liii & lv) The hero's tenderness and courtesy toward women is very striking in the above passage; there is no trace of the Gothic Villain's propensity for cruelty and violence. Moreover, the love that Kaled has for Lara is inspired because of her lover's kind, tender and gentle qualities, not at all linked with the infamous Marquis: Why did she love him? Curious fool! — be still — Is human love the growth of human will? To her he might be gentleness; the stern Have deeper thoughts than your dull eyes discern, And when they love, your smilers guess not how Beats the strong heart, though less the lips avow. (Lara, II, 530-535) The key word in the lines above is "gentleness." Whatever his secret sins may have been, Lara is remembered by his loved one for his kindness and tenderness. He is not a sadistic lover in the tradition of the villains of Radclif and Lewis. The hero of The Bride of Abydos loves Zuleika with an almost fragile affection. Though Selim meets a violent death, his attitude to the heroine and his treat ment of her is always of the utmost courtesy and kindness. Even Manfred, one of the most defiant heroes of Byron who possesses an invincible will, displays an un-Gothic tenderness in his love affair. 87 Astarte! my beloved I speak to me: I have so much endured — so much endure — Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made To torture thus each other, though it were The deadliest sin to love as we have loved. (Manfred, Act II, Scene iv, 118-124) These words, although they are now studied more for their apparent admission of the incestuous love of Byron for Augusta, still illustrate the kind and delicate affection that even a powerful hero like Manfred can have for the woman that he loves. Manfred himself admits that though he is a man of strong will he has none of the perverse cruelty of the sadist: "Because my nature was averse from life; / And yet not cruel; for I would not make, / But find a desolation . . . " (Manfred, III, i, 125-127). I believe that the passages quoted above help to show that Thorslev is correct in refuting the Prazian notion that the Byronic hero is a cruel and sadistic lover. The Byronic hero is simply not a defiler of women. Pechorin, who is, thus differs from this tradition. The humiliation of Mary and the cruel treatment of Vera prove that Lermontov's hero can be a sadistic lover. This impression is confirmed by Pechorin's statements about his love of conquest and voracious appetite for enjoying the sweetness of a young woman in the same way as he breathes in the fragrance of a fresh flower: after he has had his fill, he tosses it away. 88 Pechorin's will-power is the central aspect of his character. All his behaviour is dependent upon the satis faction of this will: that desire to subject human emotions, wishes and fate to his own control. The Byronic hero has traditionally a strong will, but in Byron it can be on a more lofty plane: the desire to have power over the spiritual domain and not merely the earthly one. Manfred's insatiable desire for power is first exhibited when he expresses his wish to have the demons of hell as his slaves. Ye mock me — but the power which brought ye here Hath made you mine. Slaves, scoff not at my will! The mind, the spirit, the Promethean spark, The lightning of my being, is as bright, Pervading, and far darting as your own, And shall not yield to yours, though coop'd in clay! Answer, or I will teach you what I am. (Manfred, I, i, 152-158) Manfred's desire to dominate began even with his childhood. The following passage, closely paralleling Pechorin's moody confession of his youth in Princess Mary, demonstrates Manfred's strength of will even as a young person: Well, though it torture me, 'tis but the same; My pang shall find a voice. From my youth upwards My spirit walk'd not with the souls of men, Nor look'd upon the earth with human eyes; The thirst of their ambition was not mine, The aim of their existence was not mine; My joys, my griefs, my passions, and my powers, Made me a stranger; though I wore the form, I had no sympathy with breathing flesh, Nor midst the creatures of clay that girded me Was there but one who — but of her anon. (Manfred, II, ii, 49-59) 89 The passage also illustrates the typical Byronic feature of being an outcast; the "powers" imply that the hero possessed great strength of will that set him apart from his fellow men. The strength of Manfred's convictions is best demonstrated by his defiance and refusal to bend to the wishes of those he feels he should command: "I will not swear — Obey! and whom? the spirits / Whose presence I command, and be the slave / of those who served me — Never!" (Manfred, II, ii, 158-160) The hero's desire for power even extends to defying the spiritual worlds — both heaven and hell. I am prepared for all things, but deny The power which summons me. Who sent thee here? Spirit. Thou'It know anon -- Come! come! Manfred. I have commanded Things of an essence greater far than thine, And striven with thy masters. Get thee hence! . . . . . . I do defy ye, — though I feel my soul Is ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye; Nor will I hence, while I have earthly breath To breathe my scorn upon ye — earthly strength To wrestle, though with spirits; what ye take Shall be ta'en limb by limb. (Manfred, III, iv, 82-86, 99-104) At the end of the drama Manfred dies, still defiant, alone, the rebel whose flame of will is not even extinguished by death. He is a titanic sufferer and stands for the individ ual's rebellion against the onslaught of the universe's power. In the final act, however, Manfred goes one step further than the Prometheus of Shelley or Goethe in solitary rebellion. Byron's Manfred is in this respect in the same position as Byron's 90 Prometheus; in his torment he leads a "sad unallied existence." The Prometheus of Aeschylus had Fate and time on his side, and Shelley's Prometheus knew that the ultimate victory, through Demogorgon, would be his. But Byron's Manfred and his Prometheus stand utterly alone. If they are to conquer, it is only in the independence of their own minds, even in death: "Triumphant where it dares defy, / And making Death a Victory," or, as Manfred says to the Abbot: "Old Man! 'tis not so difficult to die!" 73 Thus Manfred is a Gothic Villain turned hero, whose only crime is to have loved the wrong woman, but whose inexorable will permits him to stand and rebel against the entire universe and all its power. In Cain the desire for power is again evident. The theology of the play has been widely discussed, but is beyond the scope of this study. The concept of metaphysical rebellion as a fulfillment of the wish for self-assertion demonstrates that Cain, another Byronic hero on a more lofty plane, (and indeed Lucifer also) has a thirst for power which expresses itself in the desire to subject every thing to his will. After he has questioned the submission of Adam to God, Cain scorns his father's acquiescence. My father could not keep his place in Eden. What had 1^ done in this? — I was unborn: I sought not to be born; nor love the state To which that birth has brought me. Why did he Yield to the serpent and the woman? or, Yielding, why suffer? What was there in this? The tree was planted, and why not for him? If not, why place him near it, where it grew, The fairest in the centre? They have.but One answer to all questions, "'Twas his will, And he is good." (Cain, I, i, 66-76) 91 The hero's defiance is aptly illustrated by his refusal to bow down before anything; he will not worship either God or Lucifer: Lucifer. Hast thou ne'er bow'd To him? Cain. Have I not said it? — need I say it? Could not thy mighty knowledge teach thee that? Lucifer. He who bows not to him has bow'd to me. Cain. But I will bend to neither. {Cain, I, i, 311-314) The other hero of Cain, Lucifer, is basically Cain's spir itual counterpart. He too is a romantic rebel who defies God and thus is placed in charge of the realm of evil. Lucifer's will to power is contained in his fierce opposition to God and his attempt to subject Cain, i.e. mankind, to his control. The latter two cantos of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage also demonstrate the hero's Byronic qualities of defiance and self-assertion. Harold sets the stage for other re calcitrant heroes like Cain, Lucifer and Manfred, but in a subtle way. He does not defy the spiritual domains of heaven and hell, but maintains his rebelliousness in the sphere of human affairs. In Cantos Three and Four Harold has a definite quality of humanistic self-reliance; this emphasizes that the latter Harold is also a man of strong will. Harold's insistence on his power of rationality demonstrates his independent strength of character: 92 Yet let us ponder boldly — 'tis a base Abandonment of reason to resign Our right of thought — our last and only place Of refuge; this, at least, shall still be mine: Though from our birth the faculty divine Is chain'd and tortured — cabin'd, cribb'd, confined, And bred in darkness, lest the truth would shine Too brightly on the unprepared mind, The beam pours in, for time and skill will couch the blind. (Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, IV, 127) Harold's spirit of self-assertion, limited as it is, never theless gives him the status as a harbinger of the later metaphysical heroes who are so strong in their convictions that they can even defy the universe. Thus we can state with assurance that the Byronic hero is traditionally a strong-willed character. As a further example, the Noble Outlaws are all powerful men who invariably exhibit their own strength of conviction in the pursuit of their goals and prove to be admirable foes in battle. Pechorin, who also strives for power over men's emotions and wishes, diverges from the Byronic mainstream only because his will is marked by a distinct streak of evil and he defiles women. In many Byronic heroes the thirst for power is generally a positive trait as they strive for their objective, for example, to win the heroine. It may be extended into the spiritual domain where such titans as Cain, Lucifer and Manfred contend for power over metaphysical concepts, not over merely mundane concerns such as everyday human emotions and desires. Pechorin's qualities of will are a modification of the Byronic hero's own strength of will. The development in Pechorin's character — the evil element which forms the central core of his will — sets him apart from the mainstream of most Byronic hero types. The thirst for power in Lermontov's hero results in a sadistic obsession for control over others. Pechorin's will-power, which reverts to containing the cruelty of the Gothic Villain (a feature that the typical Byronic hero had at his roots, but which he had transcended in his actions) does not follow the same path of most Byronic heroes. Instead of possessing the element of romantic self-assertion and rebellion against authority, Pechorin's will contains a thirst for power which can only be quenched by engulfing those who cross his path. Instead of a yearning for a positive objective, Pechorin's will expresses itself in the perverse destruction of other human beings. A further important aspect of Pechorin's character is the concept of fatalism. Throughout Princess Mary there are many references to the hero's belief in fate and destiny. These demonstrate that there is a distinct quality of 74 fatalism in the hero's personality. The first reference to predestination occurs after Pechorin has submitted his lengthy description of the young poseur Grushnitsky. He predicts that he and Grushnitsky will at some time, through some mysterious circumstances, oppose each other and one of 75 them will suffer: "I don't like him either: I feel that one day we shall meet on a narrow path, and one of us will 94 fare ill." (p. 85) It is remarkable that this prediction comes within the first five pages of the narrative. Moreover, all the entry of May 11 is cheerful and lighthearted with the exception of this short portent of doom; thus this passage strikes an even more ominous note. One could argue that Lermontov placed this passage in the story strictly for literary purposes, i.e. to increase interest in the outcome of the tale; nevertheless, it still provides a glimpse of the hero's belief in fate. During his discussion with Doctor Werner Pechorin mentions that he believes the occurrence of an intrigue is not simply a coincidence but was caused by the mysterious powers that control the universe. "I hope you left her under this pleasant delusion." "Naturally." "We have the beginning of a plot!" I cried in delight. "The denouement of this comedy will be our concern. Fate is obviously taking care of my not being bored." (p. 95) Not only does Pechorin think that plots and intrigues are predestined, he even believes that love affairs are marked out in advance. He ponders the presence in Pyatigorsk of his old flame Vera, wondering if fate brought her there: When he left, a dreadful sadness constrained my heart. Was it fate that was bringing us together again in the Caucasus, or had she come here on purpose, knowing she would meet me? And how would we meet? And, anyway, was it she? Presentiments never deceive me. (p. 97) 95 Pechorin's beliefs in "predictions" and "presentiments" (which "never deceive" him) are so strong that he feels he can predict whether or not Mary will fall in love with him — and that in the end he will emerge triumphant. The young princess triumphed; Grushnitski, like wise. Have your triumph, my friends, hurry — you won't triumph long! What is to be done? I have a presentiment . . . Whenever I become acquainted with a woman, I always guess without fail, whether she will fall in love with me or not. (p. 120) A far more striking example of Pechorin's fatalistic convictions is found during his sad musings on being a kind of deus ex machina in the lives of others. This concept is closely linked with the question of will which was pre viously discussed. Moreover, the importance of this section is illustrated by Pechorin's belief that fate compells him to subjugate the desires and emotions of others to his own will. So in a way it is an extension of will: the hero, who subjects others to his own wishes, is himself under the control of the universal will. Ever since I have lived and acted, fate has always seemed to bring me in at the denouement of other people's dramas, as if none could either die or despair without me! I am the indispensable persona in the fifth act; involuntarily, I play the miserable part of the executioner or the traitor. What could be fate's purpose in this? Might it not be that it had designated me to become the author of bourgeois tragedies and family novels, or the collaborator of some purveyor of stories for the "Library for Reading?" (p. 133) 96 M. Umanskaya suggests that Pechorin"s fatalism and submission to the universal control is due to his realization that there is virtually no personal free will: In its conventional, romantic metaphorical form Pechorin's own distinctive fatalism displays his understanding of the lack of freedom within himself, of the power of egotistical feelings and passions which, independent from his own will, fatally reduce Pechorin to become the instrument of execution and the destroyer of other people's hopes. Pechorin, endowed with his keen psychological perspective, is close to the understanding of that which until the end only the author of the novel understood: namely that the loss of "noble yearnings," — of "the best flower of life" and "the lure of empty and base passions" doomed him to "the miserable part of the executioner or traitor." 76 Later when Pechorin inadvertently discovers the intrigue of the unloaded pistol, he attributes the discovery to an intervention by fate: "In a tremor of eagerness, I awaited Grushnitski's reply. Cold fury possessed me at the thought that, had it not been for chance, I might have become the laughing stock of these fools." (p. 147) This particular episode demonstrates another occasion where coincidence plays a large role in the novel. Because chance and coincidence are prevalent within the novel's plot, it is clear that fate and destiny are vital concepts for the narrative's cohesiveness. Pechorin provides a fascinating insight into his fatalism when he presents his disgust for marriage. He states flatly that another man would be gratified to have the princess' hand. For Lermontov's hero, however, the 97 very word marriage has connotations of distrust and aversion. My heart turns to stone, and nothing can warm it again. I am ready to make any sacrifice except this one. I may set my life upon a card twenty times, and even my honour — but I will not sell my freedom. Why do I treasure it.so? What good is it to me? What do I prepare myself for? What do I expect from the future? . . . Indeed, nothing whatever. It is a kind of innate fear, an ineffable presentiment. Aren't there people who have an unaccountable fear of spiders, cockroaches, mice? Shall I confess? When I was still a child, an old woman told my fortune to my mother. She predicted of me "death from a wicked wife." It made a deep impression upon me then: in my soul was born an insuperable aversion to marriage. Yet something tells me that her prediction will come true, at least, I shall do my best to have it come true as late as possible. (pp. 148-149) Pechorin hates the idea of marriage because of his fatalistic belief in a superstitious.prediction made by an old fortune teller. The strength of his belief is emphasized by his words "her prediction will come true," which makes the reader wonder if Lermontov was inferring a possible marriage in 77 Persia that occurred shortly before Pechorin's death. Our irrepressible titan equates his fear of wedding bells with a phobia for spiders, cockroaches and mice; this effeminate dread is atypical of Byronic heroes, but is demonstrates how deeply the trait of fatalism pervades Pechorin's spirit. Later the hero returns to melodramatic musing over his existence as an instrument of fate. 98 And since then, how many times I have played the part of an axe in the hands of fate! As an executioner's tool, I would fall upon the head of doomed victims, often without malice, always with out regret. My love brought happiness to none, because I never gave up anything for the sake of those whom I loved. (p. 159) This passage refers once more to the manipulation of Pechor in' s own wishes by some external power; it confirms the assertion that fatalism is entrenched deeply in his character. This affirmation is finalized during the climactic episode of the duel with Grushnitsky. When the young poseur stumbles, Pechorin interprets it as a bad sign: Suddenly, small stones noisily rolled down to our feet. What was it? Grushnitski had stumbled. The branch which he had grasped broke and he would have slid down on his back, had not his seconds supported him. "Take care!" I cried to him. "Don't fall beforehand: it's a bad omen. Remember Julius Caesar!" (p. 166) Even though he has planned everything — Pechorin knows that the pistol is not loaded, so at the appropriate moment will 7 8 summon the seconds to rectify, the situation — Pechorin believes that the outcome of the duel depends on fate and nothing else. ". . .1 wished to give myself the full right to show him no quarter if fate spared me. Who has not concluded similar agreements with his conscience?" (p. 167) Pechorin"s fatalism may be striking, but with him it is not a spiritual concept. The hero acknowledges the power of fate and destiny, but only on the level of intervention 99 in human affairs. Unlike the metaphysical heroes of Byron, in Princess Mary Lermontov's hero does not express the desire to wrestle with such conceptions as the universal will, or God and Satan, on a spiritual plane. He is con cerned with fate's power over himself and other human beings on a pragmatic level. At this particular time the struggle which arises in Pechorin's soul is not a conflict of abstract principles in opposition —• "heaven" and "hell," "good" and "evil," high ideals and base actions. The positive and negative principles which are in con flict in Pechorin's soul are not abstract and metaphysical but rather dialectical opposites. Their conflict makes up the hero himslef. The very essence of Pechorin, both as a separate personality and as a typical person of the era, is contained in the constant combat of opposite principles, not in their equal presence or the victory of one over the other. 79 It is clear that fatalism and a belief in predestination are fundamental concepts in Pechorin's make-up. Even more confirmation of this will be introduced in the study of Fatalist (The Fatalist) in Chapter Five. To what extent is the typical Byronic hero a fatalist? If he too firmly believes in predestination and fate, then it will follow that Pechorin once again continues the tradition. It is possible to submit certain examples from Byron's work to demonstrate the fatalism of the Byronic hero. In Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and the passage 100 Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind, Though now it moved him as it moves the wise: Not that Philosophy on such a mind E'er deign'd to bend her chastely-awful eyes But Passion raves itself to rest, or flies; And Vice, that digs her own voluptuous tomb, Had buried long his hopes, no more to rise: Pleasure's pall'd victim! life-abhorring gloom Wrote on his faded brow curst Cain's unresting doom. (I, 83) the reference to "doom" could refer either to fate or 8 0 judgment. Thorslev clearly interprets it as the latter insisting that it concerns Harold's punishment of wandering Another occurrence of "fatalism" in Childe Harold's Pilgrimage illustrates a possible belief in the predestined will of the universe. Or, it may be, with demons, who impair The strength of better thoughts, and seek their prey In melancholy bosoms, such as were Of moody texture from their earliest day, And loved to dwell in darkness and dismay, Deeming themselves predestined to a doom Which is not of the pangs that pass away; Making the sun like blood, the earth a tomb, The tomb a hell, and hell itself a murkier gloom. (IV, 34) However, in neither of the extracts above does the meaning "doom" or "predestined" refer to the beliefs of the hero; they are statements made by the omniscient author about the general status of the universe. A fascinating quotation from The Giaour where the hero contemplates a prediction of doom made for him by a childhood friend (echoing Pechorin's obsession with the old fortune teller's gloomy 101 tale of nuptial doom) demonstrates another possibility that the Byronic hero may be a fatalist. . . . I had — Ah! have I now? — a friend! To him this pledge I charge thee send, Memorial of a youthful vow; I would remind him of my end: Though souls absorb'd like mine allow Brief thought to distant friendship's claim, Yet dear to him my blighted name. 'Tis strange — he prophesied my doom, And I have smiled — I then could smile — When Prudence would his voice assume, And warn — I reck'd not what — the while: But now remembrance whispers o'er Those accents scarcely mark'd before. (The Giaour, 1221-1233) Nevertheless, in The Corsair the hero contradicts this by expressing the belief that any appeal to fate is an exhibition of total weakness: . . . So let it be — it irks not me to die; But thus to urge them whence they cannot fly. My lot hath long had little of my care, But chafes my pride thus baffled in the snare: Is this my skill? my craft? to set at last Hope, power, and life upon a single cast? Oh, Fate! — accuse thy folly, not thy fate! She may redeem thee still, nor yet too late. (The Corsair, I, 333-340) Conrad quickly dismisses this appeal to fate as contrary to his own convictions of strength. .A weaker type of hero such as Selim can talk of "Fatal Nature" (The Bride of Abydos, II, 428) or of the fate which brought his loved one to him: The Haram's languid years of listless ease Are well resign'd for cares — for joys like these: Not blind to fate, I see, where'er I rove, 102 Unnumber'd perils — but one only love! Yet well my toils shall that fond breast repay, Though fortune frown, or falser friends betray. (II, 414-419) i Of all Byron's heroes Lara may be the one who epit omizes a fatal hero — probably because he is the closest to the Gothic Villain. Although Lara is a man of firm will and strong convictions, he almost blames fate for his mis fortune: But haughty still, and loth himself to blame, He call'd on Nature's self to share the shame, And charged all faults upon the fleshly form She gave to clog the soul, and feast the worm; Till he at last confounded good and ill, And half mistook for fate the acts of will: . . . (Lara, I, 331-336) Lara's past is portrayed through a series of images that evoke a fatalistic final outcome: Had Lara from that night, to him accurst, Prepared to meet, but not alone, the worst: Some reason urged, whate'er it was, to shun Inquiry into deeds at distance done; By mingling with his own the cause of all, E'en if he fail'd, he still delayed his fall. The sullen calm that long his bosom kept, The storm that once had spent itself and slept, Roused by events that seem'd foredoom'd to urge His gloomy fortunes to their utmost verge, Burst forth, and made him all he once had been, And is again; . . . (Lara, II, 236-247) When Lara is bleeding to death after the battle and Kaled is bending over him, Byron makes another deterministic reference to fate. However, Thorslev does not agree that the Byronic 103 hero is a fatalist. He states that if a supposedly strong protagonist appeals to the fates and the universal will, and uses a power outside of his own as a scapegoat for his 81 crimes, then his power and stature are greatly diminished. Apparently, fatalism is acceptable in a Gothic Villain, since this character is generally unsympathetic and does not possess a titanic status. Superheroes like Cain or Manfred, who attempt to subject the will of the universe to their own defiant wishes, would seem ludicrous indeed if they placed any credence in determinism: there would be a clear conflict of metaphysical ideas. How could a hero defy the supreme powers: if he acknowledged that the universe is under some central control that he cannot change? Generally speaking, references to fatalism in Byron are made in the third person, i.e. the narrator may make deterministic statements about the hero, but the hero seldom makes them about himself. Thorslev argues that this is not fatalism, but rather a form of scientific determinism: The characteristic Byronic Hero, then, is not a fatalist. He accepts the burden of his conscience willingly, even defiantly; with the possible excep tion of Lara, he does not attempt to evade his moral responsibility. He has borrowed characteris tics from the Gothic Villain, in his looks, his mysterious past, and his secret sins; and he has retained characteristics from the Man of feeling in his tender sensibilities and in his undying fidelity to the woman he loves — but he is far more than these: he is also a Romantic rebel. The sins for which he accepts responsibility are not those of his misdeeds which society considers most reprehensible. 82 104 Thus our original contention that Pechorin as a confirmed fatalist could fit in with the mainstream of the Byronic hero, if the latter were fatalistic, remains unfounded. Since it is well taken that Pechorin is a believer in fate while the Byronic hero is not, how, then, can we classify Lermontov's hero and resolve the problem? The conflict, though complex on the surface, is relatively^ simple when examined closely to catch the nuances of the subtler notions. Firstly, while the Byronic hero's strength of will and defiance, in the case of Lucifer, Cain and Manfred, is maintained through a rebellion against the authoritarian wills of heaven and hell, or heaven or hell, Pechorin is primarily a man of this world concerned with human conditions. He reiterates that he wishes to subject men and women to his will; in Princess Mary Pechorin never defies heaven or hell, but circumstances and characters that exist on earth. He seems to accept the role of executioner forced on him by "fate." He wonders about the reasons why, but does not rebel and refuse to act out his role. Instead, he plays the part out to its final act by humiliating Mary and destroying Grushnitsky. Thus, while Pechorin is a man of iron in human affairs, he is not a metaphysical rebel as are Byron's loftier heroes. The second point is that Pechorin is much closer 8 3 to the Gothic Villain than most of Byron's heroes. The roots are present, of course, with their secret sins and 105 crimes, but as we have seen Byron's personages are never wicked — not even Lucifer, who is depicted as a romantic rebel and not the epitome of evil. Pechorin is definitely cruel, so his characteristics as a Gothic Villain are on the surface. Lermontov's hero may be allowed the quality of fatalism, since it does not lower his status, as it would a loftier hero. Because his realization is not the same as the Byronic hero type — cruelty and fatalism are vital parts of his character make-up — Pechorin is a modified "Byronic hero." In summary, then, Lermontov used many of the fundamental features which characterized Byron's works, but in Princess Mary he developed them beyond their original form and purpose to create his own romantic genre, Byronic at its roots yet indelibly marked with a new interpretation of Romanticism. Lermontov took the stock love formula and changed it into a new "eternal triangle" where the hero only pretends to love the heroine in order to humiliate her. The character of the "pasha," who plays a central role in Byron's works, is virtually absent. Lermontov follows Byronic tradition to the letter in placing his story in an exotic "eastern" environment. His heroines, Vera and Mary, are romantic stereotypes who exist only to love the hero, just as Byron's heroines did. There are no exact counterparts in Byron for Doctor Werner and Grushnit sky; the former acts as a Mephistophelean confidant for the 106 hero and the latter plays the role of a pseudo-romantic poseur to be destroyed by the hero. Just like Byron's heros, Pechorin had his roots in the preromantic types of the Nature Child, Man of Feeling, Gloomy Egoist and Gothic Villain. Because his will contains a destructive negative element and he possesses the qualities of cruelty and fatalism, Pechorin's character is much closer to the Gothic Villain than most of Byron's heroes. Thus, though he began with a Byronic type of Romanticism in Princess Mary, in the final analysis Lermontov's modifications resulted in a new idea, a new creation, a new interpretation of the concept "Romanticism." 107 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER ONE The unfinished novel- Princess Ligovskaya is often considered to be a variant of Princess Mary. However, because of the great differences in plot, setting and character, I prefer to consider it a completely different work. Similarities between the two are rather insignificant for the purposes of this study. 2 Henceforth, quotations from Nabokov's A Hero of Our Time (which is the best translation available) will contain their page number at the end of the text. 3 V.N. Kluyeva, "O yazyke . . . Geroya nashego vremeni," 37. ^B. Tomashevsky, "Proza Lermontova . . . ," 50 6. See the introduction page xviii to Nabokov's translation of A Hero of Our Time. See also V.A. Yevzeri-khina "Knyazhna Meri M. Yu. Lermontova i svetskaya povest' 1830-kh godov" Uchonyye Zapiski (Leningrad, 1961, Vol. 219), p. 59. c Mersereau disagrees. See John Mersereau, Lermontov, 127. 7 Peter Gerlinghoff, . Frauengestalten . . ., 118. 8 V.G. Belinsky, Polnoye Sobraniye Sochineni^-, iv, 235. See also Andreas Guski, M. Ju. Lermontovs Konzeption . . , 198. 9 Mersereau, Op.Cit., p. 131 compares this passage with Gerfaut. 10Gerlinghoff, Op. Cit., 119-120. 11Havelock Ellis, The Psychology of Sex, 199. 12 N.A. Lisenkova in Tvorchestvo M. Yu. Lermontova (K.D. Vishnevsky, ed.), 195. 108 13 B.V. Neyman, "Zhenskiye obrazy . • . ,"40 14 Wilhelm Stekel, Sadism and Masochism, 40. 15 B.V. Neyman, Op. C^t., 66. 16 N.A. Lisenkova in Op. Cit., 212. 17Guski, Op. Cit., 214. 18 N.A. Lisenkova in Op. Cit., 209. 19 Gerlmghoff, Op. Cit., 123. 20 E. Duchesne, M.I. Lermontov . . . . , 175. 21 L.M. Myshkovskaya, "Geroy nashego vremeni," 32 "XOTH aceHCKHe $Hrypu pOMaHa H 3aHHMaroT BHaraTejibHoe MecTO, OflHaKO HH G^Ha H3 HHX He npeflc TaBJi.se T CO6OH cKOJi&KO-Hn6yflb 3aKOH^eHHoro o6pa3a, o KOTOPOM MOXHO 6HJIO 6H TOBOPHTB KaK o caMOCTOHTejiBHOM HBjieHHH; Kaacflan H3 HHX npH Been rpan.H03HOCTH o6jiHKa TOJibKO MHMOJieTHaH TeHb, npoMejibKHyBmaa B KH3HH Ileuop-HHa. SCeHCKHe $Hrypbi H3 KH.HaeHa Mppg He cocTaBJisioT HCKjuemeHHii. Bepa no OTjiejibHMM HaMeKaM, 3aKJiK)MeHHbiM B poMaHe, Morjia 6M 6biTb rjiyGoKHM H coflepacaTejibHbiM xeHCKHM o6pa30M (ee nocjieflHee nncbMO K Ile^opHHy) HO OHa, enje 6ojiee MeM .npyrne, 3aHHMaeT nofl^HHeHHoe nojipxeHHe B ojoaceTe." 22 For evidence that Grushnitsky was modelled on N.S. Martynov (the man who, ironically, killed Lermontov) see A.I. Vasil*chikov, "Neskol'ko slov o konchine . . . .," 209. See also S.N. Durylin, Geroy nashego vremeni M, Yu. Lermontova, (1940), 141. 23 Boris Eykhenbaum, Stat'i o Levmontove, 268-269. "^Richard Freeborn, The Rise of the Russian Novel, 67-68. 25 G. Fridlender, "Lermontov i russkaya povestvovatel naya proza, "48. "... 6e3JiH^HOCTb H SecxapaKTepHOCTb no-6yxfl,&K>T rpymHHHKoro flpannpoBaTbCtf B poMaHTHuecKHe Ofleacflbi C IjejIbK) "3aeMHHM" JIHIJOM npHKpblTb HeflOCTaTOK CO6CT-BeHHoro." 26See B.V. Neyman, "Portret v tvorchestve Lermontova," 85. 109 27 Boris Eykhenbaum, "Literaturnaya Pozitsiya Lermontova," 66. 28V.N. Kluyeva, Op. Cit., 39-40. 29 See John Mersereau, Op. Cit.3 pp. 114-115 for the important role that eavesdropping plays in the novel. 30V.G. Belinsky, Op. Cit., IV, 257. nCaMOJiK>6He yBepHJio ero B HeSuBajioft JIKSBH K KHHBCH8 H B JIIO6BH KHHSCHH K HeMy; caMOji»6He 3acTaBHjio ero BHfleTb B IleMopHHe CBoero conepHHKa H Bpara; caMOJiio6He pemnjio ero Ha 3arOBqp npoTHB ^tecTH rie^opHHa; caMOjiio6He He aonycTHJio ero noc-JiymaTbCH rojioca CBoeft coBec-Tn H yBJie^bca CBOHM floGpbiM HauajiOM, ^TOOH npH3HaTbCH B 3arOBope; caMOjno6He 3acTaBHjio ero Bbic-TpejiHTb B 6e3opyxHoro MejiOBeica: TO see caMoe caMOJiroSHe H cocpeflOTO-HHJIO BCK) CHjiy ero .nymn B Taicyro pemHTejibHyio MHHyTy H 3acTaB-HJIO npeflno^ecTb BepHyio CMepTb BepHOMy cnaceHH» ^epe3 npH3HaHne. 3TOT ^ejiOBeic — anoTeo3 Hejio^Horo caMOJUoSHH H cjiaSocTH xapaKTepa: OTCiofla Bee ero nocTynKH, — H He-CMOTPH Ha KaxymyiocH CHJiy ero nocneflHero nocTynica, OH Bbimeji npHMO H3 cjia6ocTH ero xapaKTepa." 31John Mersereau, Op. Cit., 124-125. 32 N. Bronshtein, "Doktor Mayyer," 492. 33 The good doctor is probably thinking of Vera here, since he has already seen Pechorin's reaction when informed of her arrival. 34 See L. Marchand, Byron's Poetry, 42-43. 35 Peter J. Thorslev, The Byromo Hero, 132 and ff. 3^'ibid. , 141. 31Ibid., 149. 3 8 There is indeed much comparison between Pechorin as a man of action and Onegin who is not. 39 See J.T. Shaw, "Byron and Lermontov," 335. 40 B. Tomashevsky, Op. Cvt., 512. 110 Ye. Sollertinsky, in Tvorohestvo M. Yu. Lermontova (Izdatel1stvo "Nauka," Moscow, 1964), 265. 42 M.N. Rozanov, "Bayronicheskiye motivy v tvorchestve Lermontova" in Venok Lermontovu, 358-359. "3TO, npe&fle Bcero, OTHOCHTCH K npo6jieMe npHpoflu H Kyjib-Typbi. OT Pycco BaftpoH BnojiHe ycBOHJi ce6e TOT KyjibT npHpoflbi, TOT HaTypaJIH3M B IQHpOKOM CMHCJie CJIOBa, KOTOpblft HBJiaeTCH OflHHM H3 rJiaBHHX OGHOBaHHH flOKTpHHbl pyCC0H3Ma. 3TOT KVJIbT Beji 3a COSOK) HanpHxeHHOCTb scTeTH^ecKoro BOCIIPHHTHH npHpoflbi, npHCTpacTHe KO BceMy ec-TecTBeHHOMy, npocTOMy, nepB06biTH0My, OT^yscfleHHOCTb OT "ooMaH^HBbix" 6jiar KyjibTypbi is T.JU 3TOT HaTypajiH3M B OS^HX ^epTax ycBoeH is JlepMOHTOBbiM is npoxoflHTb KpacHefi HHTbio uepe3 Bee ero TBopuecTBO. JIioSoBb K npHpofle, KaK MH ysce BHflejiH, npoaBHJiacb y Hero c caMbix paHHHx jieT, H Bee ero npoH3Be^eHH/i U.OJIHH scTeTH^ecKHx BOCToprOB nepefl ee KpacoTaMH. 3TO HanpnaceHHoe "^yBCTBO npHpoflbi", 3Ta ^yTKOCTb IS TOHKOCTb ee XyflOSCeCTBeHHOrO BOdipHHTHH CuejiajiH ero CUHHM H3 caMbix 3aMeuaTejibHbix xHBOiracn,eB npHpoflbi B MHpoBofl jiHTepaType. HJHPOKHM pa3MaxoM CBoeit xyfloxcecTBeHHoft KHCTH, SjiecKOM, apKOCTbio is Kpaco^HOCTbE o6pa30B OH conep-HH^aeT c BaftpoHOM, a cocpeflOTO^eHHOH oHeprneft, miacTH^HOCTbio is CKyjibnTypHOK) BbmyKjiocTbK) CBOHX onHcaHnft OH flaace npe-BoexoflHT ero." 43 G.G. Shevchenko, "O svoyeobrazn metoda . . . ," 92. See also V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op. Cit., 69-71. 44 Ye. Sollertinsky, Op. Cvt., 267. " . . . H nett3asc B 3TOM cjiy^ae ysce He BHCTynaeT KaK o6o3Ha^eHne MecTa fleftcT-BHH, KaK apeHa ^eHTejibHOCTH repon HJIH KaK cpoH STOH ^eHTejib-HOCTH. Ero $yHKn;HH 3flecb, rjiaBHbiM o6pa30M, ncKxojiorH^ecKaH, H Te HJIH HHbie onHcaHHH flaKTCH uepe3 npH3My omymeHHft, ^yBCTB H HacTpoeHHft aBTOpa "acypHajiOB". IIosTOMy OHH TO npnMO, TO KOCBeHHO cBH3aHHH c jinpH^ecKHMH pa3MbinuieHnaMH, nepexo,2J,.aT B HHX, KaK B onHcaHHH poc-Konmoro yTpa nepBoro RISK npe6biBaHHH Tle^opHHa B IlHTHropcKe •" 45 N.I. Nikitin, "Obraz Pechorina 61, 46 N.M. Rozanov, Op. Cit., 362, 79, 47 I. Annensky, "Ob esteticheskom otnoshenii Ill 48Thorslev, Op. Cit., 136. 4 9 E.J. Simmons, English Literature and Culture in Russia, 303. 50 Thorslev, Op. Cit., 46. 51 S.I. Rodzevich, Lermontov kak Romanist, 43. "y BaftpOHa, npaBfla, STH ^epTbi nojiy^iaioT ocoSeHHO npKoe BHpaaceHHe. Ba8poH cjiHBaeT HX C HOBHMH MepTaMH, THUH^HWMH HMeHHO flJltf erO H033HH, H erO 06pa3bl BblTeCHHBT H3 II033HH o6pa3bi npeacHnx "CKOP6HHKOB" . OTCiofla, npHHHMan BO BHHMaHne H yKa3aHHe caMoro JlepMOHTOBa Ha yBjie^eHHe BaftpoHOM, H caieflu HecoMHeHHoro ncupaxaHHa euy B K)HOinecKOH jiHpHKe H KaBKa3-CKHX nosMax, B03HHKaeT y6e3K,neHHOCTb H B "6aiipoHH3Me" Ile^op-HHa, ocHOBaHHaa Ha noBepxHOCTHOM cSjiHxeHHH ero c repoHMH BaitpoHa; Meac^y TeM, KaK jiHTepaTypHbift THH, ITe^opHH, npH-Hafljiexa K THny "cKopSHHKa", OTpaacaeT He TOJIBKO xapaic-TepHbie MepTH OAHOH KaTeropHH "CKOPSHHKOB" — "6afipoH-H^CKOH" — HO H t^epTH HHHX KaTeropHH, HaMe*iaiomHxc,H enje B 2-ft nojiOBHHe 18-ro Beica." 52 Thorslev, Op. Cit., 39. 53 See Harold as he appears in the beginning of Canto Three especially. ^^V. Glukhov, in Tvorohestvo M. Yu. Lermontova flzdatel'stvo "Nauka" Moscow, 1964), 306-307. "TaicaH ace BHyTeHHHH coSpaHHOCTfa, ocTpoTa BOcnpHHTHH xapaKTepH3yeT .jjyraeBHoe cocTOHHHe Ile^opHHa H Ha noe^KHKe. 3TO flaeT eMy B03MOXHOCTb 6bITb B CaMbie HanpHXeHHbie MHHyTH TBepflUM, HaXOfl^HBblM, BHfleTb CBOerO npOTHBHHKa HaCKBOSb H flOSHTbCH no6eflH. Ka3ajiocb 6M, IleMopHH flOJisceH 6bui HcnbiTaTb 6oJibinoe yflOBjieTBOpeHHe OT Toro, MTO OH pa3ra,n,aji 3aMbiceji CBOHX JIH^HHX BparOB He flaji eMy ocymecTBHTbca H o^epxaji Bepx. Ho yBH^eB OKpoBaBjieHHHft Tpyn rpymmmKoro, IleMopHH nepe-SCHJI CHjibHoe npaBCTBeHHoe noTpnceHHe, OH nouyBCTBOBaji, mo npoH3omjio He^TO yacacHoe, 6ecHejiOBe^HOe." 55Thorslev, Op. Cit., 141. The name of the character Harley has been misprinted Harvey here. 56Ibid., 168. 112 581. 57 Marchand, Op. Cit., 40. 58Thorslev, Op.Cit., 66-67. 59 Marchand, Op.Cit., 65. 60Thorslev, Op.Cit., 165. 61Ibid., 178. 62E. Duchesne, Op.Cit., 280. 63Thorslev, Op.Cit., 8. 64A. von Gronicka, "Lermontov1s debt to Goethe," ^Unless there were in his character make-up a certain amount of latent homosexuality, he would not desire the humiliation of men also. 6 6 Encyclopaedia of Psychology, 167. 141. 6 7 Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Psychopathia Sexualis, 6 8 N.A. Lisenkova, Op.Cit., 212. "HeBecejibift CMHCJI pa.CKpbiBa.KT is cpparMeHTbi B3aHMOOTHomeHHH Ile^opHHa c BepoM, KOTopbie npHBOflflTCH B noBecTH. 3TO noTpaeaiomaH KapTHHa 6e3rpaHH^HOH BJiacTH ^ejiOBeKa U.B.R t*ejiOBeKOM, flpaivra. a6-GOJi»THoro jiioSoBHoro paScTBa rjiySoKoro is cjia^Koro He-c^acTbH JIKSHTB uejiOBeKa, no^;o6Horo IleuopHHy is SbiTfe o6i>eKTOM ero My^HTejiBHOft JIIOSBH." 69 N.I. Nikitin, Op. Cit., 56. "BjiacTb IleMOpHHa Ha.ii; sceHmHHaMH, Ta rJiySoKaa npzBH3aHHOCTb, KOTopyio BHymaeT OH HM, HeCMOTpH Ha TO, ^TO SOJIbfflHHCTBy H3 HHX " HH^eTO He ^aji, Kpoivie CTpaflaHHH H CTpeMJieHHe caMOFO IleMopHHa BO MTO 6bl TO HH CTaJIO COXpaHHTb CBOK) CB060^y BOT UTO BbiCTynaeT Ha nepBbift njiaH B OTHomeHHHx Ile^opHHa c 6JIH3KHMH eMy xceHmHHaMH. . . . PacKptiBan ceKpeT STOH BJiacTH, no-Ka3biBan, 3a ^CTO JI»6HJIH IleMopHHa TaKHe sceHmHHH KaK Mspa H Bepa, JlepMOHTOB TeM caMHM flaeT B03M0XH0CTb, 6jiH»ce H rjiySne noHHTb 3Toro CTpaHHoro MejiOBeKa." Mario Praz, The Romantic Agony, 76. 71Harriet Beecher Stowe, Lady Byron Vindicated. 113 72 Thorslev, Op. Cit., 8. 73Ibid., 174. 74 V.F-.: Asmus ,"Krug idey,Lermontova, " 100. 75 We must remember that Princess Mary is written in diary form and that these fatalistic references are not in retrospect. 7 6 M. Umanskaya, "Roman sud'by iii roman voli...,"19. "B poMaHTK^ecKH ycjiOBHOii, MeTa$opH^ecKOH $opMe CBoeo6pa3HHH "(fcaTajiHSM" Ile^opHHa o6HapyscHBaeT noHHMaHHe HM BHyTpeHHen He-CBoSoflM, BJiacTH oroHCTHMecKHx- ^yBCTB H cTpacTeft, $aTajifaHO, He-3aBHCHMO OT ero BOJIH/ npeBpamaKiKHx Ile^opHHa ,B "opyflHe Ka3HH" H pa3pyniHTejiH nyxnx Hafleac/j;. IleuopHH, HaflejieHHuii OCTPOTOH ncHxojiorHMecKoro 3peHHH, 6JIH30K K IIOCTHKeHHK3 TOrO, ^TO RO KOHUS. HOHflJI TOJIbKO aBTOp pOMaHai. HMeHHO yTpaTa "6jiaropo,HHbix cTpeMJieHHH" - "jiymnero HBeTa SCH3HH" , "npHMaHKH CTpacTeft nycTHx H HeSjiaro^apHbix" - oSpeicaioT ero na "acajiKyro pojib najia^a HJIH npe#aTejifl". " 77 See Nabokov's translation of A Hero of Our Time, 209. For a further discussion of Pechorin and marriage, see V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op.Cit., 61. 7 8 A.K. Bocharova "Fatalizm . Pechorina" in Tvorehestvo M. Yu. Lermontova (K.D. Vishnevsky, ed.), 231. 79G. Fridlender, Op.Cit., 39. "B TO ace BpeMH 6opt6a, npoHcxoflflman B flyme Ile^opKHa, — 3TO He 6opb6a aScTpaKTHbix, B3aHMOHCKjnouaiomHx Ha^aji — "He6a" H "afla", "jjoSpa" H "3Jia", BbicoKoro Hfleajia H "HH3KOH" fleficTBHTejibHOCTH. 0TpHH.aTe jibHbie H nojiOKHTejibHHe Ha^ajia, KOTopbie 6opK)TCH B Jjyme IleHopHHa, — 3TO He aScTpaKTHbie, MeTa$H3H^ecKHe, a flnajieKTH^ecKHe npoTOBonojioacHOCTH. Hx 6opb6a — 3TO H ecTb caM repofi. HMeHHO B IIOCTOHHHOM eflHHoSopcTBe npoTHBonojioacHbix HaMaji, a He B HX paBHOBecHH HJIH noSejje o^Horo H3 HHX Hajj; flpyrHM 3aKjtK)^aeTca caMan cyTb IleuopHHa H KaK OTjjejibHoM JIHMHOCTH, H KaK TnnHMecKoro Jinna SIIOXH." 80Thorslev, Op. Cit., 162. ^Ibid., 162. ^^Ibid., 163. 8 3 Naturally those heroes of Byron who are closest to the Gothic Villain, e.g. Lara, possess more fatalism. CHAPTER TWO BELA The previous chapter demonstrated that the Byronism of Princess Mary was chiefly contained in the delineation of the hero. In Chapter Two I intend to examine the Byronic features of Beta, the first of the five parts of Hero of Our Time. The stories are very dissimilar in several ways, although they both have Pechorin as their hero and the Caucasus as the setting. However, difficulties arise because of the structure."*" As mentioned before, the events of Princess Mary, though written after those of Bela, and appearing after it in the scheme of the novel, take place before Bela. Moreover, in Princess Mary Pechorin himself is the narrator but in Bela he appears only in the third person (except for his lengthy confession) and thus in a different light. To further complicate matters the device of narrative within a narrative can confuse unless one is very careful in one's remarks about the characters, i.e. to be very certain about who is saying what about whom. The discussion of Byronic features in Bela will be carried on in much the same way as in Chapter One, keeping the above problems in mind. A vital difference between Princes s Mary . and Bela lies in the setting. In Princess Mary the plots and intrigues are presented within the milieuAsociety at the spa of Pyatigorsk. There are salons, balls and social gatherings where young poseurs like Grushnitsky can easily display their Byronic mantle. This is definitely not the case in Bela, however, where the action takes place in the wild "uncivilized" areas of the Caucasus among Moslem mountain tribes far away (at least in spirit if not in geography) from the Russianized environment of social resorts like Pyatigorsk. This latter point is very important because "wild" elements intrude into Princess Mary only as expressions of the Child of Nature or as indications of the geography — such as Mary's mistaken impression of Pechorin as a Cir cassian or the fake raid. In fact, if it were not for these Caucasus passages, Princess Mary could take place almost anywhere in the country. It is a story of the human relationships among Russians and it is on this point that the contrast with Bela lies, for the latter is a story of the relationships of the Russians not only with themselves but also with the conquered mountain inhabitants. The exotic setting, although perhaps less important in a lyrical way than in Princess Mary because of the sheer number of nature passages that Pechorin includes in the latter, is more important for the development of the plot and action of Bela itself. Thus, the Byronic aspects of the setting are very striking. Byron's exotic eastern 116 environments of such works as The Bride of Abydos, a Turkish tale, The Giaour} which also takes place in Turkey, The Corsair 3 an Arabian narrative and The Siege of Corinth^ which takes place in Greece, are closely paralleled by the wild Caucasian locales and figures in Bela. Just as the far-off settings of Byron's oriental works provided mystery and prodded the imaginations of the readers of English Romanticism, so the promise of adventure of savage mountain areas inhabited by the Kabards, Chechens and Ossetians gave excitement and fascination to the readers of Bela. Moreover, the Russians were at that time still in the process of conquering these peoples, so the lure of adventure was very much in the mind of the Russian reader. In Bela, just as in many of Byron's works, the setting is the story. The plot itself develops from this exotic environment. 2 V.A. Yevzerlkhma has shown that there was nothing unusual about a story involving the abduction of a native girl by a Russian officer, since at that time affairs between these girls and the soldiers seemed to be rather 3 common. This kind of intrigue had been a stock motif in various tales and poems in the Romantic vein during Byron's era. However, Lermontov has made some fascinating modifications of the commonplace Byronic love triangle. The type of pasha who serves as an obstacle in the way of the hero and heroine's love is almost absent here. In 117 Byron's works the type of pasha is generally a father-type figure who opposes the hero and provides a barrier that the hero must break through to gain the heroine. Bela's own father actually makes no personal appearance in the story. Of course, it is at his invitation that Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych go to the wedding and Pechorin first meets Bela. He is a prince, a rank that, according to 4 Durylin, did not really exist with the Chechen tribes. But the author kills off the old man immediately after the kidnapping of his daughter and thus he is even less of a pasha than was Vera's husband in Princess Mary and not comparable to the pasha figures of The Bride of Abydos, The Corsair, The Giaour and such. The Byronic formula is modified to the extent that Bela herself is the obstacle which the hero, Pechorin, must overcome. After he has abducted her, Pechorin must still gain her love. Whereas in many works of Byron, especially the Oriental Tales, the love of the heroine for the hero is an accomplished fact and may be taken for granted by the very nature of Byron's heroines, in Bela the hero must overcome the heroine's stubbornness. The entire intrigue of Kazbich's revenge is a sub-plot that actually develops from the setting as Lermontov shows the savage customs of the local inhabitants. In.fact, the real crux of the plot is not Pechorin's abduction and passionate wooing of the young native girl or her submission to him, but rather 118 the cooling of his ardour and the reasons behind it to demonstrate the subtleties of Pechorin1s personality. The storm motif, very important in the works of Byron, played an important role in the development of the description in Princess Mary. It is also significant in Bela: not only is the storm a recurring motif but it is also a device through which the narrator has Maksim Maksimych tell his story. At the beginning they meet travelling through the mountains and are delayed by a blizzard, which gives Maksim Maksimych an opportunity to recount the first part of his story. Then, to achieve suspense, the narrative is broken off before the climax by the clearing of the storm, and the travellers continue their journey. Finally, to give the old captain an.occasion to finish his story, a second blizzard stops them.^ The last scene shows the passing of this storm too, and the 6 narrator parts with Maksim Maksimych. Thus the storm serves as a literary device both to provide an opportunity 7 for narration and a build-up of suspense. As a lyrical motif the storm occurs twice in Bela-with much the same effect as in Princess Mary, however with a different narrator. Nevertheless, the first description is hardly lyrical and compared to the flowery storm passages of Princess Mary is virtually threadbare. There is hardly any detail and the absence of any lengthy description is 119 very notable: ". . .a fine rain began to fall. I barely had time to throw my felt cloak over my shoulders, when it began to snow heavily. I looked with reverence at the junior captain." (p. 7) However, the second example returns to a more poetic enumeration of vivid detail and reveals a much closer parallel to the lyrical Byronic motif. Meanwhile, the clouds had settled, it began to hail and to snow heavily; the wind, bursting into the gorges, roared, whistled like Nightingale, the Robber, and soon the stone cross disappeared in the mist, which was rolling in from the east, in billows each thicker and more compact than the one before . . . the blizzard hummed louder and louder, just like one of our own in the north, only its savage melody was more sorrowful, more plaintive, (p. 33) Thus, . . . there is justification for each of Byron's terms in Lermontov's description of the ascent of Gud-gora, which must have been supremely exciting for dwellers upon the endless Russian plains. He mentions the storm cloud that smoke around the peaks, and the sudden and devastating onset of the tempest, and the bitter winds that cut down through the gorges. Lermontov's characters approach from the south side of the range, as Byron did, under the guidance of Ossetian drivers. (Entwistle, p. 142) Is the heroine of the story a romantic stereotype? Nabokov certainly thinks so, calling her "an Oriental beauty 9 on the lid of a box of Turkish delight" (p. xviii) It is true that there is little lengthy description of her or barely any insight into the workings of her mind. The 120 author characterizes her mainly by her beauty. Even this is limited to her dark eyes which "resembled those of mountain gazelle" and her slim figure. The description is quite typical of a romantic heroine and very similar to that of the Turkish beauty Leila in Byron's Giaour. Her eye's dark charm 'twere vain to tell, But gaze on that of the Gazelle, It will assist thy fancy well; As large, as languishingly dark, But Soul beam'd forth in every spark That darted from beneath the lid, Bright as the jewel of Giamschid. (The Giaour, 473-479) Moreover, once again representative of the romantic concept of the native girl, Bela's abilities at dancing and singing are extensive; she far surpasses the sophisticated society ladies of Moscow or St. Petersburg. She used to sing songs for us, or dance the lezginka . . . And how she danced! I have seen our young ladies in provincial cities, and once, sir, I visited the Club of the Nobility, in Moscow, some twenty years ago — only none of them would stand a chance against her! It was a different thing altogether! (p. 35) Most important is that once again she exists only to love the hero, after he has overcome her stubbornness. Bela gives her love to the hero only upon his courting of her. Pechorin accomplishes this after he abducts Bela by resorting to blandishments and gifts. These, however, do not work at first. i 121 Besides, Pechorin would make her some present every day; during the first days, she would silently and proudly push away the gifts, which would then go to the innkeeper's wife and excite her eloquence. Ah, gifts! What won't a woman do for a bit of colored rag. . . . Let's not digress, however . . . . For a long time, Pechorin wasted his efforts on her; meanwhile, he was learning Tatar, and she was begin ning to understand Russian, (pp. 24-25) After these efforts do not prove to be successful, Pechorin gently chastises Bela for her stubbornness "Listen to me, my peri," he was saying. "You know very well that, sooner or later, you must be mine — why then do you keep tormenting me? You are not in love with some Chechen, are you? If you are, I'll let you go home immediately." She gave a hardly perceptible start and shook her head. "Or is it," he went on, "that I am completely hateful to you?" She sighed. "Or does your faith forbid you to fall in love with me?" She grew pale and remained silent. "Believe me, Allah is the same for all races, and if he allows me to love you, why should he forbid you to return my feelings?" She looked intently into his face, as if struck with this new idea: her eyes expressed distrust and the desire to make sure. (p. 25) then he becomes very angry when she starts to cry after he has tried unsuccessfully to kiss her. The young girl becomes more trusting as her captor continues to bribe her with more gifts. . Still she does not give in to Pechorin's attempts at buying her virginity. Pechorin finally makes Bela submit by offering her freedom and making her feel guilty and sorry for him. "Bela!" he said, "You know how I love you. I dared to carry you off, thinking that when you got to know me, you would love me; I have made a mistake; farewell! Remain in complete possession of every-122 thing I own; if you like, go back to your father --you are free. I am guilty before you, and must punish myself. Farewell, I am going — where? How should I know? perchance, I shall not be long running after a bullet or a sword blow: remember me then, and forgive me." He turned away and extended his hand in farewell. She did not take his hand, she was silent. (p. 27) Thus Bela is only slightly won over by gifts and bribery. It takes a manipulation of her feelings for him to make her give in. This is a true Byronic touch for it shows that Bela does love Pechorin and it is the threat of losing him that forces her to yield. Moreover, true to the passionate spirit of a Gulnare or Kaled the young woman confesses that she had loved Pechorin since the first time they met: "'Yes, she confessed to us that ever since the day she first saw Pechorin, he often appeared to her in dreams, and that no man had ever made such an impression of her before.'" (p. 27) Bela is understandably disappointed as Pechorin's ardour begins to cool. Even though she is devoted to him she is not deluded by her love and quickly realizes he is gradually slipping away. "And where is Pechorin?" I asked. "Out hunting." "Did he go out today?" She was silent, as though she found it difficult to articulate. "No, he's been away since yesterday," she said at last, with a heavy sigh. "I hope nothing happened to him?" "Yesterday, I thought and thought all day," she answered through her tears, "I imagined various accidents: it would now seem to me that he had been wounded by a wild boar, and now, that a Chechen had carried him off to the mountains. And today I'm beginning to think that he does not love me." (p. 36) Bela is a proud woman and emphatically affirms her status as a princess and not Pechorin's slave. In this way she is a great contrast to Vera, who readily admits to being Pechor in's slave. "She started to cry, then proudly lifted her head, wiped her tears and went on: 'If he does not love me, who prevents him from sending me home? I don't force him. But if things go on like this, I'll go away myself: I'm not his slave, I am the daughter of a prince!'" (pp. 36-37) This latter statement provides ample information about the sincerity of Bela's feelings toward Pechorin. She is deeply devoted to him and only considers leaving because she has a certain degree of self-esteem. (Contrast this with Vera who sacrifices all her pride and self-respect for the one she loves.) Nevertheless, Bela is proud and does consider escaping. However, like all Byronic heroines her love for the hero proves very strong and she sacrifices her own injured pride for her devotion to Pechorin. Like the typical romantic heroine, Bela loves the hero to distraction, so much so in her case that she gaily dismisses her logical contention that Pechorin does not love her, although this merriment does not last. "'You're right, you're right!' she answered. 'I'll be gay.' And with a peal of laughter, she seized her tambourine, and began to sing, dance, and skip around me; but this too, did not last; she fell on the bed again and covered her face with her hands." (p. 37) Unlike Vera, Bela does not reproach Pechorin for his lengthy absence. Her gentle affection is so strongly dependent on him that like a wild mountain flower, she wilts noticeably if Pechorin does not caress her. At the final outcome though, Bela does come to the realization that Pechorin does not love her and she gently reproaches him in her delirium. A remarkable detail here is her refusal to become a Christian to "join Pechorin in heaven." Although she is in love with Pechorin, Bela demonstrates a certain resoluteness of character in her desire to main tain her religion, which for her means that she will lose her loved one in the afterlife. "She began to grieve that she was not a Christian, and that in the next world her soul would not meet Pechorin's soul, and that some other woman would be his sweetheart in heaven. The thought occurred to me to have her baptized before her death; this I suggested to her. She looked at me hesitantly, and for a long time could not say a word; at last she replied that she would die in the same faith in which she was born." (p. 4 6) There is strength in this loving young woman so devoted to Pechorin, yet steadfastly maintaining the convictions that V, u i • -10 she believes in. After all though, Bela closely resembles the stock Byronic heroine in her undying faithfulness toward the hero."^ Her pathetic infatuation with Pechorin forestalls her pride and makes her overlook his tiring of her. Pride is dominated by humility and submission as the young woman accepts her fate with hardly a whimper. Though Bela is a 125 distinctly primitive girl from a "savage" tribe, there is little concrete detail to back up Pechorin's dismissal of her as ignorant savage. Bela does fit well into the mainstream of the heroines of Byron in her sole purpose of loving the hero. Maksim Maksimych is the central character of the twelve-page story that bears his name but he is also an essential contrasting figure in Bela. In the latter story the old captain appears in two different lights: he is seen through the eyes of the narrator and also makes an appearance in the first person as the narrator of the bulk of the events in Bela. Lermontov's portrayal of Maksim Maksimych has been warmly praised by many Russian critics as a representative of the best elements of the "grassroots" of Mother Russia. The presence of Maksim Maksimych and his stern kindness and adds a further creative dimension to Lermontov's work, for Byron had no Maksim Maksimych in his works. 12 Maksim Maksimych is first seen in the third person as the narrator meets him travelling up the mountain and presents a concise description of his external appear-13 ance. The overall impression that this detail gives the reader is one of the old man's robust stature and his great experience in the Caucasus. 126 Behind it walked its owner puffing at a small Kabardan pipe mounted with silver. He wore an officer's surtout, without epaulets, and a Circassian shaggy cap. He seemed about fifty years old; his tanned complexion indicated that his face had long been acquainted with the Trans-Caucasian sun, and his prematurely grayed mustache did not harmonize with his firm gait and his vigorous appearance. I walked over to him and made a bow. He silently acknowledged my bow and exhaled a huge puff of tobacco smoke. (p. 4) Maksim Maksimych's incisive knowledge of the region's prim itive tribes is very apparent as he berates them for their slyness and their cheating ways. "It's this way sir: these Asiatics are terrible rascals! You think they are trying to help with that shouting? But the devil knows what it is they are shouting. The oxen — they understand; you may hitch a score of them but as soon as those drivers start to shout in their own way, the oxen will not budge . . . Dreadful rogues! But what can you do to them? They love to squeeze money out of travellers . . . They have been spoiled, the robbers! You'll see, they'll get you to tip them, too. I know them well, they can't take me in!" (pp(. 4-5) Maksim Maksimych also has a solid linguistic experience in the Caucasus for he constantly interprets for Pechorin and states himself that he knows their language "very well" . (p. 13) His penetrating knowledge of the ways and customs of the people is brought out again later on as he correctly predicts that bribery will not work too well on Bela to make her stop resisting Pechorin completely. In addition to the captain's robustness and experience, he is very courag eous in battle. The author points out that Maksim Maksimych 127 has twice been promoted for his brave exploits against the native tribes. He admires the Chechens and Kabardans for their fierce recklessness but looks with contempt on the peaceful Ossetians who do not bear arms. Mersereau states that "Both his own narrative and his conversations with the travelling author are full of forceful, mordant phrases, which are typical for a soldier who has spent 14 his whole adult life in a completely masculine environment." The old captain obviously admires a fighting spirit. He acknowledges with real admiration the wild courage of the local fighting inhabitants. "Well, my good sir, we did get tired of those cut-throats. Nowadays, thank goodness, things have quieted down, but the way it used to be — you just walked a hundred paces beyond the rampart, and there was bound to be some shaggy devil sitting and watching you: one second off guard, and it would happen: either a lariat would be around your neck or there would be a bullet in the back of your head. But what brave fellows! . . . " (p. 8) Although he is experienced in the ways of the wild Caucasian areas, Maksim Maksimych knows virtually nothing about the outside world, as witnessed by his ignorant, yet not unexpected, remarks about the English. One of the most striking facets of Maksim Maksimych's character — especially for a Russian soldier — is his. attitude toward drinking. The simple practicality of his belief that vodka does not mix with danger or loneliness aptly demonstrates his straightforward unhedonistic acceptance of the state of things. His astute practicality 128 and simplicity make Maksim Maksimych a most un-Byronic figure. Furthermore, Maksim Maksimych's friendliness and capacity for both kindness and generosity is virtually unbounded and first evidenced by the warm reception that he gives to Pechorin when the latter arrives at the out post after his duel with Grushnitsky. Indeed, his big heart is his most endearing feature. He feels a deep affection for Pechorin and finds it difficult to be stern and ceremonious with Pechorin even when reproaching the foolhardy young man for making off with Bela. Maksim Maksimych comes to love Bela "like a daughter" and is very sorry for her when she is sad. His own admission that he does not know how to comfort her belies his lack of experience with women in great contrast with his extensive experience in the practical affairs of the Caucasus: "'What was I to do with her? After all, do you know, I've never had occasion to deal with women. I thought and thought how I could comfort her, and could not think of anything; for some time we both remained silent . . . A most unpleasant predicament, sir!"' (p. 37) Maksim Maksimych is a simple individual who uses honest, straight-forward logic; he admits that he does not understand Pechorin and calls him "a bit odd." Pechorin is too complex an individual for Maksim Maksimych to comprehend, though he likes the young man all the same. When Pechorin uses frank, open logic, Maksim Maksimych 129 cannot quarrel with his argument. "'Look here, Grigoriy Aleksandrovich, you must admit that it was not a nice thing to do.' 'What wasn't?' 'Why, your carrying off Bela . . .Ah, that black-guard Azamat! . . . Come on, own up,' I said to him. 'Suppose I like her?' Well, what could one say to that? ... I was non plussed. However, after a silence, I told him that if the father demanded her back, it would be necessary to return her. 'Not at all necessary.' 'But if he finds out she is here?' 'How will he find out?' I was again nonplussed. 'Look here, Maksim Maksimych,' said Pechorin, raising himself, 'you're a kind man, aren't you? Now if we give his daughter back to that savage, he'll either slit her throat or sell her. What's done is done, let's not go out of our way to make things worse that they are; let me keep Bela, and you keep my sword. . . .'" (pp. 23-24) The old captain's simplicity is again pointed out during the discussion with the narrator about the young men of society. The narrator sums up the old man's limited comprehension of society with the two pithy phrases: "The junior captain did not understand these subtle distinctions. He shook his head and smiled slyly." (p. 41) Moreover, the cooling of Pechorin's feelings for Bela is completely beyond the realm of Maksim Maksimych's comprehension and all he can feel is anger toward the young man. Maksim Maksimych's simplicity extends into his relationships with the opposite sex. One wonders why it is so painfully obvious that he has never seized the opportunity to acquire any wisdom in the ways of women, 130 since he is so wise in other practical matters. Although he must have met many native women and indubitably has an eye for beauty, the old captain confesses, as we have seen before, that he does not know what to do when Bela is distraught. This confession of a lack of experience with women is augmented by his comment that he regrets never having been loved by a woman in the way that Bela loved Pechorin. So the element of loneliness must also be added to his character, a possible reason for his outgoing capacity for friendliness towards strangers and shyness with the female sex. There is, in fact, a two-way contrast which emphasizes the real differences between Maksim Maksimych and Pechorin. Maksim Maksimych is the practical seasoned old mountain man, yet he has no experience with women. Pechorin, on the other hand, is an innocent in the wild mountain regions, but even at his young age has considerable sophistication with women. This former contrast is brought out well at the final outcome of the story. Pechorin's impetuousness in his actions as he and Maksim Maksimych are chasing Kazbich and Bela, who has once again been abducted, is contrasted with the captain's wise practicality. "I looked and saw Pechorin take aim at full gallop. 'Don't fire!1 I cried to him. 'Save your shot, we'll catch up with him anyway.' But those youngsters, they always lose their heads at the wrong time. The shot rang out and the 131 bullet broke the hind leg of Kazbich's horse: carried on by impetus, it took another ten. bounds or so, then stumbled and fell to its knees. Kazbich jumped off, and then we saw that he was holding in his arms a woman wrapped up in a yashmak. It was Bela, poor Bela! He shouted something at us in his own tongue, and raised his dagger over her. No time could be lost; I fired in my turn, at random. ..." (p. 43) If Maksim Maksimych's practical wisdom had triumphed over Pechorin's impetuosity, then Bela would probably have remained alive. Ironically it is Pechorin's own lack of practicality that costs Bela her life. Another striking impression that Maksim Maksimych gives is his simple humility. He is deeply disturbed by Bela's death and briefly reproaches her for not thinking of him before her death. However, he quickly dismisses this reproach. "And another thing, I admit, saddened me: before her death she did not remember me once, and yet, it seems, I had loved her like a father. Well, God will forgive her! . . . And in truth who am I to be remembered by anybody before death?" (p. 47) As a final touch to confirm this impression, the author points out that it was Maksim Maksimych and not Pechorin who makes arrangements for Bela's burial and considers placing a cross on her grave. Two subtle but revealing passages in Beta show that Maksim Maksimych has a quality of fatalism about him. The first example occurs during the initial description of Pechorin when the captain states "'You know, there really exist certain people to whom it is assigned, at 132 their birth, to have all sorts of extraordinary things happen to them'" (p. 11). There is also a good deal of presentiment in Maksim Maksimych's intuitive statement that he knew Kazbich was "up to no good" when he and Bela espy him during their afternoon promenade. It must be added, however, that both these examples could come uncon sciously from hindsight, since Maksim Maksimych is relating the story himself. Nevertheless, there is a distinct possibility that the old captain has a fatalistic streak himself. So, in summary, Maksim Maksimych is a shrewd, practical man experienced in the ways of the Caucasus. He may be narrow-minded and slightly fatalistic, but these qualities are overshadowed by his great kindness, abundance of human feeling and humble simplicity. These latter traits especially have made Maksim Maksimych one of the most remarkable figures of A Hero of Our Time. It would be difficult not to agree with W.J. Entwistle who states that "Byron has no Maksim Maksimych, and his portraits are the less permanent for lack of him, but the rest of Lermontov's people have their place in 15 Byron's world." This is a point where in Bela Lermontov diverges far from the Byronic ideals with the result that his story is more vibrant and alive. Maksim Maksimych's humble simplicity and practical ordinariness are the qualities that lead him far from the stream of 133 Byronic heroes, heroines and villains. Because of all their power, vigour and defiance Byron's characters are mainly romantic figures, far beyond the realms of ordinary men. Byron's heroes can be titanic metaphysical neo-Prometheans like Cain, Lucifer or Manfred, or noble swash buckling outlaws like Conrad, Lara or Selim, or disillusioned cynical wanderers like Harold, but they are never just ordinary men. In fact, one of the chief qualities of Byron's heroes is that they are not of the common mould. Byron's women too, are stereotypes of uncommon beauty and grace, and the Byronic villains are type-cast as one-sided figures of great evil. Nowhere in Byron is there a simple, ordinary human being like Maksim Maksimych. Byron's world consists of extraordinary people performing extraordinary deeds extraordinarily, so a simple, practical man like the old captain has no place there. It may be that romantic writers like Wordsworth or Scott might include a figure like Maksim Maksimych because they have less of a pre occupation with idealistic greatness and egocentric self-assertion that is characteristic of Byron, but this is not the point. Because of his very nature, Maksim Maksimych is a most un-Byronic character and his existence marks an important difference from Byron that lends more power and credibility to Lermontov's story. In this way the author has provided a contrast for his hero and because of Maksim Maksimych's presence, the work is richer and more valuable. 134 Azamat and Kazbich, the two male Caucasian figures, 16 are typical characters of romance and adventure stories. They are the young savages who exemplify the tribal code upon which the plot hinges. Azamat is the boy aching to prove he is a man; in his case it is by becoming a fierce bandit. His impetuosity is striking: "The fifteen year old Azamat is endowed with a savage obstinacy peculiar to his age; in no way does he attempt to hold back this 17 fervour in his actions." To become a bandit and thus prove his manhood, Azamat exchanges his sister Bela for Karagyoz, the swift steed that he idolizes. Lermontov characterizes the boy's wild impetuosity in his very first description of him. "And what a daredevil he was, game for anything —-picking up a cap at full gallop or shooting a rifle. There was one thing bad about him: he had an awful weakness for money. Once, in jest, Pechorin promised him a gold piece if he would steal the best goat from his father's herd. And what do you think? The very next night, there he came, dragging the goat by the horns. And sometimes, we would start teasing him, and then his eyes would get all bloodshot, and his hand would at once fly to his dagger. 'Hey, Azamat, you won't keep your head long on your shoulders,' I would say to him, 'yaman [bad] it will be with your head!'" (p. 11) Azamat's obsession with the horse Karagyoz is an important development in the plot for he sees the elegant steed as his way of proving that he is grown-up. So, he is willing to do anything for him. The author provides a good look at the root of this obsession. 135 "'The first time I saw your horse,' Azamat went on, 'when he pranced under you, and jumped, dilating his nostrils, and flint sparks sprayed from under his hooves, something strange happened inside my soul, and since then everything became dull to me: I looked at my father's best coursers with contempt, I was ashamed to be seen on them, and heartache possessed me; and, with aching heart, I would spend whole days sitting on the top of a cliff, and every moment there would appear to me, in thought, that black steed to yours, with his graceful gait, and his smooth spine as straight as an arrow; his lively eyes looked into my eyes, as though he wanted to utter words. I'll die, Kazbich, if you don't sell him to me!' said Azamat in a trembling voice." (p. 17) The young boy does barter his sister for the horse and ends up as a bandit roaming the Russian side of the Terek River. In Azamat the author gives a portrait of the typical concept of the fierce savagery and fiery obsessions of a youthful member of a primitive tribe. He is a Byronic figure in the sense that he includes the features necessary for a wild villainous lad in the tradition of minor personalities of romantic adventure stories. Kazbich, Pechorin's rival and the instrument of Bela's death, might be considered as a type of pasha portrayed as a malicious Caucasian savage. Like Pechorin he is infatuated with Bela, but unlike Pechorin, Kazbich is more in love with his horse. Kazbich's shrewdness wins a certain degree of admiration from Maksim Maksimych: Kazbich has been able to avoid implication in certain misdeeds for which he is responsible. Like Azamat he too is obsessed with his swift steed Karagyoz. The reader 136 can feel a certain amount of sympathy for his victimization by Pechorin and Azamat. "For a moment, he stood motionless, until he was certain that he had missed; then he uttered a shrill scream, struck his rifle against a stone, smashing the weapon to bits, fell on the ground and began to sob like a child . . . Presently people from the fort gathered around him, but he did not notice anyone; they stood around for a while, exchanged views, and went back: I had the money for the sheep placed next to him; he never touched it, but remained lying on his face, as if he were dead. Would you believe it: he lay like that until late at night, and the whole night through." (p. 22) However, Kazbich's savage brutality in reprisal for the theft of his horse is aptly demonstrated by the cold-blooded murder of Azamat's father. "'I should tell you that Kazbich imagined that Azamat had stolen his horse with the father's consent — this is, at least, what I conjecture. Well, there he was one day, waiting by the road, a couple of miles beyond the village; the old man was riding home after a vain search for his daughter; his retainers had fallen behind — it was dusk — he was riding pensively at a walk, when suddenly Kazbich, like a cat, darted out of a bush, jumped onto his horse behind him, with a thrust of his dagger threw him to the ground, grabbed the reins, and was gone. Some of the retainers saw all this from a knoll; they dashed off after him, but could not catch up with him'" (p. 28) As the author emphasizes here, a double standard exists, since Kazbich cannot be judged from a civilized point of view because according to tribal customs he had the right to avenge himself. This murder and the subsequent kid napping of Bela illustrate another prime trait of this Caucasian bandit, his craftiness. 137 Kazbich has grown wise with experience; he is a crafty mountain dweller. Although he has been suspected of a 'hostile' attitude toward the Russians, 'he had never been involved in any mis chief. ' His wealth of vital experience dissuades him from selling his Karagyoz for the woman that he passionately loves. He always acts prudently and with caution. 18 Kazbich's final act of revenge is his brutal murder of the innocent Bela. After he has committed this last act to avenge the loss of his horse, Kazbich returns to his life as a brigand. These barbarous acts arise more from the setting than from Kazbich's character: they serve to confirm the brutality of the environment and show the exotic savagery of the code of the mountain tribes. Kazbich is another prototype of the uncivilized villain of adventure stories. Thus he emerges as a part of the mainstream of Byronic types. Lermontov's use of a narrator meeting a secondary narrator to tell the story as a series of "travel notes" is a common device that was often used by writers of the time. The narrator himself is a subtly drawn yet revealing figure. Some critics have identified the narrator as Lermontov himself, although this does stretch the point somewhat and is not necessary. The narrator's excessive zeal to hear the rest of the story is, as Nabokov suggests, a little 19 overdone. However, it cannot be denied that he expresses some of the author's own feelings, particularly his lyrical attachment to the natural majesty of the Caucasus. Thus, 138 although Pechorin is not the narrator of this story, there are certain passages of natural description where the narrator as a Child of Nature closely parallels the feelings of Pechorin in Princess Mary. The first example comes in the second paragraph of Beta and follows in mood the introductory phrases of Princess Mary. What a delightful place, that valley! On all sides rise inaccessible mountains, reddish cliffs, hung over with green ivy and crowned with clumps of plane trees; tawny precipices streaked with washes, and, far above, the golden fringe of the snows; below, Aragva River, in folding another, nameless, river which noisily bursts forth from a black gorge full of gloom, stretches out in a silver thread and glistens like the scaling of a snake, (p. 3) Just as Pechorin expresses a strong attachment to the natural splendour of the region and a disdain for society, so Beta's narrator confesses that the stars seem higher in the Caucasus than in the north. This contrast between the civilized north and the wild south is also felt by the narrator. Stars were beginning to twinkle in the dark sky, and, strange to say, they seemed to me to be much higher than at home, in the north. On either side of the road, bare, black rocks jutted out; here and there, from beneath the snow there emerged shrubs; but not a single dry leaf stirred, and it was a joy to hear, amid the dead sleep of nature, the snorting of the three tired posters and the irregular jangling of the Russian shaft bell. (p. 6) A further distinction between the north and south is felt by the narrator asAmentions that the sound of a blizzard in the Caucasus is "just like one of our own in the north, 139 only its savage melody was more sorrowful, more plaintive." (p. 33) A key phrase occurs just after this passage as the author-traveller talks of the wind as an "exile" like him. This again asserts the narrator's own disillusion ment and disappointment with society like Pechorin. These feelings help to confirm the impression of the narrator as a Byronic character. In fact these feelings are very similar to those felt by Conrad in The Corsair. Yet was not Conrad thus by Nature sent To lead the guilty —guilt's worse instrument — His soul was changed, before his deeds had driven Him forth to war with man and forfeit heaven, Warp'd by the world in Disappointment's school, In words too wise, in conduct there a fool; Too firm to yield, and far too proud to stoop, Doom'd by his very virtues for a dupe .... (The Corsair, I, 249-256) Exotic simplicity and the majesty of nature is emphasized later, during the interval between the two parts of Maksim Maksimych's story. The narrator himself expressed his ebullient Rousseauesque attraction to nature, although with a good deal more naivete than in the attitudes of Pechorin. . . . a delightful kind of feeling spread along all my veins, and I felt somehow elated at being so far above the world — a childish feeling, no doubt, but, on getting away from social conventions and coming closer to nature, we cannot help becoming children: all the things that have been acquired are shed by the soul, and it becomes again as it was once, and as it is surely to be again some day. (p. 29) 140 These words, and his later expression "it made one wonder why one should not stay here forever" parallels Pechorin's lyrical identification with the majestic splendours of the Caucasus that he displayed in Princess Mary. However, it should be added that the narrator's lyricism toward nature is much closer to the basic sentimentalized Child of Nature prototype of the eighteenth-century. In fact his character is not much developed beyond this fundamental type, for his disillusionment with society, though present to a certain degree, is not nearly as advanced as the cynical disappoint-20 ment of Pechorin with society. The narrator's attraction to nature is not so much of disillusionment with social circles as it is of a naive wide-eyed adoration of a stranger who has never seen such sights before. Neverthe less, he is seen in a kind of Byronic pose in his final lyrical nature passage as he describes the majestic beauty of the area, as he gazes down from a high mountain. And indeed, I doubt if I shall ever see such a panorama anywhere again: below us, lay the Koyshaur Valley, crossed by the Aragva and by another river, as by two silver threads; a pale bluish haze glided over it, heading for the neighboring canyons, away from the warm rays of morning; right and left, the crests of mountains, each higher than the next, intersected and stretched out, covered with snow or shrubs; in the distance, more mountains, but no two cliffs were alike; and all these snows burned with a ruddy glow, so merrily so brightly, that it made one wonder why one should not stay here forever; the sun peeped from behind a dark-blue mountain which only a practiced eye could have distinguished from a storm-cloud; but above the sun there was a blood-red band, to which my companion paid particular attention. (pp. 30-31) 141 The motif of looking down from a high mountain peak onto the beauty below is a recurring one with Byron. It occurs so often that it can be seen as a type of Byronic pose. Compare the mood of elation in the above passage with the similar effect achieved in this quotation from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "He who ascends to mountain-tops shall find The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow; He who surpasses or subdues mankind, Must look down on the hate of those below. Though high above the sun of glory glow, And far beneath the earth and ocean spread, Round him are icy rocks, and loudly blow Contending tempests on his naked head, And thus reward the toils which to those summits led." (Ill: xiv) Attention must now be focussed on the most important' consideration of my study of Bela, Pechorin as a Byronic hero. Since the Byronic hero developed out of the stream of pre-romantic types, the Child of Nature, the Hero of Sensibility (embodying the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling) and the Gothic Villain, and it was shown that Pechorin in Princess Mary typified each of these as well as a new "Man of Will," then the same methods must be used for determining if in Bela Pechorin can also be considered a Byronic hero. Although the source of material for Pechorin's character depiction is not so rich as in Princess Mary, a similar method can be used, remembering that Pechorin is not the narrator of Bela, but one of the main personalities of the story. 142 As already witnessed above, Bela's narrator can be considered as a fitting example of Child of Nature because of the wealth of his lyrical statements about the Caucasian splendour, just as Pechorin was in Princess Mary. Since this lyricism of nature is expressed by the author-traveller in Bela, Pechorin's own Child of Nature feelings are bound to be expressed more subtly than in Princess Mary. However, Pechorin's delight in nature is still evident in Bela. It is expressed mainly through Maksim Maksimych's observations of the young man's outdoor exploits. The old captain's introductory description emphasized Pechorin's love of nature: "He might spend, for instance, the whole day hunt ing in the rain, in the cold; everybody would get chilled through and exhausted, but not he, . . . yet I had seen him take on a wild boar all by himself; . . ." (p. 10) It is obvious from this quotation that a man who would spend an entire day out in the pouring rain or tackle a vicious wild animal single-handed, must have a profound love of the "great outdoors." Later on, just as he once turned to nature in the Caucasus out of boredom with society and disillusionment with its intrigues, Pechorin cannot control his urge to escape into the wilderness out of boredom with Bela and disillusionment with her ignorance and savagery. "Pechorin, as I think I've already told you, was passionately fond of hunting: at times he would feel an uncontrollable urge to go into the woods after boar or wild goats ..." 143 (p. 36) This attitude is confirmed in the scene which immediately follows. Maksim Maksimych confronts Bela to discover what is wrong and finds out that Pechorin has been out hunting for two days. The morning that Bela is kidnapped Pechorin has persuaded Maksim Maksimych to go out hunting again; the latter observes very astutely that the young man thoroughly enjoys the pursuit of game even during intense heat and fatigue. In Bela Pechorin expresses his delight with the splendour of nature only once in his own words. In this instance the speech does not refer to any specific attraction and has a two-edged meaning. "Soon after, I was transferred to the Caucasus: this was the happiest time of my life. I hoped that boredom did not exist amid Chechen bullets. In vain! After one month, I got so used to their buzzing and to the nearness of death, that, really, I paid more attention to the mosquitoes, and I was even more bored than before, because I had almost lost my last hope. When I saw Bela in my home, when for the first time I held her in my lap and kissed her black curls, I — fool that I was — imagined she was an angel sent me by compassionate fate. . . " (p. 40) As he did in Princess Mary the hero expresses his delight with an opportunity to escape from the oppressive social life of St. Petersburg, and be amidst the swashbuckling adventure of a wild frontier region, even though he eventually becomes bored with this too. More important is the reference to Bela where Pechorin infers his reason for her abduction. He believed that his salvation lay in the 144 romantic concept of loving a simple uncivilized girl. This is, of course, another modification of the basic traits of the Child of Nature and the love of the "Noble Savage." 21 That this love is not satisfactory for Pechorin (although it is, or seems to be, for Bela) is neither unexpected — because of other facets of his character, e.g. his outright cynicism — nor is it important. The point is that Pechorin himself believed wholeheartedly (he thought she was "an angel sent ... by compassionate fate") in this romantic concept of the attraction of nature; his last resort was in the natural simplicity of loving an uncivilized woman. Pechorin's disillusionment with this concept shows that he undergoes a metamorphosis in his attitudes within the very framework of Bela. The Child of Nature is thus a facet of his make-up and a stage in his development from the earlier prototypes of the Byronic hero. Thus like Harold and most heroes of Byron, elements of the Child of Nature 22 are predominant in the origins of Lermontov's hero. Nevertheless, although he does possess a great feeling for the splendours of natural beauty and the attractions of the outdoors, Pechorin is far more than simply a Child of Nature. As a Hero of Sensibility in Princess Mary the hero was seen engaged in self-centred melancholia, constantly turning pale and being obsessed with death like the Gloomy 145 Egoist. He was also capable of deep human emotion as a Man of Feeling. The portrayal of Pechorin in Bela serves to strengthen these notions. For example, once again in Maksim Maksimych's introductory passage about Pechorin the contrast is drawn between the young man's love of the outdoors and his distinct frailty: ". . . and some other time he'd be sitting in his room, and just a gust of wind would come, and there he would be, insisting that he had caught cold; or if the shutter banged, he'd start and grow pale . . ." (p. 10) Even in this simple description of the hero by the old captain, Pechorin contains elements of both the Child of Nature and the Man of Feeling, i.e. he can be at one time a robust outdoorsman and at another taciturn and anemic. This duality is apparent in another passage which immediate ly follows the one above: "There were times when you could not get a word out of him for hours, but on the other hand when he happened to start telling stories you'd split your sides with laughter ..." (pp. 10-11) During the agonizing final moments of poor Bela, her terrible thirst points to her imminent death. When she cries out for water, Pechorin turns "white as a sheet" then fetches her a drink. These stock descriptions of various palings were, of course, typical devices for romantic fiction writers to illustrate great emotion in their characters. 146 In Princess Mary it was shown that, on certain occasions and under certain conditions, Pechorin had developed into a kind of Man of Unfeeling in the sense that, although true to the spirit of the Man of Feeling he felt his emotions very deeply, in the presence of others he masked his real feelings and attempted to >hide them. When he is alone the hero throws off this cloak of unfeeling and permits the stream of profound emotions to take over: after he has read Vera's letter of good-bye, he breaks down and weeps bitterly. There are two examples of the Man of Un feeling in Bela, both coming because of the death of his captive. As Bela is babbling in her delirium and reproach ing Pechorin for having stopped loving her, Maksim Maksimych himself admits that there is a good possibility that the young man is controlling his emotions: "'He listened to her in silence, with his head in his hands; but not once did I notice a single tear on his eyelashes: whether he actually could not cry, or whether he was controlling him self, I don't know. As for me, I'd never seen anything more pitiful.'" (pp. 45-46) The second example of this mask of unfeeling occurs after Bela dies and the two soldiers go for a walk along the rampart. Maksim Maksimych is annoyed to see that "his face did not express anything unusual." (p. 48) However, Pechorin does prove to be a true Hero of Sensibility, for after Bela has died he can no longer 147 hold back the tide of emotion and breaks out into a rather effeminate outburst of maniacal hysteria. "Finally he sat down on the ground in the shade and began to trace something in the sand with a bit of stick. I wanted to comfort him, mainly for the sake of propriety, don't you know, and started to speak; he lifted his head and laughed. A chill ran over my skin at this laughter. I went off to order the coffin." (p. 48) Later on Pechorin, in the tradition of the Man of Feeling, is unable to separate control of his physical condition from his mental health. Because of the intense mental strain that he has undergone, Pechorin's physical condition deteriorates. The hero is ill for a long time and loses weight. Moreover, since Pechorin had a great profundity of emotion and sense of loss, there can be no mention of Bela's name as this would be unpleasant for him. One can wonder about the source of these deep feelings since the hero himself has admitted that he has become bored with her. Could these emotional crises upon Bela's death stem from remorse at the way he has treated Bela? Guilt is something that Pechorin does not feel in Princess Mary. It must be kept in mind that even upon destroying the feelings of the young princess or murdering Grushnitsky Pechorin felt only a tinge of remorse. Nevertheless, because Pechorin has admitted that his feelings for Bela are not too intense — though he does say that he is ready to die for her, probably out of a sense of honour — it 148 should be assumed that this deterioration caused by mental distress is based upon a feeling of remorse over the entire abduction and subsequent death of the young native girl. This, is only an assumption, however, because Pechorin is not too keen to take the blame for his actions in other parts of the novel, since he believes he is a superior man. Pechorin's physical illness brought on by an intense emotional crisis reminds the reader very much of the rather absurd situation of Harley, the prototype of the Man of Feeling, in MacKenzie's Man of Feeling, who pines away and dies of no more than an excess of emotion. Lermontov's hero is much more than a straight-forward Man of Feeling: he recovers and does not pine away like Harley — probably because he contains the robustness of the Child of Nature. The hero of S.ek also exhibits characteristics of the Gloomy Egoist. The true Gloomy Egoist developed from 23 a personal religious melancholy. This could well apply to Pechorin in Princess Mary because of the wealth of confessional passages which illustrate the hero's philo sophical and religious attitudes. However, in Bela this is not the case because the only passage that could be considered as a religious expression is a prompt dismissal that "Allah is the same for all races," and is certainly not an intimation of a personal religious melancholy. But Thorslev states that a transformation occurred during the development of religious melancholia into the Gloomy Egoist: 149 As the rather stiff moral savage developed into the Romantic Child, and as the upright moral Man of Feeling developed into an esthetic dabbler in sensibilities, so the true religious melancholy lost its motive and developed into a pose, into the exploitation of feeling for its own sake, and the cultivation of either fashionable melancholy (and this merged with the Miltonic tradition, although it remained more personal), or the more vulgar sensationalism of charnel-house horrors. 24 There is in Bela a perfect example of Pechorin's pose as the Gloomy Egoist: he exploits Bela's feelings in an attempt to overcome the girl's stubbornness and seduce her. The hero uses his pose as a man of deep emotion as a ruse to make her feel sorry for him and give in to his wishes. He first uses it by saying he will die if Bela continues to brood. "'Listen, my dear and good Bela!' continued Pechorin. 'You see how I love you; I'm ready to give anything to cheer you up; I want you to be happy, and if you start brooding again, I shall die. Tell me, will you be more cheerful?' She lapsed into thought, never taking her black eyes off him, then she smiled sweetly and nodded her head in sign of assent." (p. 25) The ultimate example of this exploitation of feelings and melodramatic pose of profound sentiment is Pechorin1s offer of freedom to Bela, where the hero plays on her guilt and her feelings for him. "'Bela!' he said, 'You know how I love you. I dared to carry you off, thinking that when you got to know me, you would love me; I have made a mistake; farewell! Remain in complete possession of everything I own; if you like, 150 go back to your father -- you are free. I am guilty before you, and must punish myself. Fare well, I am going — where? How should I know? Perchance I shall not be long running after a bullet or a sword blow: remember me then, and forgive me.' He turned away and extended his hand in farewell." (pp. 26-27) This bogus emotion does succeed in deluding the poor, naive girl. Even Maksim Maksimych realizes that this excess of feeling and emotion is only a pose: "Hearing no answer, Pechorin took a few steps toward the door; he was trembling — and shall I tell you? I think he was really capable of carrying out what he had spoken of in jest. That was the kind of man he was, the Lord knows!" (p. 27) Thorslev's reference above to "fashionable melancholy" is very relevant during the old captain's discussion of Pechorin's character and propensity toward an acute feeling of boredom. Without realizing it Maksim Maksimych expressed a penetrating insight into this fashionable Byronic pose: once again he believes that Pechorin assumes his melodrama for effect and this is merely a cloak. A prime feature of the Gloomy Egoist is his tendency to meditate in various thoughtful poses. Most of the time he thinks only about death, but this contemplative pose was usually just a reflection of his excessive melancholy. Pechorin, too, is seen in melancholy pose. The duality in his character which embodies both the Child of Nature and the Gloomy Egoist is well illustrated by his erratic behaviour when one day he cannot control his urges to go 151 out hunting, the next "he would become pensive again, would pace his room with his hands clasped behind his back." (p. 36) Childe Harold of the first two cantos is a fine example of the Gloomy Egoist, for the poem itself is almost entirely made up of meditations. Pechorin also exhibits traits of the Gloomy Egoist through his confessions of disgust with society and his preoccupation with sorrow, boredom and pity. He returns to his disappointment that he is the cause of unhappiness in others. . . . I only know that if I am a cause of unhappin ess for others, I am no less unhappy myself. Naturally, that is poor comfort for them, neverthe less, this is a fact. In my early youth, from the minute I emerged from under my family's supervision, I began madly --to enjoy every pleasure that money could buy, and, naturally, those pleasures became repulsive to me. Then I ventured out into the grand monde3 and, soon, I became likewise fed up with society: I have been in love with fashionable belles, and have been loved, but their love only irritated my imagination and vanity, while my heart remained empty ... I began to read, to study --I got just as sick of studies — I saw that neither fame nor happiness depended on them in the least, since the happiest people are dunces, while fame is a question of luck, and in order to obtain it, you only have to be nimble. Then I began to be bored . . . (p. 40) The hero's disillusionment with society results in his cynical intriguing and destruction of others in Princess Mary. In Be la his disappointment in society and in his love affairs makes him strive for a kind of idealistic perfection in love by initiating his affair with a naive native girl. The means, though different from his thoroughly evil acts in Princess Mary, still produce the same end result: the destruction of another human being (two, in fact, if one includes Bela's father). The most striking revelation that the hero gives, in his confession to Maksim Maksimych, is of his selfish egocentricity and his desire to have all things and all people relate to himself: even though he is responsible for Bela's death, he only feels pity for himself. (This again reminds us of his hysterical out burst after Bela's death; the intense feelings he expresses are turned into himself and are not symptomatic of a sense of loss of another person. Pechorin can only relate Bela's death to his own sufferings and not to hers.) "Whether I am a fool or a villain, I don't know; but of one thing I'm sure, that I also deserve pity, even more perhaps than she. My soul has been impaired by the fashionable world, I have a restless fancy, an insatiable heart; whatever I get is not enough; I become used as easily to sorrow as to delight, and my life becomes more empty day by day ..." (pp. 40-41) There is something bizarrely macabre and grotesque about this self-centred pitiless young man who goes around destroy ing the feelings of innocent young girls and causes the deaths of other people, and feels that he deserves pity because he has no goal to strive for. After all, Pechorin plotted to abduct Bela, then succeeded in kidnapping her, only for his own selfish motives and without a thought for anyone else. That he is only concerned with the gratifi cation of his own needs is proven by the temper tantrum that he takes when Bela will not submit to him at first. He tries to kiss her and when she refuses, he smashes his fist on the table and calls her a "demon not a woman." Maksim Maksimych notes the supreme egoism and selfishness of this man with his statement that could explain a great deal about the formation of Pechorin's character: "whatever he set his heart on he had to have, you could see he had been spoiled by his mamma when he was young." (p. 42) However, unlike the typical Gloomy Egoist that he was in Princess Mary, Pechorin does not have any lengthy melancholy musings on death in Bela. Moreover, although there certainly are opportunities, there seems to be no propensity for coffins, graves or cemeteries. It was already shown that Maksim Maksimych took care of the burial arrangements for Bela. If he were an exact replica of a Gloomy Egoist, there would surely be a scene in Bela where Pechorin stands mourning over the grave of the girl, lost in thought over past scenes of bliss. That there is no such scene, and other considerations — for example, the hero's Child of Nature traits — show that Lermontov made extensive modifications of this stock preromantic type just as Byron did. But it is obvious that the traits of the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling are present in 154 Pechorin's make-up, and that he therefore has the soul of a Hero of Sensibility in keeping with the tradition of the development of a Byronic Hero. The final preromantic type whose traits also developed into the realizations of the Byronic Hero was the Gothic Villain. It was pointed out in the previous chapter how necessary the quality of evil was for this type of character and how Pechorin exemplified it in his extensive commission of evil. In Byron's works, of course, the Gothic Villain found his expression in such figures as Harold with his taint of "secret sins," or the Noble Outlaws of the Oriental Tales, or the romantic rebels of the metaphysical dramas. It was further demonstrated that Pechorin himself went beyond this simple type in Princess Mary in the commission of evil for evil's sake, and differed greatly from the Byronic hero in the cruelty that he demonstrated in his acts of evil, which was most unlike any hero of Lord Byron. The heroes of Byron are developments of Gothic Villians since they acquired a "soul of sensibility" and became heroes and not villains. As was demonstrated above Pechorin too, has this same sensibility in Bela. The commission of evil by Lermontov's hero in Bela is mainly confined to minor observations by Maksim Maksimych, with the obvious exception of the abduction itself. There is something distinctly evil about the torment that Pechorin puts the young boy Azamat through with his excessive 155 teasing. It would seem that, although it is all in his plan to abduct Bela, the hero seems to delight in torturing the boy by fanning the flames of his compulsive desires. Maksim Maksimych notices Pechorin's enjoyment of tormenting the boy. "The conversation turned to horses, and Pechorin began to praise Kazbich's mount: it was so spirited, so handsome, a regular gazelle.— well, to hear him, there was not another like it in the whole world. 'The little Moslem's eyes sparkled, but Pechorin seemed not to notice; I would start speaking of something else, but before you knew, he had switched the talk back to Kazbich's horse. This business would go on every time Azamat came over. About three weeks later, I began to notice that Azamat was getting pale and pining away, as it happens from love in novels, sir. I marveled. 'Well, you see, I discovered the whole thing later: Pechorin had driven him to such a point with his teasing that he was close to jumping into the water.'" (p. 20) Unlike many of his actions in Princess Mary which were committed with evil intent, Pechorin's abduction, seduction and eventual abandonment, though evil acts in themselves, were not committed for the sake of doing evil. In effect what Pechorin has done, is to cast off the moral code of civilization, (as he did in Princess Mary by performing evil deeds masked by a cover-up of "honour") and assume his own code of behaviour by taking on through his actions, the barbarous guise of the ruthless Caucasian inhabitants. Thus, from the standpoint that he himself has assumed, i.e. the primitive standards of the mountain 156 tribe, Pechorin may be considered justified in his villain ous act of kidnapping an innocent girl. Up to this point in the novel we have seen Pechorin as a romantic figure in an exotic setting pitting himself chiefly against the noble savage, and exhibiting as he does, the very same characteristics as the noble savage himself — ruthlessness, daring, guile and a strong desire to have his will in all things. This is certainly true of the Pechorin of Bela, and what we see of him in Maksim Maksimych merely serves to strengthen this view. 25 Of course, although Pechorin has taken on the barbaric be haviour of a wild people, he himself must be considered as a civilized, cultured man and must be held responsible for his actions. The remarkable difference between his motives behind the abduction of Bela and the destructive deeds that he commits in Princess Mary is malice aforethought. The kidnapping of the native girl is done with an idealistic — though selfish — purpose in mind: to rekindle the best in his soul by a relationship with primitive woman, and to be loved by her. Pechorin demonstrates will, cunning and decisiveness in the preparation of his abduction of Bela, and persistence in his goal to arouse mutual feelings in the Circassian girl. However, the reader is made wary by Maksim Maksimych's observation that Pechorin's and Azamat's kidnapping of Bela constituted a misdeed. But gradually this wariness disappears and both the reader and Maksim Maksimych admire the strength of Pechorin's feelings toward Bela and his burning desire to be loved. The old captain recoils before the willful man who is confident that if he does not inspire love for himself in the Circassian girl, she will belong to no one but him. 157 The Circassian girl refuses for a long time, although Pechorin tries to remove all possible obstacles: he assures Bela of his burning love for her and convinces her that even her faith cannot stop her from loving him. 26 Thus it is true that there is missing in Pechorin's actions one vital element that was present in his make-up in Princess Mary: cruelty. This cruelty that left the destruction of at least three lives in its wake in Princess Mary is replaced in Bela by selfishness and indifference. This latter trait is exhibited by the hero in his offhanded way in which he dismisses Maksim Maksimych's contention that the kidnapping was not a kind thing to do. Here Pechorin shows indifference that he has upset the lives of a number of people by acting in a manner befitting a primitive rogue and not a cultivated man of society. His only response is that "he likes her," and Maksim Maksimych in his simplicity of thought cannot argue with this logic. Moreover, there is ample evidence to suppose that Pechorin was completely indifferent to the fact that he was directly responsible for the death of Bela's father. The old captain does not say anywhere that Pechorin felt any remorse at it, nor does the latter even mention this fact in his confession of weariness and boredom. And, of course, after he has grown tired of Bela, his indifference toward her is appalling. The other element present in Pechorin's character is selfishness, already discussed in the section on the 158 Hero of Sensibility. Nevertheless, Pechorin's theft of the young woman was performed for totally self-centred motives, and, although he is not merely an evil seducer, his only goal is the restoration of his character at Bela's expense. Pechorin is a man who cannot put up with the drudgery of life in the Caucasus, without a murmur as Maksim Maksimych does, not seeing any meaning in life, although neither the dangers nor the burdens of such a severe life frighten him. The attitude of Pechorin toward Bela demonstrates his passionate temperament and his capacity for wholly surrendering himself to the feeling of his love, to bring a true j/oy to the woman he loves and to understand and feel her sufferings. The feeling of the hero for Bela is not simply another passion of a society ladykiller, but rather a profound feeling — the means for saving himself from the deadly mire engulfing his life; this is why he strives so much for a great mutual love. It turns out that the hero was mistaken. The confession of Pechorin included in Maksim Maksim ych 's story was the original mode of Lermontov's realistic method, and was one of the means of disclosing the hero's character. 27 Therefore the hero's egocentricity and desire to be loved form the fundamental motivating drive behind his acts in Bela. If selfishness and indifference to others are his primary traits in Bela, how else does Pechorin fit into the category of the Gothic Villain? Basically, the affair with Bela centres around three vital and inseparable stages: abduction, deduction and neglect. The first two are very characteristic of the Byronic hero, but they 159 must be performed without any cruelty to the woman since the typical hero of Byron must strictly maintain his code of honour toward the woman. However, the Byronic hero does not need to inspire love in the heroine since she indubitably loves him already. So Bela's resistance is a distinct modification of the traditional plot. Never theless, it can be argued that she already loved the hero and thus the resistance is little more than token. More over, Pechorin does not exhibit any cruelty in his seduction of the girl and so is unlike the rapacious Gothic Villains of Radcliffe, Sotheby or Lewis. (Contrast this with the emphasis placed on evil intent in Princess Mary.) One could state that Pechorin used villainous roguery in the manner in which he affects the pose of wounded sensibility to overcome Bela's resistance. The point is that up to stage two, i.e. the seduction, Pechorin is very distinctly similar to the Noble Outlaws of Lord Byron. He has just enough of their evil to resemble the Gothic Villain as much as they: just as Selim is the leader of a pirate band, the Giaour is the chief of a rebel band of Arnauts and Conrad's sins are due to his life in an outlaw band, so Pechorin exhibits the fierce recklessness of a Noble Outlaw in his daring abduction of the Circassian girl. The other qualities that developed into Byronic heroes have already been 160 examined. It is on the third stage that Pechorin differs greatly from these archetypes. It is not possible for the Byronic hero to abandon his loved one or even be indifferent to her. His courtesy and fidelity to the one love of his life preclude this possibility. The late eighteenth-28 century figure who seduced then abandoned was on the other extreme and closely resembled the Gothic Villain. Pechorin in Bela comes somewhere in the middle for, though he has become bored by the native girl, he would not abandon her. In fact he states that he is ready to die for her, only she bores him. So in his attitude toward Bela Pechorin is developed beyond the Noble Outlaw to a stage that was unheard of in the works of Byron. In Princess Mary Lermontov's modification of the Byronic hero type resulted in a character who closely resembled a Gothic Villain in his penchant for destruction of others; in Bela the character does not resemble the Gothic Villain so much, but is rather a development into a Man of Indifference. It was stated above that a vital difference in Byron was that the woman was already submissive to the desires of the hero. That Bela is not and that she must be made to give in to the hero's wishes, means that he must be considered as a Man of Will. Although the occasions for him to assert this will are not so frequent as they are in Princess Mary, there are still a number of oppor tunities in Bela. The extent of Pechorin's power over people is first evident in Bela by his manipulation of Azamat, the rowdy Circassian lad upon whose compulsive desires to own the fine horse Karagyoz, Pechorin plays with great skill. The handling of the young boy's obsession is performed with consummate ability: he teases and cajoles Azamat, constantly referring to the coveted horse until the poor boy is so desperate that he will do exactly what Pechorin wants him to do. In a like manner Lermontov's hero knows exactly what logic to use on his superior officer, and manipulates him also, so that instead of receiving a reprimand for his actions, he makes the old captain himself submit to his own wishes of letting him keep the girl. He carries off Bela for the simple reason that he likes her, and when his superior officer, Maksim Maksimych, comes to reprimand him officially for his conduct, although Pechorin does agree to surrender his sword, it is nevertheless Maksim Maksimych who is really disarmed. This refusal to submit to the will of his superior officer gives us a foretaste of Pechorin's later behaviour in Maksim Maksimy ch . 29 Naturally Pechorin exhibits a strong will in his treatment of his captive. The very idea that he kidnaps her immediately is a subjection of her will to his own since she is held prisoner and is not free to go or do as she pleases. The crux of the matter is, of course, that Bela will submit to his desires by giving in to his 162 seduction. The hero could physically force Bela into intercourse by rape. But Pechorin is much more than a 30 rapist. This is too typical of the violent Gothic Villains. Because he revels in the triumph, Pechorin must seduce Bela: he must make her want to give in or the victory is hollow. Pechorin is determined to achieve this submission to his will. "'I've hired the wife of our innkeeper: she can speak Tatar and will take care of Bela and accustom her to the idea that she is mine, for she won't belong to anybody but me,' he added, hitting the table with his fist. I agreed to this too .... What would you have me do? There are some people with whom you just must agree." (p. 24) It is also important to note in this quotation that Maksim Maksimych admits that Pechorin has a powerful will and it is impossible to argue with him. The initial setbacks that Pechorin suffers only serve to make him more determined than ever that Bela will voluntarily give in to his wishes. "Pechorin struck his forehead with his fist and rushed into the next room. I went there; he was gloomily pacing to and fro, with his arms folded on his chest. 'Well, old man?' I said to him. 'A demon, not a woman!' he answered. 'Only I give you my word of honor that she will be mine . . .' I shook my head. 'Would you like to bet?' he said. 'In a week's time!' 'Agreed!' We shook hands on it and parted." (p. 26) Bela eventually gives in after Pechorin succeeds in manip ulating her feelings. So the Man of Will does obtain the final result of having the heroine submit to his wishes by a skillful handling of her love for him. As was the case in Princess Mary Pechorin proves to be a Man of Will in his sexual relations as his total domination of Bela demonstrates. After he has made her his mistress, the hero gradually comes to tire of his conquest and must seek other delights. This is very typical of the Don Juan figure: the chief sexual interest is the conquest of the female; once the triumph has been made the interest in the female diminishes greatly. However, the Byronic hero is not a Don Juan figure in the sense that he enjoys conquering then destroying women; he is too courteous for that. It was already seen in the previous chapter that the Byronic hero as a Man of Will was often concerned with metaphysical or other lofty matters. Pechorin's departure from this shows that once again Lermontov has modified the character traits of the Byronic hero and created a new development in the history of literature. In conclusion there are many Byronic aspects present in Bela. The cavalier atmosphere of the wild Caucasian environment provides; a rich source of comparison with the Oriental Tales of Byron and other works where an exotic setting is vital to the plot. Lermontov has made certain modifications on the plot and the stock Byronic love triangle: the heroine herself provides the obstacle to the love affair and the pasha personage does not exist per se . The motif of the storm is important as a lyrical and dramatic device to both the atmosphere and the plot of the story, just as storm motifs are prevalent in the works of the English writer. Bela, Azamat and Kazbich are primitive characters quite typical of romantic adventure tales; however, the fact that Bela resists the hero's amorous overtures at first is a slight departure from the Byronic formula. Nevertheless, it is clear that the heroine does exist to love the hero and, indeed, that she has loved him all along. Even when the latter grows indifferent to her, she still maintains an undying love for him in the tradition of the impassioned heroines of Byron. The inclusion of Maksim Maksimych, who is most definitely not a Byronic character, adds a dimension for study of Lermontov's work from a Byronic standpoint. His practicality, simplicity, humility and, above all, his ordinariness, render him foreign to the world of adventurous swashbuckling and extraordinary bravado of Byron's characters. The author-traveller him self is not an extraordinary figure but the extent of his character delineation as a somewhat cynical Child of Nature shows that he is well in the line of Byronic personalities. As for Pechorin his love of nature is unbounded; in Bela he enjoys hunting a great deal and confesses that his time spent in the Caucasus was the happiest of 165 his life. Lermontov's hero demonstrates the tremendous capacity for feeling, disillusioned egocentricity and fashionable melancholy of the Hero of Sensibility. The considerations of Pechorin as a Gothic Villain are chiefly confined to his daring escapades of kidnapping Bela much in the tradition of the Noble Outlaws. The cruel sexual exploitation of his captive and his tiring of her can only be construed as wickedness, also characteristic of the Gothic Villain. Finally, the hero is very much a Man of Will and, in Bela, frequently subjects others to his own desires. 166 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER TWO "'"See the discussion of the fragmentary structure of the novel in the introduction. 2 V.A. Yevzerikhina, "Bela 1 putevyye zapiski 30-kh godov XIX veka," (1960), 63. 3 S.N. Durylin in Kak Rabotal Lermontov, (1934) 110, echoes the same thoughts. AIbid., 111. 5 V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op.Cit., 60, discusses this . point further. See also B. Eykhenbaum, Lermontov, (1924), 159. 7 The fragmentary structure of Byron's verse tales as compared to Lermontov's earlier writings has been studied in detail by J.T. Shaw. See his Ph.D. Thesis "Byron and Lermontov: The Romantic Verse Tale," (1950), 32. p W.J. Entwistle, "The Byronism of Lermontov's A Hero of Our Time," (1949), 142. Q The usage of the Turkish word "peri" could be a direct borrowing from Byron's Bride of Abydos, I: 151. 10V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op.Cit., 70. i:LSee B.V. Neyman, "Portret v tvorchestve Lermontova," (1948), 87. 12 B. Eykhenbaum, "0 smyslovoy osnove Geroya nashego vremeni," 21. 13 R.A. Peace, "The Role of Taman ' in Lermontov's Geroy nashego vremeni," 13. 14 John Mersereau, Mikhail lermontov, (1962), 90 15 W.J. Entwistle, Op. Cit., 142. 167 16 See the incisive remarks of V. Spasovich, "Bayronizm u Pushkina i Lermontova," (1888), 536. 17 V.A. Yevzerikhma, Op. Cit., 70. 18Ibid., 70. "Ka36im — STO yMyflpeHHbift onbiTOM, XHTPHH ropeu;, KOToporo XOTH H nO,JJ,03peBaJIH B "HeMHpHOM" OTHOmeHHH K pyCCKHM, HO "OH HH B KaKoS majiocTH He 6biJi 3aMeveH". EoraTHH XH3-HeHHuft onbiT - y^epxHBaeT ero OT TOro, MTO6H OT^aTt CBoero Kapare3a 3a CTpacTHO jiK>6HMyio aceHnpiHy. Bcer^a OH AeficTByeT pac^eTJiHBO H OCTOPOXCHO." ^M. Yil'. Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time, translated by V. Nabokov, 19 9. 2 0 B. Eykhenbaum, "0 smyslovoy osnove Geroya nashego vremeni, "22. 21K. Loks, "Proza Lermontova," (1938), 13. 22P.J. Thorslev, The Byronio Hero, (1962), 34. 23Ibid., 44. 24Ibid., 44. 25 R.A. Peace, Op.Cit., 15. 2 6 V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op.Cit., 65. "BOJUO, VM, pemHTejifaHOCTfa npoHBHJi rie^opHH npH noflroTOB-Ke HOXHmeHHH E3JIH, HaCTOHMHBOCTb B CTpeMJieHHH BbI3BaTb OT-BeTHoe ^yBCTBO y MepKemeHKH. OflHaico UHTaTejia Hac-TOpaxcHBaeT 3aMe^aHHe MaKCHMa MaKCHMbma o TOM, MTO Hexopomee flejio co-BepinHjiH ne^opHH c A3aMaTOM, HOXHTHB B3Jiy. Ho nocTeneHHO 3Ta HacTopoxeHHOCTb crjiaxHBaeTCH, H UHTaTejib BMecTe c MaKCHMOM MaKCHMbraeM jiioSyeTCH CHJIOS ^yBCTBa IleMopHHa K Bojie, ero rop-H^HM xejiaHHeM 6biTb JIK>6HMHM. IJIT&SC—KaiiHTaH OTCTynHJi nepefl 3THM BOJieBHM ^eJIOBeKOM, SCeJiaBIEHM BO MTO 6bl TO HH CTaJIO BH— 3BaTb JHOSOBB K ce6e y MepKemeHKH, yBepeHHUM B TOM, ^TO OHa HHKOMy, KpoMe Hero, He 6y&eT npHHaflJiexaTb. Jtojiro conpoTHBJiHjiacb ^epKemeHica, xoTa ITe^opHH cTapajica ycTpaHHTb Bee B03M0»tHbie npenHTCTBHH: yBepaji Eojiy B CBoeft rop-a^eft JIK6BH K Hen, y6e*c,n;aji ee, HTO flasce ee Bepa He MOsceT noMemaTb eM jm6xTh ero." 168 z'lbid.s 67-68. "Ue^opHH — nejiOBeK, KOTOPMH He MO»ceT TSK 6e3pOIIOTHO, KaK MaKCHM MaKCHMbW, THHyTb CBOBD JIHMKy H Ha KaBKa3e, He BHJJH CMHCJia B SCH3HH, XOTH ero He CTpamaT HH onac-HOCTH, HH THroTH cypoBoM KH3HH. OTHomeHHe IleuopHHa K Bsjie no-Ka3HBaeT CTpacTHOCTfa ero Ha Typhi, cnoco6HOCTt> OTflaBaTbca JJOJI-HOCTbK) MyBCTBy JIK)6BH, IipHHOCHTb HCTHHHOe c^iacTbe JIMSHMOM xceH-mHHe, noHHMaTB H couyBCTBOBaTb ee CTpajj,aHHHM. ^yBCTBO repoH K Bsjie — 3T0 He npocTO OMepejjHOe yBjieueHHe CBeTCKoro BOJIOKHTH, STO TJiySoKoe ^yBCTBO — cpeflCTBO cnacTHTb OT MepTBoS THHH, B KOTopyio 3acacHBajia ero XH3Hb, noTOMy repoft TaK Sopojicn 3a Hero, floSHBajiCH Sojibffloro OTBeTHoro HyBCTBa. 0Ka3ajiocb, ^TO repoS OHIHSCH. HcnoBe^b ITeuopHHa, BKJiroueHHaa B paccKa3 MaKCHMa MaK-CHMH^a, HBJiHHCb opHrHHajibHHM npHeMOM peajiHCTH^ecKoro MeTOfla Jlep-MOHTOBa, HBHJiacb OJJHHM H3 cpeflCTB pacKpuTHH xapaKTepa repoH." 2 8 * See, for example Karamzin's Erast from Bednaya Liza. 29 R.A. Peace, Op.Cit.3 15. 30 This question is further complicated when one considers this type of seduction as sexual exploitation which, as such, is little more than petty rape. Germaine Greer in her perceptive article "Seduction is a four-letter word" in Playboy, January 1973, p. 80, argues convincingly for a classification of this expression of hostility to the opposite sex as rape. Pechorin, in his seduction and consequent loss of interest in his quarry, demonstrates almost as much enmity toward women as any brutal rapist. CHAPTER THREE MAKSIM MAKSIMYCH Of the five stories that comprise A Hero of Our Time, Maksim Maksimych is from a literary point of view perhaps the least remarkable; nevertheless, for our purposes it is most relevant. It is very short: only ten pages in Russian, twelve in Nabokov's translation, but contains in this compact form the most developed portrait of Pechorin and a striking insight into his character through a few simple actions and phrases. In fact, Pechorin himself only utters about a dozen short sentences throughout the entire story. It would seem that the author's purpose for including the story was to have the opportunity to describe the hero in detail from the point of view of a keen observant third person rather than the unsophisticated Maksim Maksimych. Thus the reader is given a three way insight into Pechorin's personality: from the points of view of the simple Maksim Maksimych, the cultivated author-traveller and, of course, from Pechorin's own observations in his journal which follows. Although the story's impor tance rests basically on Pechorin's description and his actions, there are a number of other features which prove that Maksim Maksimych, seemingly insignificant, is a vital 170 piece in the jigsaw puzzle of characters, plots and settings which make up A Hero of Our Time. At first glance it would seem that the very concise ness of Maksim Maksimych. and the absence of such features as a love triangle, a faithful heroine, a type of "pasha" figure, storm motifs and a setting of brigands and adven turers would preclude Byronism from the story. No statement could be less true. As he did in Princess Mary and Bela, Lermontov in Maksim Maksimych has taken certain Byronic traits and developed them a step beyond their original format. Byronic features are present, but in many parts of the story they are very subtly expressed. In great contrast to the adventurous environment of Bela which takes place in a primitive mountain region of the Caucasus inhabited by bandits, uncivilized tribes and warring soldiers, the setting of Maksim Maksimych is excep tionally tranquil. Naturally, the location is still basically the same but the serenity of this story is as different from the. intensity of Bela as night from day. After all the excitement and adventure of Bela, Maksim Maksimych's calm setting gives the reader a chance to take a deep breath, and lures him into thinking that there will be little action comparable to that of the previous story. The setting itself fulfils the Byronic criterion of being exotic, but in a reversion to a Virgilian atmos-171 phere it is almost idyllic in its serenity. This last aspect certainly diminishes the Byronism of the atmosphere: there is no place here for any extraordinary happening, it is just too peaceful. All that really happens is a chance meeting of two old friends, surely not an unusual event. The ordinariness of the situation is confirmed by the lack of storm motifs. In both Princess Mary and Bela there were numerous instances of storms to reflect the mood of the hero or the narrator, or to build suspense and provide opportunity for narration. The storm was a primary Byronic feature that set the whirlwind atmosphere of the events and of the workings of the hero's mind. In Maksim Maksimych the storm motif is remarkable by its absence. Not once is the quiet calm of the story's mood interrupted by any kind of tempest. In fact clouds are only mentioned to reinforce the tranquil ity by using the epithet "golden," in stark contrast to the billowy cumulo-nimbus clouds of the other two stories. The Byronic love-triangle is also absent from Maksim Maksimych. Naturally this means that there is no faithful heroine whose love the hero can attain over great obstacles. The plot is modified to such a great extent that the Byronic formula is unrecognizable. This lack of a triangle forces a complete change in perspective since the primary element necessary for a Byronic plot is absent. The essence of Maksim Maksimych's intrigue is the old man's anticipation of his reunion with Pechorin and his subsequent cool recep tion from him. The utter simplicity of these mundane events can be misleading: many subtle psychological details are contained within them. The question concerns basic human relationships and their effects on the characters. Moreover, the author carefully presents a forthright distinc tion in these relationships because of his goal to reveal Pechorin's character in considerable detail. In effect Lermontov needed this meeting [between Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych] to justify a detailed description of Pechorin's looks (once again, we see how careful Lermontov was in justify ing such an episode), otherwise he would have been forced to renounce such a description or to place it in Maksim Maksimych's mouth, which would have been a difficult situation. 1 For example, in addition to the contrast in setting and atmosphere between Bela and Maksim Maksimych, there is a subtle yet striking distinction drawn by the author in his depiction of the human relationships in the story, which seem so simple on the surface, yet are quite complex: Maksim Maksimych and the author-narrator, who are only casual acquaintances, having met only once before, re-encounter each other in the story "like two old friends." This phrase sets the tone for the rest of the story. We plainly see the contrast between this cordial reunion of two people who know each other only superficially, and the almost frigid encounter of the two actual "old friends," Pechorin 173 and Maksim Maksimych. The contradistinction is made even more noteworthy by the build-up of pathetic anticipatory emotion in the old captain, who expects a genuinely friendly reception. The plot might be considered Byronic in the sense that it involves a submission of will. Pechorin refuses to express any deep emotion at meeting Maksim Maksim ych, either through gross indifference or suppression of his emotions. Although the intrigue involves a contest of wills, it is a barely recognizable and greatly modified form of a Byronic plot. If Pechorin's valet is considered, Maksim Maksimych contains only four basic characters — all of them masculine figures. The plot is structured around the interchanges between the junior captain and the narrator, Maksim Maksimych and Pechorin, and then reverting to Maksim Maksimych and the author-traveller. It would perhaps be most logical to begin the character analysis of the story with the least significant figure, Pechorin's valet. The author characterizes him as a kind of Russian Figaro, insolent, spoiled and very impolite. His rude mien is well expressed through the exchange that he has with Maksim Maksimych and the author-traveller . "I say, friend," the junior captain asked him, "whose is this marvelous carriage, hey? A splendid carriage!" The man, without turning, muttered something under his breath, while he unfastened a 174 suitcase. Maksim Maksimych became angry; he touched the uncivil fellow on the shoulder and said: "It's you I'm talking to, my good fellow. ..." "Whose carriage? My master's. . . . "' "And what's your master's name?" "Pechorin." (pp. 52-53) Maksim Maksimych addresses the lackey in a friendly and courteous manner and is rewarded with unkindness. Lermontov had a distinct purpose for including this interchange: it allows him to set the tone of the final outcome. This unfriendly scene anticipates the old captain's awkward em barrassment and mortification at the brutally cold meeting between him and Pechorin. Thus, just as he used the storm as a device in Bela, so the author utilizes a scene of lesser importance to further strengthen the plausibility of the main event. The importance of the interchange between the old captain and the valet cannot be denied: it is essential for making the mood of Pechorin's appearance more believable. The valet acts as a kind of lens to 2 magnify the frigid haughtiness of the hero. Just as Grushnitsky was a parody of the worst elements of Pechorin in Princess Mary, so the valet here is an imitation of his master's arrogance and cynicism. Once again the author-traveller's character is portrayed through his story-telling. There is here, however, no instance of a narrative within a narrative. The narrator tells the entire story of Maksim Maksimych from his own point of view. As mentioned above this is a prime consideration since it allows a new perspective for viewing the "hero of our time." In Bela the travelling note-taker was depicted as a somewhat cynical observer of society who had a naive unbounded enthusiasm for the natural splendour of the mountains. In this way he fitted well into the category of a Child of Nature, much in the same vein as Byron's Childe Harold. Another remarkable contrast is presented at the very beginning of Maksim Maksimych. The narrator, who in Bela has spared little detail in his zealous descriptions of the magnificent area, in only his second sentence mentions that "I shall spare you a descrip tion of the mountains — exclamations that do not express anything, pictures that do not represent anything, especially for those who have not been there themselves, and statistical notes that decidedly nobody would want to read." (p. 50) The outright cynicism and reluctance to extend the description is astonishing. The reader who continues the novel immediately after finishing Bela cannot help but be struck by the shift from the ebullient lyricism expressed by the author-traveller in Bela to his taciturn dismissal of description in Maksim Maksimych. The mood is further developed and this absence of lyricism intensified by the additional mundane kind of detail that he gives. The presentation of the inn is a decidedly sardonic one: 176 I stopped at an inn where all travelers stop, but where, nonetheless, you cannot find anybody to roast a pheasant or cook some cabbage soup, since the three war invalids, who have been put in charge of the place, are so stupid or so drunk that no good whatever can be got out of them. (p. 50) Later on the author-traveller tells about the damp cold and the grimy Armenians; in a rather disillusioned fashion he presents a scene that contrasts greatly with Bela's idealistic portraits in its everyday ordinary detail. The morning was fresh, but fine. Golden clouds had accumulated on the mountains like an additional, airy range. A wide square spread before the gate; beyond it, a market-place was seething with people, it being Sunday; barefooted Ossetian lads, carrying on their shoulders sacks of honey combs, swarmed around me; I chased them away. I could not be bothered by them. I was beginning to share the restlessness of my good captain, (p. 55) Note the writer's tone of detached annoyance. This cynical attitude is interrupted by his remarks on the natural splendour of the Caucasus mountains where a return to the love of nature is expressed very clearly in his words. I sat looking out of the window. Through the trees a multitude of squat little houses showed here and there, scattered along the bank of the Terek River, which hereabouts keeps running wider and wider; further away blue mountains loomed like a crenulated wall, and from behind them peered forth Mount Kazbek in its white cardinalic mitre. I was taking leave of them mentally; I had begun to feel sorry about it. (p. 51) 177 Thus although the travelling author is much more cynical than he was in Bela, at heart he is still very much the Child of Nature. The reason for his marked increase in sardonic attitude could be Pechorin's callous adventure with Bela. In effect the author-traveller's final attitude is one of obvious disillusionment. After the embarrassing scene with Pechorin, Maksim Maksimych is completely abashed and takes out his anger and frustration on the travelling note-taker. The latter's disposition is one of understand ing, but he makes a fascinating remark on the drying up of enthusiasm in the human spirit. We parted rather drily. My good Maksim Maksimych had turned into a stubborn and grumpy junior captain! And why? Just because Pechorin, out of absent-mindedness or for some other reason, proferred his hand while Maksim Maksimych wanted to throw himself on Pechorin's neck! It is sad to see a youth lose his fondest hopes and dreams, when the rosy tulle, through which he had looked upon the acts and feelings of men, is torn aside before him, even though there is hope that he will replace his old delusions by new ones, no less fleeting but also no less sweet. But by what can one replace them at Maksim Maksimych's age? No wonder that the heart hardens and the soul folds up. (p. 62) It is evident in summary that the narrator is once again -a keen observer; in a fashion very reminiscent of Byron he describes the internal workings of a person's mind 3 by exterior detail. The narrator is still basically a Child of Nature but he has much, more of the dread of society in the tradition of Harold and, in fact, of Pechorin himself. 178 It is remarkable that he identifies with Pechorin in the above remarks, for he actually attempts to make excuses for Pechorin"s cold-blooded behaviour toward Maksim Maksimych. The key word which confirms this is "absent-mindedness" (rasseyanost ') rather than indifference or cruelty. It would seem that the narrator's statements are not only an expression of understanding but also amount to an apologia 4 for Pechorin's behaviour. There seems to be a certain flaw in the narrator's omniscience. After Maksim Maksimych has sent the message to Pechorin that he is there, the old man sits anxiously awaiting to see Pechorin. Maksim Maksimych himself states that Pechorin was detained, but in the remarks following, the narrator states that "It was clear that the old man was hurt by Pechorin's neglect, the more so as he had been telling me recently about their friendship, and only an hour before, had been sure that Pechorin would come at a run the moment he heard Maksim Maksimych's name." (p. 54) The anomaly is that the travelling author assumes Pechorin was careless about meeting with the junior captain. At that time could there not be a distinct possibility that Pechorin was actually detained on official business, since Lermontov makes it clear that he was in the commandant's office? Obviously the conclusion that Pechorin was neglect ful comes from retrospect. The flaw is that Maksim Maksimych, though anxiously awaiting the young man's arrival would not necessarily assume Pechorin was being indifferent. 179 It was already demonstrated that Maksim Maksimych was certainly no Byronic figure, and that in including him, 5 Lermontov vacillated from Byronic tradition. Maksim Maksimych1s personality, already well developed by the events and remarks in Bela, is consumated by his depiction in the story that bears his name, which further affirms Lermontov's refusal to follow Byron's path in this particular aspect. As we saw, the old captain and the note-taker met like two old friends. Maksim Maksimych "made no pretense of ceremony, he even clapped . . . [the narrator] ... on the shoulder and twisted his mouth into the semblance of a smile." (p. 51) These actions continue the impression of the junior captain's friendliness and emphasize his refusal to stand on ceremony. Moreover, the practical experience of Maksim Maksimych is again witnessed through the detail that the old man was good at cooking, attesting to a lengthy time of stay in the lonely Caucasian setting. His easy-going affability shows itself during the anticipatory scene with Pechorin's valet: the latter is very rude to Maksim Maksimych; the old captain gets angry but does not become rude or offensive. Instead he calls him "bratets" and "lyubeznyy," maintaining a civil, yet firm mien. He is so overjoyed to find out that the carriage belongs to Pechorin that he is able to overlook the bad manners of the lackey. It is obvious that his friendship with the young man meant a great deal 180 to him as his effusive enthusiasm about seeing Pechorin testifies. Maksim Maksimych is also certain that the friendship was important to Pechorin also, for he states flatly "with a triumphant look" that Pechorin will come run ning to see him. Maksim Maksimych patently expects his affability and kindness to be repaid with the same, and it is on this false hope that the plot hinges. The junior captain is so anxious to see Pechorin that he decides to wait outside the gate. As time goes by he becomes more and more worried and his petulance increases. Maksim Maksimych at first believes that Pechorin has been detained, but as the minutes tick by his mortification and embarrassment get worse, especially since he just told the narrator that he and Pechorin were bosom friends and that the former would hurry to him at the mere mention of his name. He at first refuses tea out of anxiety, but to show the note-taker that he is not worried at all, he later gives in. Maksim Maksimych waits until a late hour before he goes to bed; he does not wish to be embarrassed further by discussing Pechorin's absence with the author-traveller so he refuses to go to bed before the former has retired. 7 Out of mortification and anxiety he cannot sleep. The amusing anecdote about the bedbugs shows the junior captain's refusal to accept the fact that Pechorin is neglecting him: rather than admit that it is his own abashment that is keeping him awake, he insists that the 181 bedbugs are to blame. The young man's neglect may disturb him very much but his devotion is so great, he is up first in the morning waiting for his friend. Maksim Maksimych's refusal to accept the bitter truth shows that there is something childlike and stubborn in his makeup, emphasized by his discomfort at the thought that the narrator may not believe that he and Pechorin were not as close as he inferred. Later on, when informed of Pechorin's arrival, Maksim Maksimych is so anxious to meet him that he hurries back at full speed: I turned toward the square and saw Maksim Maksimych running as fast as he could. A few moments later, he was near us; sweat was trickling down his face; wet shags of gray hair, escaping from under his cap, had glued themselves to his forehead; his knees were shaking, he was about to fall on Pechorin's neck, but the latter, rather coolly, though with a friendly smile, stretched out his hand. (p. 58) Maksim Maksimych's unbounded friendliness shows through: he wants to throw his arms around the younger man and addresses him as "ty ." Naturally as the old captain realizes that Pechorin is not about to reciprocate, his agitation and embarrassment increase, particularly since the scene takes place right in front of the narrator, to whom he has confided that he and Pechorin were intimate friends. Pechorin's coolness makes Maksim Maksimych look and feel like a fool, but more important to him is that he understands that 182 Pechorin has not valued their friendship as much as he. When he finally realizes this, he reproaches Pechorin for not feeling the same as he. He attempts to have Pechorin stay even for a little while and is very hurt by his refusal. Up to this point in time Maksim Maksimych has remained his friendly self. Now a change occurs. When he realizes how foolish he must appear, he reacts in a child like but understandable manner. He takes out his frustration on the .author-narrator. The old captain tries to conceal his vexation and insists that the cool reception is unimpor tant. "Yes," he said at last, trying to assume an in different air, although a tear of vexation would still sparkle from time to time on his lashes, "of course, we used to be friends, but what is friend ship in our times? What can I mean to him? I have neither wealth nor rank, nor am I at all his mate in age. Look what a dandy he has become after re visiting Petersburg. What a calash! How much luggage! And such a haughty valet!" (p. 60) This childlike impression is maintained by his petulant attitude to Pechorin's memoirs: "He looked at me with surprise, muttered something through his teeth, and began to rummage in a suitcase; presently he took out a notebook and threw it on the ground with contempt; a second, a third and up to a tenth book received the same treatment. There was something childish about his resentment; I began to feel both amused and touched." (p. 61) The feigned indifference proceeds its logical course until Maksim Maksimych dismisses Pechorin's friendship as being 183 unimportant to him also. "Here they are, all of them," he said, "congratulations on your find. ..." "And I may do with them all I wish?" "You may even publish them in the gazettes. What do I care? One would think I was some kind of friend or relative of his. True, we did live for a long time under one roof. . . . But haven't I had any number of roommates?" (p. 61) The final expression of his hurt feelings, vexation and frustration is in his scornful attitude toward the travel ling author: Maksim Maksimych blames him for his own mortification at Pechorin's actions: "'How can we, unschooled old fellows, keep up with you? You are young men of fashion, you are haughty. It may be all right while one is together here under Circassian fire . . . but meet you later and you're ashamed to shake hands with us.'" (p. 62) The incidents in Maksim Maksimych complete Lermon tov's portrayal of the old man as a real human character g with human foibles. Instead of having the extraordinary control of an extraordinary figure like Pechorin, he reacts to his embarrassment and humiliation in a commonplace way by striking out at those around him. This genuine human capacity for both friendliness and vexation and the way the old man reacts to these emotions round out his depiction and make him a living human being, with the ordinary faults of normal people, not at all typical of the Byronic main stream of figures with their unusual characteristics that 184 set them apart from the crowd. Maksim Maksimych's appearance in the novel is necessary not only to give a complete presentation of the hero through his relationships with the junior captain,, but also to give it more credibility 9 by bringing the work down to earth. It is obvious from the previous remarks that most of the Byronic features, if any, of Maksim Maksimych are contained in the delineation of Pechorin. In the author-traveller's two-page description of the hero (for our purposes the most important part of the story), external detail is used to present Pechorin's internal characteris tics. Naturally he [the author-traveller] intently observes each trait and follows each movement of this 'strange person' (in the words of the junior captain). The basis upon which the portrait is drawn constitutes a new presentation of the links between the exterior of a. person and his character and mind — a presen tation in which are heard the echoes of new philosoph ical and natural scientific theories . . . Lermontov determines Pechorin's character from the basis of his hands, his gait, his wrinkles and the colour of his hair in comparison with that of his mustache and eye brows. The materialistic foundation of this portrait is obviously emphasized by the comparison of this last detail with a sign of breeding in a white horse. 10 What Eykhenbaum does not mention is that many of these char acteristics are typical of the heroes of Byron. In fact, in this two-page description Lermontov paints a picture which could apply to virtually any or all of Byron's heroes. The eyes that do not laugh when he laughs betray either a wicked nature or a constant melancholy and the way he does 185 not swing his arms demonstrates a certain reticence of nature. Above all, Pechorin's exterior has a feature common to all Byron's heroes from Lara to Harold: the pale aristocratic brow with noble wrinkles."'""'" Lermontov does not present any lengthy lyrical passages about the magnificence of nature as he did in Princess Mary. Nevertheless, there are certain subtle references throughout Maksim Maksimych which again testify that Pechorin is a Child of Nature at heart. In the note-taker's description of the hero, Pechorin is depicted as being robust and has the vim and vigour of a man who has gone through an existence close to nature: "He was of medium height; a slim waist and broad shoulders testified to a sturdy constitution which was suited to bear all the hardships of a roving life and the changes of climate, and was undefeated either by the dissolution of city life or by the tempests of the soul; ..." (p. 56) In most ways Pechorin is most assuredly not a naive person, yet the author-traveller still sees that after "a first glance at his face, I would not have given him more than twenty-three years, though later I was ready to give him thirty. There was something childish about his smile." (p. 56) Thus although Pechorin himself contains little of the naivete of the Child of Nature in his actions, the descrip tion shows that there are vestiges of this prototype in his make-up. He may have developed beyond it, but at 186 heart he is very much a Child of Nature. As a final testament to this, the narrator reports that Pechorin was not in a hurry to continue his journey: the young man paused to immerse himself in contemplating the majestic beauties of the Caucasian region, meditations which verify his lyrical attraction to nature. Pechorin's character traits visible in Maksim Maksimych also include features of the Hero of Sensibility. As a Man of Feeling Lermontov's hero possesses the necessary pale wrinkled brow. Pechorin's distinction as a Man of Unfeeling (i.e. the Man of Feeling who hides his excessive emotion from others yet nonetheless still feels them), must also be presented. His reception of the old captain is friendly but in a decidedly formal and aloof manner, in comparison with the ebullience with which Maksim Maksimych receives him. When the latter mentions Bela, Lermontov utilizes a key stock phrase of the Romantic period to show that Pechorin feels great pain,: upon hearing her name as he "paled slightly and turned away." The pose of unfeeling immediately takes over, however, as the hero attempts to mask his sensitivity by feigning a yawn. Near the end of the encounter with Maksim Maksimych, Pechorin states that he does not care at all what they do with his journal. But it is his actions, not his words which contain the most revealing aspect of his character as a man of sensitivity. The author-traveller, with his usual keen sense of observation, 187 states clearly that Pechorin was in no hurry to resume his journey, for he pauses to marvel at the Caucasian grandeur. Why then, does he act so abruptly with histoid friend and insist — his insistence is rather suspect — that he must leave at once? In actual fact the hero does make great haste to leave only after he has met the junior captain. The reasons behind his abruptness are contained in his nature as a Hero of Sensibility who feels his emotions very deeply. Reencountering his old friend Maksim Maksimych who unavoidably mentions Bela (as Nabokov suggests, the old captain himself forgets about the taboo that he has clearly expressed in the previous story, and only a few days before; Maksim Maksimych does not realize that, for such a sensitive person as Pechorin, even five years is not enough to erase old wounds) brings back such terrible memories for him and causesPechorin such emotional turmoil, that he cannot bear to remain, and hastily departs. This point is clearly established by the structure of the novel itself: there is no pause for the reader between Beta and Maksim Maksimych so that the events of the previous story and Pechorin's reactions to them are fresh in the mind. The reader easily sees that the sensitivity of Pechorin to the agonizing final outcome of Bela is not at all diminished by even a passing of time of five years. The final quality of the Man of Feeling demonstrated by 188 Lermontov's hero in this story is his tendency toward effeminacy, which we have, certainly not seen before. The author-traveller mentions that "his skin had a kind of feminine tenderness of texture" and compares him to a coquette of Balzac: When he settled upon the bench, his straight figure flexed in such a way that you would think there was not a single bone in his spine; the attitude of his whole body expressed a kind of nervous debility; he sat there as a thirty-year-old coquette of Balzac's would sit after a fatigu ing ball, in her armchair stuffed with down.(p. 56) As a Hero of Sensibility Pechorin also demonstrates the self-centred world-weariness of the Gloomy Egoist. To Maksim Maksimych's query about his activities over the past five years Pechorin can only reply "skuchal" — "I have been bored." This one-word reply summarizes the hero's attitude 12 of cynical disillusionment with the world -- disappointment in even the Caucasian majesty, in stark contrast with his previous expressions of the enjoyment of the area's natural splendour as his last hope for salvation. This disenchant ment is affirmed by Pechorin's statement that he will travel in search of new horizons, much like the wanderings of Childe Harold, through Persia and even further. Cynicism is the last impression that Pechorin gives: with an indifferent wave of his hand the young man expresses his thoughts that he will never return. More important and remarkable is his reason "what for?" Pechorin's ennui 189 with the world is so great that even the Caucasian majesty is not enough any more to make him want to return. The narrator's observation that Pechorin's eyes that never laughed when he did can be altered slightly to say that they illustrate a wicked nature and a deep and constant melancholy, for from what we already know about his personality, Lermontov's hero has both of these elements in him. Natur ally, this melancholy is a necessary feature for the Gloomy Egoist. Above all, Pechorin is egotistical: he is totally indifferent toward the feelings of his former comrade; his only desire is to safeguard his own emotions by a hurried departure. In the last paragraph of description Lermontov con firms the wicked nature of his hero. His penetrating glance, as frigid and hard as steel, typical of a Gothic Villain, and his aristocratic hands make Pechorin resemble a Noble Outlaw figure. In the first place, they never laughed when he was laughing! Have you observed this bizarre trait in some people? It is either the sign of a wicked nature or of a deep and constant melancholy. From behind half-lowered lashes, they shone with a kind of phosphorescent glitter, if I can put it thus. It was not the reflection of the soul's glow or of an effervescent imagination; this was a gleam akin to the gleam of smooth steel, dazzling but cold; his glance, while not lingering, was penetrating and oppressive, it left the disagreeable impression of an indiscreet question and might have appeared in solent had it not been indifferently serene, (p. 57) Pechorin's glance is remarkably similar to the expression 13 of the most villainous of Byron's heroes, Lara. 190 "And they indeed were changed -- 'tis quickly seen, Whate'er he be, 'twas not what he had been: That brow in furrow'd lines had fix'd at last, And spake of passions, but of passion past: The pride, but not the fire, of early days, Coldness of mien, and carelessness of praise; A high demeanour, and a glance that took Their thoughts from others by a single look; And that sarcastic levity of tongue, The stinging of a heart the world hath stung, That darts in seeming playfulness around, And makes those feel that will not own the wound; All these seem'd his, and something more beneath Than glance could well reveal, or accent breathe. Ambition, glory, love, the common aim, That some can conquer, and that all would claim, Within his breast appear'd no more to strive, Yet seem'd as lately they had been alive; And some deep feeling it were vain to trace At moments lighten'd o'er his livid face." ' {Lara, I, 65-84) Pechorin's actions in Maksim Maksimych illustrate this dark side of his personality very well: there is no doubt that he acts with a degree of cruelty in his treatment of the old 14 captain, either intentionally or through indifference. Either way he knows Maksim Maksimych's friendly character and emotional desire to be liked; Pechorin had spent a great deal of time with him so he must be aware of the fact that any kind of coldness toward the junior captain will hurt the old man very deeply. When he addresses his former close companion with a stiff vy and maintains this formal address even when he realizes Maksim Maksimych's utter con fusion from using the ty form, Pechorin's cruelty is quite apparent. Maksim Maksimych's humiliation and hurt feelings are evident yet for some reason Pechorin does not make any 191 attempt, or does not even seem to want to make the attempt, to be a little more friendly for the old man's sake. Finally, Pechorin must realize how important a few moments of remin iscence with him are to the junior captain, yet still refuses the latter's invitation to stay for a short while and, to add insult to injury, hastens away, leaving Maksim Maksim ych standing there completely humiliated and embarrassed in front of the author-traveller. Thus there is some certain ty that Lermontov's hero demonstrates a degree of cruelty in Maksim Maksimych, although not to the great extent that he does in Princess Mary. Pechorin is still basically a Gothic Villain figure. Lastly there is evidence which points to Pechorin as a Man of Will in this story. Just as he disarmed the junior captain in Bela, he does the same thing here, only with coldness instead of logic. Pechorin refuses to complete the friendly exchange that Maksim Maksimych offers by shaking hands instead of falling on his neck, by using short laconic phrases of boredom and disillusion to counter the old man's expressions of drazhaishiy, etc., and even by feigning a yawn to assert his control over emotional memories 15 that the junior captain triggers. Pechorin's refusal to accept an invitation to stay with Maksim Maksimych for just a couple of hours shows that his will is unflinching and will definitely not bend to comply with the old man's simple wishes. Instead it is the old captain's will that 192 is broken in this contest of wishes; once Pechorin has made up his mind, there is nothing that can alter it. One almost wonders if Pechorin is enjoying the pleas and begging of the abashed captain so that he again can prove that he has the stronger will power. In the second episode, Maksim Maksimych, the superiority of Pechorin1s will, that ability to do as he pleases which had been adumbrated in the incident of the sword, is given striking con firmation by his refusal to greet Maksim Maksimych as an old friend. Moreover the rejection is thrown into even greater relief by the fact that Maksim Maksimych, who has just met the author-figure for a second time as an 'old friend', now mistakes Pechorin's fine carriage for that of some inexper ienced traveller in the Caucasus. In this way the meeting with Pechorin is ironically linked with the earlier encounter with the author-figure. The ascendancy of Maksim Maksimych and his downfall invite ironic comparison. 16 Pechorin's will remains inexorable. This refusal to bend to another's wishes is one of the last impressions left of Pechorin, since he dies on his Persian journey, and the rest of A Hero of Our Time consists of his autobiographical adventures. The result is the utter humiliation and crushed feelings of Maksim Maksimych, to which the hero remains completely oblivious. Thus the portrait of Pechorin is completed by the third person narrative in Maksim Maksimych. Naturally more is to come, but the two page description of the hero and his actions in the story are central to the total depiction 17 of the "hero of our time." The portrait of the hero is of 193 special fundamental importance since it is the only develop ed external description of Pechorin in the entire novel and its significance to the character elaboration of the hero cannot be discounted. The Byronic features of the story are almost all contained in the delineation of the hero, since so many of the elements necessary for such features as plots and motifs are not present. Even with the short appearance that he makes in Maksim Maksimych, it is evident from our analysis that Lermontov's hero contains in his make-up elements of the Child of Nature, the Hero of Sensibility and the Gothic Villain which place him well in the tradition of the evolutionary prototypes of the Byronic hero. Moreover, as he was in Princess Mary and Bela, Pechorin is still very much a Man of Will which was already demonstrated as one of the prime features of a Byronic hero. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of Maksim Maksimycht insofar as the hero is concerned, is how closely the external description of Pechorin matches those of almost any of the heroes of Byron. 194 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER THREE """B. Eykhenbaum, Lermontov, (1924), 151. "H JcynjHOCTH, 3Ta BCTpe^a HyxHa JlepMOHTOBy .HJIH Toro, ^TOOH MOTupoBaTB nojJipofiHoe onHcanHe HapyscHOCTH Ile^opHHa (eme pa3 BHJJHM, KaK 3a60THTCH JlepMOHTOB O MOTHBan,HH TaKOrO pOfla MOMeHTOB) — HHane eMy npHmjiocb 6u coBceM OTKa3aTbcn OT TaKoro OIIH-caHHfl HJIH BJIOSCHTB ero B ycTa MaKCHMa MaKCHMbma, ^TO 6MJIO 6bl 3aTpyflHHT6JIbH0. " 2 B.V. Neyman, "Portret v tvorchestve Lermontova," (1948), 83. 3Ibid., 89. 4 For a comparison of this method of portrait with that ofYevgeny Onegin see G.G. Shevchenko, "0 svoyeobrazii psikhologicheskogo analiza v romane M. Yu. Lermontova Geroy nashego vremeni," (1962), 84. 5 L.M. Myshkovskaya, "Geroy nashego vremeni, " (1941), 32. One cannot overlook the possibility that the tone of the captain's "lyubeznyy," could well be condescending here also. 7 A.K. Bocharova, "Fatalizm Pechorina" in Tvorohestvo M. Yu. Lermontova, ed. K.D. Vishnevsky, (1965), 230. g See L.M/ Myshkovskaya, Op. Cit., 32. 9 G. Fridlender, "Lermontov I russkaya povestvova-tel'naya proza," (1965), 45. "^B. Eykhenbaum, "0 smyslovoy osnove Geroya nashego vremeni," (1959), 23. "EcTecTBeHHO, **T0 OH npHCTajibHO BCMaTpHBaeTca B Kasmyio uepTy, cjiejiHT 3a KascjjHM flBHxeHHeM 3Toro "CTpaHHoro" (no cjiOBaM mTa6c-KanHTaHa) ^ejiOBeKa. H BOT pHcyeTCH nopTpeT, B ocHOBy KOToporo nojioaceHO HOBoe npeAGTaBJieHHe o CBH3H BHeniHOCTH ^ejiOBeKa c ero xapaKTepoM ,H ncHXHKoft BOo6me — npeflCTaBJieHHe, B KOTOPOM cjibiraHH OT-TOJIOCKH HOBHX CDHJIOCO(!)CKHX H ecTecTBeHHOHayMHbix TeopHH.... JlepMOHTOB onpejjejineT ncnxHKy IleMopHHa Ha ocHOBaHHH ero pyK, 195 HOXOJJKH; "MopnjHH^ u,BeTa ~BOJIOC B". eooTHomeHHH c UBe.T.OM"ycoB a 6poBeii. MaTepHajiHCTHHecKan oeHOBa aTOro nopTpeTaTfleMOHCTpaTHBHO nofl^epKHyT'a cpaBHeHneM nocjieflHeii fleTajiH.c npH3HaKOM"nopo/j;H- -y-6ejiOH jiomaflH." "'""'"For an appropriate description of Lara's "pale brow" see page 190. 12K. Loks, "Proza Lermontova," (1938), 12. 13 In the first chapter of Lermontov's unfinished novel Knyaginya Ligovskaya (Princess Ligovskaya) Georges Pechorin, the immediate predecessor of the protagonist of A Hero of Our Time, identifies strongly with a portrait which he calls a portrait of Lara. 14 F.F. Seeley, "The Heyday of the 'Superfluous Man' in Russia," (1952), 105. "^1. Vinogradov, "Filosofskiy roman Lermontova," (1964), 215. 16 R.A. Peace, "The Role of Taman' in Lermontov's Geroy nashego vremeni," (1967), 13. 17 If this portrait is "vague" as Richard Freeborn calls it, in The Rise of the Russian Novel, (1973), 53-54, then it is vague in a typically Byronic sense, because it delineates character through external detail. CHAPTER FOUR TAMAN ' The first of the three stories that comprise Pechorin's journal is a short adventure tale of bizarre deception — Taman!. It is preceded by an introduction to the journal itself where the itinerant author appends some detail about the young man's death and his own convictions about Pechorin's sincerity. The introduction to Pechorin1s journal is important for the novel's cohesion: it offers an explanation of the rights to publish the diary, though the absence of detail about the hero's mysterious death is noticeable. Also remarkable is the narrator's callous attitude toward the death of the hero; he states laconically that the news of the young man's demise "gladdened him" since it gave him the right to publish the journal. It would seem that the fundamental purpose behind the inclusion of these statements is to convince the reader that the journal is indeed authentic and that Pechorin was sincere in his presentation of the three tales.1 Moreover, there is evidence that Lermontov may have had further adventures in mind, for the narrator states that he has another notebook. Perhaps this was to be a scath ing expose of the decadence of Petersburg high society; 197 we shall never know, however. The introduction's last statement contains an obviously ironic remark which has been widely discussed and interpreted. The reference to the novel's title, bringing us back to the hero as an individual, serves as a key to the lock of the ironic portrait of Taman'. Taman ' is the third story in the complex framework of narratives that make up Lermontov's novel. However, it is striking to note that it is the first tale in Pechorin's journal and in the Russian editions this ten-page story is separated from the other two — Princess Mary and The Fatalist. Chronologically, Taman' is the first of the five narratives 2 and occurs around 1830. There is some evidence that the story is based on actual events that happened to the author 3 during his stay in the region. In fact, M.I. Tseydler claimed that he had met the same characters depicted by Lermontov in his tale when the former had himself stayed 4 in Taman' in 1838. He even declared that he had been to the house which served as the model for Pechorin's miserable quarters in the story. i Taman ' is one of the most fascinating sections of the novel and, indeed,, may be the most baffling. This is due to the reversal of active and passive roles which results in a portrait of the hero that often descends into buffoon ery. In the other parts of A Eero of Our Time Pechorin is the dominant individual: he acts as the controlling factor 198 in other people's lives, deceiving, humiliating, and destroying others. In Taman', however, Pechorin is the object of others' trickery and humiliation; he himself is almost destroyed. Instead of making the other characters play the fool, here it is Pechorin who is the clown. Some Soviet critics have stated that Lermontov's hero purpose fully allows others to dominate him because of his 5 attraction to evil. I shall consider this point in detail during the analysis of the hero. Nevertheless, purposeful or not, Pechorin's heroic stature is still undermined and for this very reason one must be cautious in one's estimation of Byronic features — particularly of the hero — since it is virtually impossible for the elevated Byronic hero to have elements of the buffoon in his make-up. These contradictions can be reconciled if we consider the distinct possibility that Taman' is a conscious parody of the Byronic myth. Indeed, many of the features of the tale (and most of all the treatment of the hero) would confirm this proposal. The storm motif, an essential Byronic feature in other parts of the novel, also plays an important role in Taman'. Significantly, as the plot develops, so does the inclemency of the weather. In the beginning the pure rays of the moon illumine a calm harbour, portending good weather and a speedy departure for the hero. But as soon as the mysterious blind lad makes his suspicious nocturnal 199 jaunt, the moon becomes clothed in clouds and a mist appears over the sea. The waves begin to crash threateningly on the beach. As Pechorin eavesdrops and the wind brings him snatches of the conversation between the boy and the woman, the latter declares that the storm is heavy and the mist is thickening. The occurrence of the storm is a deliberate device for the preparation of the entrance of the smuggler Yanko. The fact that Yanko makes his appearance during this storm and "is not afraid either of the sea or the winds or the mist or the coast guards" greatly heightens his heroic stature. This is the important point: in other places Lermontov has used the storm motif to illus trate, in typical Byronic fashion, the storminess of the hero's soul; here the author uses it to build up admiration for someone other than Pechorin, in fact, a kind of rival. The only other mention of the storm motif occurs during the undina's song. There she emphasizes the bravery of her valiant sailor who will not be afraid even if the "storm runs riot." Thus, rather than epitomizing the heroic stature of Pechorin, Lermontov has used the storm motif in a different way in order to make Yanko a figure of great courage. From the standpoint of romantic exoticism the intrigue of the story is similar to the tales involving bandits, outlaws and pirates so prevalent in Byron. 200 Lermontov placed his hero-figure in the midst of the dangerous milieu of smugglers. However, the basic formula of Taman ' could hardly be considered Byronic since the hero suffers defeat. The plot hinges on a false premise (i.e. that Pechorin knows about the illicit activities and will report them to the appropriate authorities) that the hero blurts out as a tease. It is significant that Pechorin blunders upon these clandestine activities by chance and simple curiosity and not by intelligent investigation. The girl's attempts to drown the hero and the smuggler's subsequent departure all stem from the hero's bumbling antics. There is no attempt to win over the affections of the young woman, nor to seduce and humiliate her. Instead the opposite occurs, with the girl taking the initiative, making the aggressive moves and totally overwhelming Pechorin. The unalina is the dominant figure: she holds Pechorin in the palm of her hand. Obviously, then, there can be no "obstacle" or "conquest" of the heroine. Indeed, the ease with which the heroine conquers the hero is striking. Therefore a reversal of the normal Byronic love triangle occurs, rendering the relationship of the hero and heroine a parody or a destruction of the Byronic love 7 myth. Furthermore, there is no confrontation between the two "rivals," Pechorin and Yanko, where the former can show his innate superiority. There is considerable doubt that in Taman ' Pechorin would be able to show any kind of heroic 201 stature, since it is Yanko and not he, who illustrates the elevated superiority of a Byronic hero. Nevertheless, on the surface Yanko and Pechorin are rivals. But Lermon tov's hero does not come close to gaining the heroine's love nor does he establish his own status as a heroic hero in Taman '. The remarkable conclusion is that the plot of this tale is. a reversal of the Byronic scheme of the other stories and shows Pechorin as a feeble interloper rather than a valiant man of action. To resolve the perplexing issues of Taman ' it is necessary to analytically examine the figures in the story and their complex interrelationships. An important detail is that none of the characters have names except Yanko. The girl, the blind boy, the old deaf woman, Pechorin's cossack servant and the assorted and sundry soldiers are known only through impersonal nomenclature — their names are not given. In fact, Pechorin's own name is not given; we know it only because it is his journal. Yanko is the only character who bears a name. This may have been done to further elevate his heroic status. The heroine of Taman' is the last in the series of Lermontov's depictions of young women in the novel and, like the others, hers is not a convincing portrait. Once again, she is quite typically a Byronic heroine. In fact, the author (or rather more importantly, Pechorin) states that she closely resembles the heroine Mignon in Goethe's 202 g Wilhelm Meisters Lehvjahre. Like most Romantic heroines she has an enchanting appearance with a definite air of mystery about her. My songstress did not appear to be more than eighteen. The extraordinary suppleness of her figure, a special inclination of the head, peculiar to her alone, her long auburn hair, a kind of golden sheen on the slightly sun-tanned skin of her neck and shoulders, and, especially, her straight nose — all this was enchanting to me. Although I detected in her oblique glances something wild and suspicious, and although there was an odd vagueness about her smile, still such is the force of preconception; her straight nose drove me crazy. (p. 74) Pechorin admits that the young girl was not a raving beauty but she was not plain either. He specifically notices her breeding and her straight nose. This reinforces her type casting in the Romantic genre: like all Byronic heroines she has unusual qualities about her appearance. The young woman is principally characterized by her perpetual motion. When we see her first (although it is only made clear later that it was she) the undina approaches the blind lad and sits down beside him. Immediately that Yanko1s oars are heard she quickly jumps up and peers into the distance. It seems that she constantly flits point-lessly from one action to another. When Pechorin first spies the girl on the roof she is gazing away toward the horizon, then suddenly she is laughing and talking to herself, and the next moment she is singing. When the hero stops to think for a second about the song that she is 203 singing, then looks back up, the young woman-has disappeared, only to come rushing by at the next moment: All at once, she ran past me, singing some other snatch and then, snapping her fingers, ran into the old woman's hut, upon which a dispute arose between them. The old woman was furious, the girl laughed loudly. Presently, I saw my undine skip out again. On coming up level with me, she stopped and looked fixedly into my eyes as if she were surprised at my presence; then she turned away casually and slowly walked toward the harbour. This was not the end: all day long she hovered about my dwelling; her singing and skipping did not cease for one minute. What an odd creature she was! (p. 73) Immediately following this description of the girl's perpetual motion occur some key phrases which determine and emphasize the peculiar relationship that she has with Pechorin. The hero admits that her eyes have some kind of magnetic power over him and he is involuntarily attracted to her. This"is the first hint that the girl has a domineering role to play in their relationship; it is also a sign of her impending spell-like control over Pechorin. This marks a great contrast to the other women of A Hero of Our Time. The undina is no submissive native girl under the control of a sophisticated roue, nor is she a society coquette with a subliminal desire to be dominated. It is she who submits Pechorin's will to her own; from this point on she is in control. 204 The fey, Puckish, elusive, and above all, incon sequential brio of this girl suggests not only Pechorin's incomprehension of her motives but a closeness in their relationship, literally perhaps a kind of magnetic power existing between them, which seems to deny him personal identity and self-control. In the privacy of their relationship, for it is a relationship of a quite private character, the girl is the one who fascinates and dominates, so that he finds himself, in the spoof seduction scene, almost witlessly absorbed by her actions, by her effect on him, and unable to shake off her snake like mesmerism until she has gone. ... 9 When Pechorin confronts her personally and plies her with queries, the girl parries his questions with great skill by supplying meaningless answers. The hero does not even manage to learn her name. During these attempts at making small talk Pechorin forces the plot into its decisive turn. In a clumsy effort to take the young beauty off guard and put an end to her word games, Pechorin mentions her nocturnal beach visit, expecting that she will react with great surprise. However, she remains calm and does not bat an eyelash. Lermontov's hero, in an effort to get some kind of adverse reaction out of the girl and gain the upper hand, then blurts out his threat to visit the commandant. It is doubtful that he really intends to carry out his threat, since he did nothing about reporting what he saw. It seems that the only reason for Pechorin's actions is to catch the girl unawares. This only results in her hurried departure: At this point, I assumed a very serious, even severe, expression. Suddenly, off she hopped, broke into song and vanished like some little bird that has been flushed out of the shrubbery. My 205 last words had been entirely out of place: at the time, I did not realize all their importance, but later had a chance to regret them. (p. 75) Presently the girl returns and transfixes Pechorin with her gaze. She believes that Pechorin's jest about telling the authorities was in earnest, and must now dispose of him. The woman now takes the initiative and uses her feminine wiles to try to destroy the hero. Little does she know that she is dealing with a sophisticated and experienced man of the world who has left a trail of broken hearts behind him. The undina uses guile and a tender gaze to hypnotize Pechorin into falling into her trap. Once again, the power in her eyes is evident, where a mere glance is enough to throw him into total confusion. By the time I was finishing my second glass of tea, the door creaked, suddenly, and I heard, behind me, the light rustle of a dress and the sound of steps: I started and turned around — it was she, my undine. Softly, silently, she sat down, facing me across the table, and fixed me with her eyes, and I do not know why, but her look seemed to me wondrously tender; it reminded me of those gazes which, in past years, so despotically toyed with my life. She seemed to be waiting for a question, but I remained silent, filled with an ineffable confusion. (pp. 75-76) Suddenly, she jumps up and embraces Pechorin, making his senses reel, then, after telling him to meet him later, darts away. It is noteworthy that the woman is the aggressor here. Proof of her absolute power over the hero is the way she slips away from his grasp: embraces will 206 be made when she wants to, not when Pechorin does. He is powerless to do anything about it. In fact, the woman's ensuing dominance almost has fatal results for the hero. The girl sets the rendezvous and the hero follows her orders, though with caution. She leads him along the shore by the hand and he trundles along behind her. She orders him into the boat and he gets in after only a moment's hesitation. She entwines her arms around him and he is so overcome that she slyly throws his pistol overboard. (One perhaps wonders why she did not simply use it on him.) Then, with Pechorin finally realizing what is happening, the relationship becomes a contest of strength and will. The young woman has superior agility and is very strong: twice she almost succeeds in throwing Pechorin overboard; she does not even cry out when he spitefully squeezes her fingers until they crunch. Somehow the hero manages to precipitate her overboard, but not until she has put up a valiant struggle. Thus, although Pechorin manages to win in the end, it is only because of sheer physical strength. Except for this one point, the dominance of the eighteen year old girl over the older, sophisticated lieutenant is almost complete. The young woman makes her final appearance on the beach with Yanko, having performed the feat of swimming the considerable distance to shore, something that Pechorin admitted he could not do. 207 I believe that the figure of the heroine is an essential element in the make-up of parody in Taman'. In appearance she is a typical heroine of the Romantic genre: attractive, unusual and enigmatic with a subdued grace and charm that captures the hero's fancy. However, she is a strong woman both in conviction and will. Totally unlike a Byronic heroine she proves to be the dominating force in her relations with Pechorin (although not, it would seem, with Yanko, where a typical Byronic love affair exists). The undina is never submissive to Pechorin; she uses him like a pawn in her game. We mentioned before that it was important that the Byronic heroine exists only to love the hero. In Taman'3 however, it could be said that she exists only to make the hero think she is in love with him, thus demonstrating his fallibility. It is essential now to consider the actual "hero" figure in Taman ' — the smuggler Yanko. It is notable that this character is not well developed: he is portrayed in uni-dimensional fashion and makes only two short appearances in the story. The first is very impressive: Yanko is depicted as a courageous navigator sailing fifteen miles across treacherous stormy seas. Pechorin himself admits that he must indeed be a bold sailor: I confess that no matter how I strained to make out, in the distance, anything resembling a boat, my efforts were in vain. Some ten minutes elapsed; then, amid the mountains of the waves, a black dot appeared; it grew now 208 bigger, now smaller. Slowly rising upon the wave crests, and rapidly coming down them, a boat was nearing the shore. He must be a valiant navigator, indeed, to venture to cross the straits, a distance of fifteen miles; and it must be an important reason that induced him to do so! These were my thoughts as, with an involuntarily throbbing of the heart, I looked at the wretched boat; but she kept diving like a duck and then, with a wing-like upsweep of oars, would spring out of the abyss amid a burst of foam; and now, I thought, her impetus will dash her against the shore and she will be smashed to bits; but cleverly she turned sideways and bounded, unharmed, into a cove. (pp. 69-70) The word usage with such emotive terms as "mountains," "abyss" and "smashed to bits" help to combine with the other details to give an impressive account of the real hazards of the smuggler's journey. it is clear that Lermontov intended to leave the reader with a distinct concept of Yanko's heroic boldness and audacity in this first presentation of the smuggler. From this portrait Yanko closely resembles a noble outlaw figure — only without the aristocratic blood. More important is the gradual crystallization of the elements of parody. One must take note of the contrast subtly drawn between Yanko's audacious heroism and Pechorin's fawning adulation as he slinks into the shadows. This contrast will be made even more striking later on. Yanko's second appearance is made immediately after the story's climax, i.e. the wrestling match in the boat. The undina comes to Yanko with her report that "all has been lost." The author portrays the smuggler in 209 a gallant Byronic pose with his Cossack hair cut and his large knife at his side. He does not seem to be too worried by the news that the girl has brought. The few pithy phrases that he utters contain much of the commanding dominance so characteristic of a Byronic hero. Yanko's audacity is only matched by the size of his ego. (Note, however, that he is not a "gloomy egoist"). Yanko callously and inhumanly dismisses the old woman and must be prompted by the girl to give the blind lad a modest gift. He boasts that he will find somewhere else for his clandestine activities "wherever the wind blows and the sea sounds." Yanko and the heroine then set sail off into the distance. Whenever he is on the scene, Yanko dominates. His power over the undina and the blind boy is obvious, but even more striking, particularly by its subtlety, is his dominance over Pechorin. On both occasions that Yanko appears, Pechorin is hiding in the shadows and merely observing the action. He does not dare to intrude and challenge Yanko's authority. Although Yanko is not strictly a Byronic hero type, (his depiction is not full enough and he does not defeat a villain) his audacity, courage and strength render him the actual dominant male force in Taman', starkly contrasting with Pechorin's meekness and stupidity. The minor figures in Taman ' solidify the impression that Pechorin is the object of others' actions and that 210 he is powerless in the various situations in which he is placed. The blind boy, the old woman, Pechorin's Cossack lackey and the military figures, all play their respective roles in demonstrating the hero's fallibility. At the beginning of the story the corporal takes Pechorin around the town to find him some lodging, but every place is taken. Pechorin is forced into accepting whatever he can get, even though the hovel that he finally lets is said to be "neohisto" — the epithet meaning "unclean," but with the connotations of "evil." Lermontov's hero himself states that he did not, at the time, understand the exact sense of the word. Later on, the hero is forced to stay in Taman' longer than he anticipated because there is no boat to take: . . . I made my way to Phanagoria Fort to find out from the commandant the hour of my departure for Gelendzhik. But, alas, the commandant could tell me nothing definite. The ships that lay in the harbour were either patrol ships or merchantmen that had not even begun to load. "Maybe within three of four days the mailboat will come," said the commandant, "and then we shall see." I returned home, gloomy and cross. (p. 70) The Cossack lackey aids in questioning Pechorin's heroic qualities by constantly mentioning that the people are "evil" and "devilish," inferring that Pechorin may be impotent against such people as these. Moreover, he directly disobeys Pechorin's orders when the former goes 211 out for his nocturnal rendezvous with the young woman. I returned to my lodgings. In the hallway, the burned-down candle sputtered in a wooden plate, and my Cossack, despite my orders, lay sound asleep, holding his rifle in both hands. I left him in peace, took the candle and went into the interior of the hut. . . . Upon rous ing the Cossack with a rather uncivil push, I scolded him and vented my anger a little, but there was nothing to be done! (pp. 79-80) This episode helps to show how little authority and power over other individuals Pechorin has in Taman': even his own servant does not care to obey important orders. The old woman also plays her part in debunking Pechorin's stature. When Lermontov's hero attempts to question her, she replies that she is deaf, and he can get nothing out of her. However, when Pechorin besieges the blind lad with questions and the boy begins to cry, the old lady hears well enough and scorns the hero so force fully that he slinks out of the room out of mortification just like a dog with his tail between his legs. Some hero! He even allows an old woman to easily gain the upper hand over him. The character in Taman' who best serves to bring down Pechorin's heroic stature — with the exception of Yanko and the undina — is the blind lad. At every encounter between the two Pechorin comes out second best; the boy succeeds in all his efforts at trickery. The boy plays the fool with Pechorin: he speaks only in the Ukrainian 212 dialect with Lermontov's hero, though it is made clear that this was only some kind of trick, for the boy does speak pure Russian when he wants to. Pechorin only realizes how crafty and adroit the lad really is when he follows him along the treacherous foot-path: Close to the beach, there gleamed the foam of the breakers which threatened to flood it any minute. Descending with difficulty, I groped my way down the precipitous slope, and this is what I saw: the blind lad stopped for a moment, then turned to the right at the bottom of the slope; he walked so close to the water, that it looked as if any moment a wave might seize him and carry him away; but evidently this was not the first time he took this walk, judging by the assuredness with which he stepped from stone to stone and avoided holes. Finally, he stopped as if listening to something, sat on the ground and laid down the bundle beside him. I followed his movements as I stood concealed behind a projecting part of the rocky coast, (p. 68) The importance of this passage lies in the contrast between the blind boy's surefootedness and Pechorin's clumsiness: the lad takes the tricky path with "assuredness" while our hero descends "with difficulty." Once again, Lermontov's hero is unfavourably compared with another character. This time a boy who cannot even see manages to outdo Pechorin, who has full use of his faculties. Later on, it happens again as the lad recognizes Yanko's boat from the sound of the oars a full ten minutes before Pechorin can see it. When the hero questions the lad in front of the old woman, the boy plays innocent and bursts into tears. Pechorin comes out of this scene looking like a foolish and inept 213 bully. In the final episode the young urchin is abandoned by his friends and is seen sobbing on the shore. Upon seeing this, Pechorin feels sad. This masterful touch of irony is important, for it doubles the effect of the denoue ment: the hero feels sorry for the lad but does not realize till later that the boy has absconded with all his valuables: "Alas! My traveling box, my sword chased with silver, my Dagestan dagger — a present from a pal — all had disappeared. It was then that I realized the nature of the things that the confounded blind lad had been hauling." (p. 80) Through out the tale Lermontov1s hero has been tricked, fooled and finally beaten by a fourteen year old blind Fagin. The development of parody of Pechorin's heroic status is almost complete; the result is that Pechorin is, in Taman', a totally underwhelming figure in comparison to the other personages in the story. Lastly we come to the most important consideration: the treatment of Pechorin himself as the "hero" or the "clown" of Taman'. In the other stories of A Hero of Our Time I have shown that Pechorin exhibited, in varying degrees, the characteristics of the Byronic hero, i.e. of the Child of Nature, Gloomy Egoist, Man of Feeling or Gothic Villain; or, of his own archetype, the Man of Will. It is evident from the beginning that in Taman ' Lermontov presents a figure different in many aspects from the hero of the other 214 stories. Nevertheless, Pechorin does exhibit some of the Byronic qualities that he displayed in Bela, Maksim Maksimych and Princess Mary. It has already been established that in origin Pechorin was clearly a Child of Nature. There are many occasions where Lermontov1s hero, like Byron's, shows how great his love of nature really is: he repeatedly states throughout the novel how much he enjoys the mountain scenery, the air, the colours and the activities of the wilderness. But in Taman' Pechorin displays a much different attitude toward his external environment. The very first sentence epitomizes the hero's disgust for the town: he calls it the "samyy skvernyy gorodishka," i.e. the nastiest little town, on the seacoast of Russia. Elsewhere in the novel Lermontov uses passages of nature to illustrate the hero's elation; here he uses pejorative detail or a lack of lyrical references to show the hero's cynicism and disgust. It is true that Taman' is not located amidst the majestic splendour of the Caucasus mountains, but it is still note worthy that Pechorin gives only his bad impressions about the town, details which emphasize the pessimistic mood of the hero. After wandering for a long time along dirty alleys where, on both sides, I could see nothing but decre pit fences, we drove up to a shanty on the very edge of the sea. The full moon shone on the rush roof and the whitewashed walls of my new abode; in the yard, within an enclosure of cobbles, there stood, all awry, a second hut, smaller and more ancient than the first. (pp. 65-66) Leaf 215 omitted in page numbering. p . £/5" c/oes /'lo*' 216 One must not assume that Taman11s alleys are more dirty, the fences more decrepit, or the huts more awry than those of a backward Caucasian town. In the other stories these elements are overshadowed by the hero's lyrical attachment to the magnificent Caucasian scenery."^ In Taman', however, there is not even a picturesque description of the ocean that comes close to the technically involved descriptions of, say, the mountains and clouds in Princess Mary. The main reason for this lack of lyrical description is that the mood of the story is one of cynical intrigue. It would seem that passages parallel to those lengthy nature descriptions in other parts of the novel would be out of place with the prevailing dark and nasty atmosphere of Taman '. Although the pessimistic mood of the story does not preclude the existence of Child of Nature features in the hero's make-up, it would be awkward to have them too overtly expressed. Pechorin as a nature-child may not be too openly portrayed in Taman', but his characteristics as a Hero of Sensibility certainly are. The self-centred melancholy of the Gloomy Egoist and the sensitivity of the Man of Feeling are evident in the story in a number of places. The first example of the hero's sensitiveness occurs upon his initial encounter with the blind boy. Pechorin's confession of prejudice against cripples provides a subtle insight into his nature: 217 I confess, I have a strong prejudice against those who are blind, one-eyed, deaf, mute, legless, armless, hunchbacked, and so forth. I have observed that there always exists some strange relationship between the appearance of a man and his soul, as if with the loss of a limb, the soul lost one of its senses. And so I began to examine the blind lad's face, but what can one read in a face that lacks eyes? For a long time, I kept looking at him with involun tary pity, when all of a sudden a hardly perceptible smile ran over his thin lips, and for some reason it made on me a most unpleasant impression. There was born in my mind the suspicion that this blind lad was not as blind as it seemed; in vain did I try to persuade myself that those white eyes could not be faked — and what would have been the purpose? But I could not help wondering. I am often inclined to prejudice. (pp. 66-67) The hero admits feeling pity for the lad but his pity is egotistical: the rationalization of an infirmity as a betrayal of the inner soul demonstrates that Pechorin cannot relate to even a pitiable person except on his own terms.11 Rather than accept the poor orphan, crippled as he is, he makes lame excuses for not accepting him. His loathing for the blind boy is so strong and affects his feelings so much, that he cannot even go to sleep. The impression of Pechorin as a Gloomy Egoist is further confirmed by his re turn home "gloomy and cross" after he discovers that he cannot leave. Lermontov presents his hero in a typical Byronic pose after Pechorin has been embarrassed by the old lady. As he sits gazing idly into the distance, the hero once more displays the Gloomy Egoist's obsession with unhappy musing about the past. 218 I wrapped myself in my felt cloak and, seating myself on a stone beside the fence, fell to look ing idly afar. In front of me, there spread the sea, stirred up by last night's storm, and its monotonous sound, akin to the murmur of a city settling down to sleep, reminded me of past years, and carried my thoughts northward, toward our cold capital. I was troubled by memories and lost my self in them. Thus passed an hour, perhaps even more. (pp. 71-72) This melancholia over past events is echoed later by Pechor in's confession that the young girl's look reminds him "of those gazes which, in past years, so despotically toyed" with his life. Toward the end of Taman ' there are two examples of the hero's actions as a Man of Feeling. In a distinctly weak remark Pechorin admits that he is "almost glad" to see the young woman alive and well on the shore after he has thrown her overboard. The real significance of his words is made clear if one recalls that only a few minutes before, the girl had tried to kill him. His feelings of gladness ironically illustrate the extraordinary depth of his sensitivity. Moreover, Lermontov's hero feels sad when he hears the young boy, whom he loathes and feels suspicious of, weeping at the hard-hearted treatment by the dastardly Yanko. The last instance of Pechorin as a Hero of Sensibil ity occurs with the story's final statement. It closely parallels those declarations of the hero as a "Man of Un-' feeling" whom we saw in the other stories: "And besides, what do I care about human joys and sorrows -- I, a military man on the move, and holder, moreover, of a road-pass issued to those on official business!" (p. 80) Once more, Lermontov's hero attempts to hide his true sen sitivity under a mask of unfeeling. This idea is confirmed if the reader keeps in mind that only a few paragraphs above, the hero has expressed sympathy for the boy, and emotion at seeing "his undina" safe and sound. His declar ation is a sham: obviously Pechorin does care about what happens to people around him; after all, he has spent the best part of the story snooping into other people's business. Thus there seems to be adequate proof that Pechorin continues to display the features of the Hero of Sensibility, i.e. the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling, which he exhibited in Bela, Princess Mary and Maksim Maksimy ch. In order for the hero to be considered a Gothic Villain in Taman', he must demonstrate the same propensity for evil that he showed elsewhere in the novel. However, this is not at all the case. Only once in Taman' does Pechorin commit a cruel act: the rather insignificant lambasting and earpulling of the blind rascal seems pale beside the evil deeds that he perpetrates in other places. Moreover, he receives considerable abuse for this unimpor tant act from the old woman, with the result that he looks 220 stupid. It is remarkable that Pechorin is punished for this minor offense, yet receives little or no punishment at all for his grave misdeeds, particularly those in Bela and Princess Mary. One might well question the hero's expectation of completing "his" seduction; Mersereau was correct at least 12 when he called it "bizarre." Perhaps this strange scene appeals to the hero's unusual tastes. Nevertheless, it would be going too far to say that this intention, or hope, of copulation in a rowboat is evil. It is quite possible that the hero naively believed that he and the girl would row to a secluded area where he could satiate his lust. But throughout Taman' Pechorin's evil qualities, so pre valent in other places, are conspicuous in their absence. This does not mean that elements of demonism are not present in the story. Indeed they are, and from con sidering them and their meaning in the story's make-up, it is clear that the elements of demonism in Taman ' also contribute to the systematic debunking of Lermontov's hero. Directly opposed to the structuring of the other sections of A Eero of Our Time, where Pechorin himself is the demonic figure and uses evil for his own selfish and cruel deeds, in Taman' it is the characters surrounding the hero (and the setting itself) who confront Pechorin 221 with evil. Pechorin may have felt like the Vampire in Princess Mary, and cruelly abducted, seduced and neglected Bela, but in Taman' trickery and evil are used by others against him. The locale itself has an evil air about it. Pechorin seems to leave himself wide open when in disgust he exclaims: "Take me somewhere, you rascal! . . . Let it be the devil's, but lead me to the place." (p. 65) The location of the hero's hovel is consistently referred to as "evil." The hut itself is dark and dingy, but more important, it has no ikons on the wall, which the hero himself interprets as a "bad sign." When Pechorin returns home after his fruitless attempts at leaving the squalid little town, his Cossack reiterates that the place is evil. . . . In the doorway my Cossack met me with a frightened face. "It's a bad business, sir," he said to me. "Yes, my friend, the Lord knows when we shall get out of here!" At this he became even more perturbed and, bending toward me, said in a whisper: "It's an evil place! Today, I met a Black Sea sergeant; he's a friend of mine who was in our detachment, last year. The moment I told him where we were quartered, he said to me: 'Brother, it's an evil place, those are bad people!' And, true enough, what kind of blindman is this? Goes alone everywhere, to the market, to get bread, to get water . . . seems all are used to it here. ..." (pp. 70-71) The constant repetition of the eerie description of the moon's ghostly light ("The full moon shone on the rush roof and the whitewashed walls of my new abode;" . . . "The moon 222 mildly surveyed the element . . . ," "The moon shone in the window and one beam played on the earthen floor of the shanty - • . ," "... the moon had begun to clothe her self in clouds . . .") lends a ghoulish atmosphere to the 13 story. Furthermore, the door of Pechorin's ramshackle hut creaks on its hinges — a standard epithet of suspense in many a supernatural tale. The blind orphan boy seems to possess qualities of evil. His sinister smile produces a distinctly un pleasant impression on Pechorin, who feels it almost as a portent of doom. As the hero is trying to sleep, the boy's face reappears before him like a ghostly white-eyed spectre. Finally, when Pechorin assails the lad verbally attempting to get information from him, he calls him a "slepoy chevtyonok" -- "a blind little devil." Even more revealing are the repeated references to the seemingly supernatural qualities of the undina. The way she dodges Pechorin's questions with strange, meaningless answers lends her an air of mystery. Lermontov's hero refers to her as an "undina" or a "vusalka" — both mytho logical, supernatural water nymphs; her oblique glances contain "something wild and suspicious," and her smile has an "odd vagueness." After the young woman "snakes" out of Pechorin's grasp ("ona kak zmeya skol'znula") and darts out of the hovel, the Cossack servant calls her a "bes-devka" — "she-devil." The hero has been so overwhelmed by the girl's tender gaze, mysterious behaviour and seductive embrace, that he has lost his senses; one would be tempted to remark that he had the appearance of having been "bewitched." Later as Pechorin and the girl begin to struggle, the former declares that she clung to his clothes "like a cat," and when he crunches her fingers to make her cry out, the maiden's "zmeynaya natura" — "snake-like nature" allows her to undergo the pain without a whimper. Although she uses a "superhuman" effort which almost succeeds in throwing Pechorin overboard, the girl herself is tossed into the waves. Remarkable is the way that she vanishes into the sea, then, almost magically, appears on the shore wringing out her hair a few minutes later. It is clear that demonic powers, usually character istic of the Byronic hero himself, (and remember that in the other stories Pechorin has demonstrated an even greater propensity for evil than the typical hero of Byron), are used against the hero in Taman ' whereas he himself has little of the predilection for evil which earlier confirmed his status as a Gothic Villain. There is definite inversion of Byronic formulae in this tale. This use of evil elements, in total opposition to Lermontov's hero, combined with his own lack of these self-same features is a primary step in the consideration of Taman' as the author's conscious attempt to debunk the heroic myth. All the basic qualities 224 of the story — the characters, including the hero himself, the setting, the plot and the outcome — lend credence to this suggestion. At the end of the tale the reader must seriously question the heroic position of Pechorin. Naturally, this is the exact opposite of Byronic tradition: no matter what the hero does, he always remains very much a hero. Moreover, a principal feature of the Byronic;tale is that the hero dominates the scene with his presence. This is perhaps the most striking aspect of Taman', for, not only does Pechorin not dominate the scene, he himself is dominated at all times by the other characters and the situation of the story. The Soviet scholar Ye. Mikhaylova in her article on Taman ' takes an opposite stand and suggests that Pechorin is a strong-willed man of action. She insists that he acts as a result of his attraction to danger: Pechorin's will acts as a mainspring to put in motion everything from beginning to end in this cycle of events. His sharp-sighted ovser-vation, his always persistent interest in the unknown, but most of all, his attraction to danger and action as he exerts his smoothly functioning and almost deadly will, all have created gripping adventures out of ordinary, everyday circumstances. Just as a magnet attracts iron filings, so his personality "attracts" events. He is drawn towards danger and intrigue in the same way that Lermontov's "sail" searches for a storm. But the emptiness of his soul is hidden -in the constant troubled activity in his nature. 14 225 On the surface Mikhay.lova's statement seems valid; on closer scrutiny, however, glaring inconsistencies come to light. She seems to imply that Pechorin has allowed him self to be taken in by the undina because of his love for danger. Clearly, Lermontov's hero does have an enjoyment of the thrill of danger, as we have seen in the other stories. However, in Taman' Pechorin's attraction to danger is mainly as an observer and not as a participant; moreover, when true danger presents itself, Pechorin does not hazard an entry. This is proven by his refusal to enter boldly into the final scene with Yanko. After all, his nocturnal maritime rendezvous with the young girl could not have threatened too much danger for him, since he was supposedly a "deadly" foe and, indeed, armed with a pistol. Furthermore, Pechorin is not a man of action in Taman'. What does he do? He investigates and observes, but performs no positive action. But Mikhaylova says He is presented here in. the direct face of danger, which threatened his life and requires a quick rebuff (let us remember the episode with the girl in the boat). In such situations the strengths of Pechorin's nature are suddenly revealed in all its awesome brightness with the tremendous energy and rapidity that he thrusts against the danger which threatens. The self-control, resourcefulness, dexterity and decisiveness which he uses to deliver the fatal blow to the enemy, show that Pechorin is an amazing and unusual man. 15 That he is in danger, there is no doubt. But what is the resourcefulness, dexterity and decisiveness that Pechorin demonstrates in his pitiful wrestling match with a frail, eighteen year old girl? He squeezes her hands and pulls her hair, finally managing to chuck her overboard. Later on, Mikhaylova also insists that Pechorin's "active energy" {"dey stvennaya energiya"), as she calls it, is not only demonstrated in this central episode, but in all the circum stances of the story. This, too, is nonsense for, as we shall see more clearly later on, Pechorin is largely passive in this tale. In the other sections of the novel the reader is struck by Pechorin's power and the strength of his will; in Taman' we notice Pechorin's powerlessness and his resig nation to his situation. Clearly, this is not the same hero.1^ Instead of a dashing young man of action who kidnaps and seduces, fights duels and hunts wild beasts, 17 in Taman' Pechorin is relegated to playing a passive role. Throughout Taman' Pechorin follows people and wanders around, but he does not do anything positive. After he follows the boy to the shore and witnesses Yanko's secret arrival, Lermontov's hero, though suspicious, does not interfere with their activities: instead of an open confrontation (he is a bold, and armed, military official) he stays hidden in the security of the rocks. Moreover, the next day when he visits the authorities, the hero says not a word about the strange activities he has seen the night before. 227 Mikhaylova's suggestion that Pechorin remains a Man of Will in Taman' is refuted by the facts. When he accepts his forced sojourn in the grubby little town with resignation, not attempting to find any other way to leave, we are tempted to question whether or not this is the same restless hero of Bela, Maksim Maksimych and Princess Mary. Furthermore, he permits himself to be lambasted by an old woman for legitimately interrogating the blind lad, and does nothing to defend his actions or continue his questioning. The most clear evidence of Pechorin's submissiveness is in his relationship with the undina. She dominates him and he follows her around like her lapdog. . . . [is this] the Pechorin who through a mixture of dash and play-acting won the wild Circassian girl, and who now succumbs so easily to the play-acting of this undina, so much so indeed that his eyes dim and his head reels. This is surely the reaction to be expected from the young girl herself rather than from Pechorin? Yet it is the girl here who does the wooing, the girl who assigns the meeting, and it is the girl who will play the dominant role in their next encounter: '"Follow me!" she said taking me by the hand.' Thus as they descend to the shore the traditional roles of hero and heroine are reversed, and Pechorin weakly confesses that he does not know how he escaped breaking his neck.18 As he becomes more infatuated, Pechorin acts more like a love-sick adolescent and less like the sophisticated Don Juan that he is supposed to be. As the mermaid plays her word-games with the hero, she makes him so ill at ease and interested in her, that he naively blurts out his dangerous 228 false threat. The girl impresses Pechorin so much with her song that he memorizes it word for word (naturally very convenient for the telling of the story); when she bursts into his hovel, sits down and stares at him, he is so overwhelmed that he imagines her gaze to be "wondrously tender." As the young woman sits silently across from him, the hero, instead of amazing her with his skilled craft in conversation picked up in the society salons of St. Petersburg, remains tongue-tied and embarrassed, filled with "ineffable confusion." Pechorin admits that she has some kind of power over him. This is confirmed when the girl suddenly jumps up and embraces him: her burning kiss causes his head to reel as if it were the first time he ever kissed a woman. This comedy was beginning to bore me, and I was prepared to break the silence in a most prosaic way — that is, to offer her a glass of tea — when she suddenly jumped up,.twined her arms around my neck, and a moist, burning kiss sounded upon my lips. Everything turned dark before my eyes, my head swam, I crushed her in my embrace with all the force of youthful passion, but she, like a snake, glided between my arms, whispering in my ear: "Tonight, when everybody is asleep, come onto the shore," and, like an arrow, sped out of the room. In the hallway, she overturned the kettle and a candle which stood on the floor. "That she-devil!" cried the Cossack, who had made himself comfortable on some straw and had been looking forward to warming himself on some straw and had been looking forward to warming himself with the remainder of the tea. Only then, did I come to my senses, (p. 76) Like an ingenuous school-boy Pechorin believes that the girl is ready to climb into bed with him, and, even though 229 he is suspicious, he falls into the trap. The hero follows her orders by keeping the meeting on the beach and then by getting into the rowboat. How ludicrous Pechorin looks, disarmed and unable to swim, locked in combat with a slim eighteen year old woman. Lermontov's hero, in showing stupidity and submissiveness to her will, acts in a diametric ally opposed manner from that of the usual hero in the Byronic tradition, which manner he has displayed in the other sections of the novel. The final outcome of Pechorin's relationship with the girl, i.e. their life and death struggle, contributes to a further debunking of the hero. He admits that he is inferior to the girl in agility. It seems that she is superior to him in strength also, since the mermaid almost succeeds in throwing him overboard "with a super-human effort" and a "powerful push." instead of using his masculine physical strength and power, Pechorin is reduced to such unmanly fighting methods as squeezing her hands and pulling her hair. Some heroic struggle! Now as if to confirm the feminine role which Pechorin has so far adopted in this affair, he;is reduced to fighting the girl by feminine methods. He squeezes her hands until her fingers crack, but she takes this torture (one is almost tempted to say 'like a man' — though Pechorin attributes it to her snake-like nature). It is noteworthy that the girl herself does not fight in this way; she uses her strength: 'with a supernatural effort she threw me against the side.' As both are now in danger of falling out 230 of the boat, it is only by once more using un-hevoic methods that Pechorin manages to ensure that it is he, the non-swimmer, who does not go overboard: I braced my knee against the bottom of the boat, with one hand seized her by the plait, with the other gripped her throat. She let go of my clothing, and in an instant I had thrown her over into the waves. In this whole incident the much-vaunted ruthless-ness of Pechorin has amounted at best to the desperation of an animal at bay, at worst to the struggling of an incensed schoolgirl. 19 Even though he comes out the eventual victor, the reader has the impression that Pechorin is more of a miserable sissy (we wonder if Pechorin did not also resort to biting and scratching) than a valiant fighter. Pechorin's heroic myth continues to be destroyed even after he has heaved the undina into the waves, because another comparison between Lermontov1s hero and Yanko is drawn. Pechorin, compelled to row to shore with half of an old oar, manages to struggle to the beach only after "protracted efforts" emphasizing his foolishness and ineptitude-. Compare this bumbling effort with Yanko' s magnificent entrance a few pages back, wherein the midst of a fierce storm the smuggler docked his boat perfectly despite the gusty winds and enormous waves. In matters of volya, when put face to face with challenging circumstances (the storm) the sophisticated hero can easily show his superior ity over the noble savage: this is what the girl appears to be hinting at in her song, and this, indeed, might seem to be true, judging from what we have already seen of the sophisticated hero is Bela. 231 In Taman', however, the validity of such an assessment has already been questioned by the triumphant arrival of Yanko in his rowing boat in the teeth of a storm, and by the effect which this produced on the hero. But it is in the next incident involving a boat that Pechorin's supposed superiority is irrevocably shattered. This inci dent we have already examined above in detail, but it is significant that here not only are Pechorin's weaknesses openly exposed, as we have seen, but that his inferiority to Yanko is symbolically stated in his own admission that he cannot swim. The phrase ya ne umeyu plavat ' stands out in glaring contrast to his own earlier assessment of Yanko: otvazhen byl plovets. The point is further emphasized: Pechorin, who the night before marvelled at Yanko's oarsmanship at the height of the storm, is now reduced to returning from his own adventure by ignominiously trying to paddle himself back to land with a broken piece of oar. 20 When Pechorin does reach shore he skulks away and hides — for the second time in the story — "in the grass on the brink of the steep shore." In this last scene Lermontov's hero is again reduced to merely a passive observer. Yanko dominates the scene with his huge knife and his swaggering manner, while Pechorin hides in the darkness like a timid little field-mouse, not daring to in trude. Surely a true Byronic hero would not stand for this: he would stride forth onto the scene and, though unarmed, would threaten his foe with his mere presence. But Pechorin does not; he lies there watching. There is no doubt that this scene too belongs to Yanko. In a subtle undertone of irony Pechorin refers to the girl as "moya" (my) vusalka" and "moya undina," as if he had some claim on her and despite the fact that she had twisted him around 232 her.little finger. More delicious satire is added when the hero expresses his noble feelings of pity for the blind boy, unaware that the latter has made a fool out of him. Thus Pechorin's role in Taman ' has been to play 21 the fool. At the end of the tale he himself admits: "Really, would it not be absurd to complain to the author ities that I had been robbed by a blind boy, and had almost been drowned by an eighteen-year-old girl?" (p. 80) In conclusion, it is apparent that in Taman' Lermon tov made a carefully considered and conscious effort to present his hero in a much different light. I believe that he did so in order to bring down the myth of heroic infallibility; in this way he has added another dimension to Pechorin's character. Lermontov has used the technique of building up the titanic nature of his hero, who in the other sections of the novel displays many of the qualities of a Byronic hero, only to bring him down. Thus the pre sentation of Pechorin in Taman' has a doubly striking effect because of the "hero-fool" juxtaposition. One must remember, however, that Lermontov modified and developed the features of the Byronic hero to achieve his own original model. Taman' introduces the ultimate modification: the Byronic parody. The author created this by reversing many of the basic elements through which Pechorin could demonstrate his Byronism. These fundamental components of character, plot and setting, instead of blending with his personality so he can dominate, overwhelm 233 Pechorin and consistently render him powerless. From Bela Pechorin emerges as the hero: the other three characters are merely his playthings. He is instrumental in stealing the horse of the outlaw to give to the boy as part of a bargain through which he is to receive the heroine. Yet through this enticement and his subsequent grow ing indifference to the heroine, Pechorin must bear some responsibility for her death at the hands of the outlaw. Nor does the outlaw escape entirely; his horse is shot from under him and he is wounded in the shoulder. In Taman' the bare elements of this plot are reversed. Here it is not Pechorin who steals from the outlaw to give to the boy in order to gain the heroine, it is rather the boy who steals from Pechorin for the outlaw, whilst Pechorin is being deceived into thinking that he has gained the heroine. Nor in Taman' is it Pechorin who lures the heroine, who dies as an indirect result of this; here it is instead the heroine who lures Pechorin and it is she who is almost responsible for his death. Moreover, as we have seen it is the outlaw who emerges as the real hero in Taman '. 22 As for the nature of the hero himself, we saw that in Taman' Pechorin's portrayal is the reverse of what it is elsewhere in a few key areas. Although there is little evidence that he is no longer a Child of Nature, Pechorin's attitude toward his environment is decidedly cynical. From his words and deeds it seems obvious that Lermontov's hero is still very much the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling. But where Pechorin previously possessed the necessary traits of evil that rendered him a Gothic Villain — espec ially in Princess Mary and Bela as he exhibits a penchant for evil that goes beyond that of the usual Byronic type — here they are clearly lacking within his own nature. Indeed , •234 the other characters possess the elements of demonism and use them against him in Taman'. Lastly, we saw that Pechorin displayed such an iron will that this characteris tic rendered itself worthy of a separate classification, i.e. the Man of Will. This will power, that is so striking a part of his personality throughout the rest of the novel, is noticeably absent from Taman'. Pechorin allows himself to be dominated through the story and displays none of the domineering, inflexible strength of conviction that he demonstrates elsewhere. It is epitomized by the subtle repetition of the epithet "nevol'no" (involuntary) that occurs at three key points in the story: the meeting with the blind boy, Yanko's magnificent entrance, and the last episode on the beach after the climax. At these occurrences "nevol'no" seems to emphasize Pechorin's powerlessness, his lack of "volya" (will), and his submissiveness to the other characters and the situation. Thus the hero's personality itself is virtually the reverse of what it is in the other sections of the novel: elsewhere Pechorin is brave, here he is timid; elsewhere he is domineering, now he is submissive; in other places he is sophisticatedly evil, here naively honest; where he once deceives others, Pechorin himself is now deceived; elsewhere others are infatuated with him, here it is his turn to be infatuated with someone; in other parts of the novel Pechorin possessed a sharp-edged 235 intelligence, in Taman' he is simply a bumbling fool. But what reason would Lermontov have for writing an entire story to carefully develop a parody of his hero? The answer to this complicated question is irony. 23 Although irony plays a big part throughout the novel, nowhere is it so prevalent as in Taman'. K. Loks has said, with a good deal of justification, that the basic 24 theme of Taman' is the triumph of irony. The story is introduced by irony (remember the last statement of the introduction to Pechorin's journal), irony is prevalent through it, and Taman' ends on an ironic note. The first step in the development of irony is the basic structure of the story with its reversal of roles. The unfolding of the plot marks the second step whose result, i.e. the deception of the worldly older man by the unsophisticated young woman, produces irony within the physical aspect of love: The noisiness of this impossible, mushy, moistly fiery kiss is the odd feature of it. That he then crushes her in a passionate embrace and she slips like a snake and darts like an arrow can simply be regarded as the cliches of melodrama, and the narrator's implicit detachment is such as to give the scene a vicarious air of verisimilitude. But the resonance of the kiss is, for all its incon gruity, the single most authentic item in this passage, perhaps in the whole of his relationship with his undina and therefore with any of the characters in Taman '. It is the explosive moment when his own heroic presumptions as narrator are put to the test. His instantaneous reaction is to presume that it is an invitation to love, where as it is in fact an invitation to death. The kiss 236 is a deliberate irony: its very noisiness interrupts the dreamlike detachment of his narrator's attitude and precipitates him at once into the melodrama, transforming him from witness into participant, from presumed seducer into intended victim, from his role as casual observer of a little human drama into its casualty. 25 Boris Eykhenbaum confirms the fact that the love affair is designed solely for ironical results which he calls a 2 6 "fiasco". The third and final stage of the story's irony is the parody of the hero. Pechorin's powerlessness and unwillingness to act contrasts significantly with his alleged ruthlessness (" . . . what do I care about human joys and sorrows . . .") and his protestations of importance. The very idea of 'official duty' (kazy onnaya nadobnost') seems to contradict an idea of freedom implied in 'wandering,' particularly since the implication behind the word nadobnost' is that of necessity. This is further strengthened by the fact that there are hints in the text that the situation of Pechorin in the Caucasus is akin to that at one time of Lermontov himself — he is an exile. If this is so, the position of Pechorin in Taman' becomes even more tinged with irony. The victim of authority has himself been placed in the position of authority in respect to the 'honest smugglers,' but at the same time has been defeated by them .... The word 'travel warrant' too is charged with irony. What use is Pechorin's travel warrant? The misfortunes which befall him in Taman ' only do so because this travel warrant had been unable to procure him a boat. 27 Thus everything and everyone in Taman ' has contri buted to the systematic debunking of Pechorin. As he utters his final words, the inescapable conclusion is that the hero's depiction in this story is a parody on his gallant stature. Taman' as a parody provides true insight into the ironic significance of the title A Hero of Our Time. 237 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER FOUR See Richard Freeborn, The Rise of the Russian novel, (1973), 35 and G.G. Shevchenko "0 svoyeobrazii metoda psikhologicheskogo analiza v romane M. Yu. Lermontova Geroy nashego vremeni," 79. 2 See Nabokov's translation of A Eero of Our Time, viii. 3 0. Arkannikov, "0 prebyvann M. Yu. Lermontova v Tamani," (1891), 575. 4 M. Yu. Lermontov v vospominaniyakh sovremennikov, (1964), 216. 5Ye. N. Mikhaylova, "Taman'," (1941), 7. 6Ibid., 12. 7 See infra for the consideration of Yanko as the hero of the story. g V.V. Vinogradov, "Stil' prozy Lermontova," (1941), 594-597. 9 R. Freeborn, Op.Cit., 58. 10See Ye. Mikhaylova, Op.Cit., 18. She insists that this lyricism is hidden deep in the setting; the events overshadow it, however. 11See I. Vinogradov, "Filosofskiy roman Lermontova," (1964), 216. 112. 12 John Mersereau, Mikhail Lermontov, (1962), 238 Ye. Mikhaylova, Op.Cit., 18. 14 ibid., 7. "Bee OT Ha^ajia JJ;O KOHH,a B 3TOM nHKjie COSHTHH flBHxeTCfl npyxHHoii ne^opHHCKOH BOJIH. Ero 30pKan HaflSjiKflaTejibHOCTb, HacToft^HBbiH, nocjieflOBaTejibHbifi: HHTepec K HeH3secTHOMy, a nyme Bcero BjieMeHne K onacHOCTH H ^eftcTBHio, Hanptfrafl ero 6e30TKa3HO pa6oTaiomyjo TIOHTK CMepTOHOCHy© BOJIM, C03JjaJIH H3 3aypHflH0 SCHTeftCKHX 06CT0HTeJIbCTB OCTpO 3axBaT-biBaromne npHKjiKmeHHH. KaK MarHHT npHTarHBaeT scejie3Hbie OTIHJIKH, TaK ero $nrypa "npHTHrnBaeT 11 K ce6e COSMTHH. OH Bjie^eTCH K onacHOCTHM H TpeBoraM, HOJJ;O6HO jiepMOHTOBCKOMy napycy, HirjymeMy 6ypb. Ho 3a STOH SecnoKOHHOH aKTHBHOCTbio HaTypbi CKpuBaeTCH flymeBHan nycTOTa." 15 Ibid., 5. "OH nocTaBJieH 3jj;ecb npej; JIHIJOM HenocpeflCTBeHHoft onacHOCTH, yrpoxaiomeft XH3HH H TpeSyromeft HeMejjjieHHoro OTnopa (BCHOMHHM cu.eHy B jio^Ke). B TaKoM CHTyauiHH B rpo3HOM SjiecKe pacKphmaKTCH Bjj;pyr CHJIH neMopHH-CKOH HaTypu, co CTpaniHOH sHeprneft, 6HCTPOTOH, SpomeHHue npoTHB rpo3flmeH onacHOCTH: caMOo6jiarj;aHHe, HaxojjuHBOCTb, JIOBKOCTB, pemHMOCTb, Hjrymatf Ha Bee, BnjiOTb #0 HaHeceHHH Bpary CMepTejibHoro yjj;apa, noKa3biBaK>T B IleuopHHe MejiOBeKa 3aMe^aTejtbHOro H HeoSbmHoro." 16See K. Loks, "Proza Lermontova," (1938), 14. 17 A.F. Boyd, Aspects of the Russian Novel, (1972), 38. 18 R.A. Peace, "The Role of Taman' in Lermontov's Geroy nashego vremeni," (1967), 21. ^Ibid., 22. 2^] Ibid., 21. 21 See R. Freeborn, Op.Cit., 61. 22R.A. Peace, Op.Cit., 27-28. 23 Donald Davie on page 196 of his book Russian Literature and Modern English Fiction, (1965), suggests that "we cannot say whether Lermontov, in making Pechorin the hero of the age, was or was not ironical." 239 24 K. Loks, Op.Cit., 16. 25R. Freeborn, Op.Cit., 59-60. 2 6 B. Eykhenbaum, "O smyslovoy osnove Geroya nashego vremeni," (1959), 24. 27 R.A. Peace, Op.Cit., 16. For further remarks concerning the ironic significance of the "ehestnyye kontrabandisty"see Geroy nashego vremeni -- Kommentarii (1966), 155. CHAPTER FIVE THE FATALIST The enigmatic concepts of fatalism and predestin ation, which were important in the first four parts of A Hero of Our Time, crystallized to form the central core of Fatalist (The Fatalist), the last section of both Pechorin's journal and the novel itself. This story has been called a "mere appendage" and an "anecdote""'" or 2 simply an "epilogue," but these terse descriptions do not begin to place the story in any kind of proper perspective. The entire tale is based on an adventure in fatalism, yet because of the implications that it has for the character of the hero, the story goes far beyond a mere depiction of a bizarre episode in Pechorin's life: The Fatalist is necessary as a final expression of the hero's attitudes toward death, free will and the purpose of existence. For this reason The Fatalist is essential both as a logical conclusion for the novel and as a key to Pechorin's character. The Fatalist is by no means just a make-weight for the basic independently meaningful part of the novel. It occupies a key place in the well-known relationship of A Hero of Our Time 's network of tales. Without it the novel would also lack much 241 of its meaning. All the logic of the narrative, all the process of unfolding its compositional structure gradually prepares, step by step, for the necessity of this last decisive link's appearance. The Fatalist concludes the novel just as a "keystone" in its place holds up an entire arch and provides unity and fullness to the whole structure. 3 It has been suggested that not only did Lermontov conceive writing The Fatalist from his Caucasian impressions of 1837, but that he also borrowed some ideas from 4 Chaadayev. Even though The Fatalist occurs as the middle story (after Taman' and Princess Mary, and before Bela and Maksim Maksimych), in the chronological scheme, it is no accident that Lermontov placed it last.^ The final autobiographical statement of Pechorin's journal strikes the reader with a pronounced impact. Pechorin relates the events which trans pired during a two week sojourn at a Cossack settlement on the left flank of the Russian defences. Remarkably, Lermontov's hero does not die in this, the last story. Instead, the Preface to Pechorin's Journal provides the information that the hero died on his way back from Persia. This decision not only freed the author from having his hero die at the end of the story, but it also provided a new dimension for viewing Pechorin. Moreover, it is significant that the one essentially positive act that Pechorin commits in A Eero of Our Time should be the last one in the novel. 242 The Fatalist actually consists of two separate yet indivisible episodes linked by the transitional device of Pechorin's lengthy meditation as he walks home after the strange happenings at Major S 's place. The first section contains the bizarre events surrounding Lieutenant Vulich's daring test of fate wherein he jeopardizes his own life. The second is made up of Pechorin's own exper iment where he boldly captures the murderous Cossack. Because it depicts the ironic circumstances which led to Vulich's death only a short while after his test of pre destination, the second episode actually complements the first. Pechorin's probation of fatalism has its ironic complement too, for the reader is aware that Lermontov's g hero himself died under mysterious circumstances. On the surface there seems to be a distinct paucity of Byronic elements in The Fatalist; the basic Byronic features and motifs are striking by their absence. For example, there is no love intrigue, a fundamental Byronic element, at all in this tale. So Pechorin has no occasion to demonstrate his superiority by vanquishing a foe and gaining the heroine. In fact, Nastya, the closest character to a heroine in The Fatalist3 plays absolutely no part in the development of the story. She is merely mentioned in passing. Her brief appearance illustrates Pechorin's Byronic dominance over her and her sole function of loving the hero. Moreover, Nastya's presence gives Pechorin another opportunity to show his disregard for women: I was living at the house of an old Cossack sergeant, whom I liked for his kindly disposition, and especially for his pretty young daughter, Nastya. As was her custom, she was waiting for me at the wicket, wrapped up in her fur coat. The moon illumined her sweet lips, now blue with the cold of the night. On seeing it was I, she smiled; but I had other things on my mind. "Good night, Nastya!" I said, as I went by. She was on the point of answering something, but only sighed, (p. 190) This one fleeting glimpse of a subservient heroine demonstrates her unimportance to the main ideas and plot of the story. Nastya's minor part contrasts greatly with the central roles occupied by the heroines of Princess Mary, Bela or Taman'; she is more of a fawning puppy-dog than a heroine. The essential Byronic element of a love triangle is decidedly absent from The Fatalist. Lermontov often used the Byronic storm motif in the other parts of the novel to exemplify the hero's tempes tuous nature or the awesome magnificence of the Caucasian setting. Mountain-top tempests frequently epitomized Pechorin's feelings, for example, in Princess Mary the hero gazes at the storm clouds and feels a kind of empathy with them. Furthermore, as in Bela storms were used for dramatic effect to heighten suspense. However, the storm motif is also missing from The Fatalist. 244 The desire for exotica, which typified literature of the Romantic genre, was satisfied in the other parts of the novel by the magnificence of the strange, remote and wild setting of the Caucasian frontier. Lermontov used profuse descriptions of Caucasian grandeur in Princess Mary to emphasize the romantic notion of the story's far off environment and the hero's love for it. Although The Fatalist takes place in the same general area as the rest of the novel, there is no lengthy treatment of the Cossack settlement which serves as its setting. The author sets the scene with a terse one sentence remark: "I once happened to spend two weeks at a Cossack settlement on our left flank." There is no lyrical depiction of either the wondrous majesty of the locale (as in Bela, Princess Mary and Maksim Maksimych) or of the nastiness of the decrepit town (as in Taman'). The reader receives hardly any detail at all about the town or Major S 's domicile. It is obvious then that neither the love interest, nor the exotic setting, nor elements such as storm motifs are important for the development of the tale's action and intrigue. The events themselves make up the story; this feature renders the tale exceptionally compact. The plot, introduced in the very second paragraph, concerns the proof of the doctrine of predestination and its effects on two people: Lieutenant Vulich, the hero 245 of the first part, and Pechorin, the main figure of the second. At Major S 's house the pros and cons of fatalism are presented and Vulich offers a challenge that he can prove that "a fateful minute is assigned to each of us in advance." Thus the philosophical problem takes 9 shape from the very beginning of the story. Pechorin's acceptance of the challenge casts him in a role as a kind of foe for Vulich to conquer by proving that there is a predetermined moment for death. The Serb's bold scheme is to chose at random a pistol from the Major's collection, put it to his head and pull the trigger. In his rash yet audacious action to prove that he is right by showing that he may not dispose of his life at will, Vulich plays the hero. Of course, the result of the first section is that he wins the bet and defeats Pechorin. As the leading man of the first part of The Fatalist Lieutenant Vulich possesses many of the features typical of Byronic heroes. He has the sad yet cold smile ("pechal'naya i kholodnaya ulybka") of the Gloomy Egoist and the Gothic Villain's penetrating eyes {"ahernyye Tpronitsatel'nyye glaza") . More important however, he is an extraordinary man: ". . . — all this seemed to blend in such a way as to endow him with the air of a special being, incapable of sharing thoughts and passions with those whom fate had given him for companions." (p. 183) 246 Vulich also has the necessary Byronic mystery enshrouding his character: he is taciturn and confides in no one "the secrets of his soul or of his family." There are also subtle indications that he, too, is a conqueror of women's hearts for "It was said, however, that the colonel's wife was not indifferent to his expressive eyes ..." Just as Pechorin is obsessed with subjecting the wills and desires of other people to his own wishes, Lieutenant Vulich has a parallel obsession: gambling. Like Pechorin he squanders his vital energy on "empty, useless acts,""^ only for him it is done in games of chance. Vulich's craze for gambling also like Pechorin's thirst for destruction stems from a desire to conquer, only instead of defeating other people, he wants to vanquish the fates themselves by beating "the great roulette wheel in the sky." Hence he is willing to set the ultimate stakes and gamble with his own life. The young Serb's hunger for gambling gives him some truly extraordinary characteris tics: on one occasion when his gaming is interrupted by an enemy attack, Vulich pays the winner in the midst of blazing bullets and clanging swords, then "most coolly kept exchanging shots with the Chechens to the end of the engagement." Vulich's bravura and phenomenality are climaxed by his supreme gamble. When the wager is accepted, he 247 proceeds in a nonchalant way to lay his life on the line against the protests of his fellow officers as if it were the most natural thing to do. "All right," said the major, "but I don't understand, what is it all about? How are you going to settle the argument?" Vulich without a word walked into the major's bedroom: we followed him. He went to the wall where there hung some weapons, and among pistols of various caliber, he, at random, took one down from its nail. We still failed to understand, but when he cocked it and poured powder into the pan, several officers, with involuntary exclama tions, seized him by the arms. "What do you want to do? Look here, this is madness!" they cried to him. (p. 185) The young lieutenant counters the opposition of his comrades by asking them if anyone will pay the monetary stakes for him so he can avoid taking any risk. When no one accepts, Vulich has passed the point of no return. By this time he has acquired some kind of "mysterious power" over them. Even when Pechorin says that he reads the imprint of doom on his visage, Vulich remains cool and unaffected. His rebuttal to Pechorin's prophecy is a simple "Maybe yes, maybe no." The youthful Serb escalates the intrigue by asking the Major if the pistol is loaded; the latter, in his confusion over the bizarre events, cannot remember. Lermontov increases the dramatic effect by including a debate among the spectators to speculate if the gun does actually contain a lethal ball. The witnesses' arguments and bets are based on the assumption that Vulich does not 248 really intend to jeopardize his life; the heated discussions are interrupted by Pechorin's cynical remark "either shoot yourself or hang the pistol back in its place and let's go home to bed." Suddenly Vulich demonstrates that he is in earnest and places the pistol to his forehead. The climax of this part is reached with the ace of hearts.11 touching the table and Vulich's pulling the trigger; the pistol clicks. The primary denouement of this episode concerns the status of the pistol: if the hammer clicked because it was not loaded, Vulich's escape from death was still remarkable since it was almost certain that the gun would be loaded because "it was hanging at the head of the bed." But Vulich's brush with oblivion is made even more amazing because the pistol was in fact loaded. "Thank God!" many cried. "It was not loaded. . . ." "Let's take a look, anyway," said Vulich. He cocked the pistol again, took aim at a cap that was hanging above the window. A shot resounded — smoke filled the room. When it dispersed, the cap was taken down. It had been shot clean through the middle, and the bullet had lodged deep in the wall. (p. 186) Thus the seemingly great odds of a pistol misfiring add to the startling impact of the young man's unusual gesture of testing his fate and his even more remarkable escape. Because of this doubly astounding denouement Vulich's character becomes even more extraordinary, espec ially when he is able to take Pechorin's money "with perfect 249 composure" even though his life has just hung in the balance of a loaded gun that miraculously misfired. Only an extremely unusual man would make this kind of a bet and take such a risk. The key to Vulich's actions is contained in his laconic remark "For the first time in my life," he answered smiling complacentlythis is better than faro or stuss." The thrill of challenging fate to see if this really was the moment for his demise, and looking squarely at the face of death gave him the most exciting satisfaction that he had ever received from gambling. An analogy of life as similar to a card game u/as wide- spread ^ . . ... . . ~; . .... It was no coincidence that in The Fatalist Lieutenant Vulich is an obsessed gambler and that the argument about predestination arises from behind a card table: the bet about predestination is made within an unusual experiment, in principle no different from a card game. Everywhere and always he remains the same: a reckless gambler. Vulich plays with his life showing the same desperate decisiveness that he does when he plays cards. It is characteristic that after Vulich's startling experiment ends happily for him, Pechorin remarks "You are lucky at gambling." 12 The personage of Lieutenant Vulich, who is totally crazed with the thought of challenging fate by gambling, paves the way for such Dostoyevskian figures as Alexey Ivanovich from Igrok (The Gambler). The first section ends on a bizarre prophetic note: 250 "Bye-the-bye, have you begun to believe in pre destination?" "I believe in it, but I cannot understand now why it seemed to me that you must certainly die tonight." This very man, who only a moment before had calmly aimed a pistol at his own forehead, now suddenly flushed and looked flustered. "Well, enough of this!" he said, rising up. "Our bet has been settled, and I think your remarks are out of place now." He took his cap and left. This appeared odd to me -- and not without reason. " (P- 187) Vulich's "odd" reaction seems to portend his own doom and prepares the reader for the ironic turn of events that takes place later. • This brief conversation between Pechorin and Vulich is extremely-important for the internal process of Lermontov's narrative. . . . As for the experiment with the pistol even with its proof it strongly gives way to the dread that envelops Vulich after Pechorin's remark. The rash escapade, even if it is courageous, is not so con vincing as the fear of the immutability of- fate which unconsciously dwells within a person, then suddenly becomes manifest. And so the short conversation with its confession exposes a hidden sign of Fate and irrevocably predetermines the sequence of later events in The Fatalist. 13 Thus Vulich, the main figure of the first section of The Fatalist, fits well into the mainstream of Byronic-type characters. His air of mystery, pale brow, piercing eyes and the power over women that is inferred are typical of Byron's leading men, though the absence of any well-developed love interest is a marked departure from the guidelines. As Kazbich, Yanko and Grushnitsky were figures 251 who paralleled the Byronic stature of Pechorin in the other stories, so Vulich in The Fatalist corresponds to a Byronic parallel. His status as an extraordinary man naturally renders him more Byronic, but the strange trait through which this is exemplified, namely his passion for gambling, is a distinctively Lermontovian modification. The first section of The Fatalist also provides an incisive, though brief portrait of Pechorin, the other main figure of the story. As Vulich*s adversary in the bold test of fate, Pechorin is actually defeated. Though Pechorin states that he accepted the challenge "in jest," his acquiescence in the grotesque experiment shows that this is not true. If he were joking, surely he would retract his acceptance when he discovers that his foe is serious. In this way Pechorin plays a compromised part remarkably similar to that of Grushnitsky in Princess Mary3 when Pechorin, by insisting that he stand at the edge of a chasm, forces his adversary to seriously jeopardize his, i.e. Pechorin's, life. Just as Grushnitsky's egocentricity nearly kills Pechorin, so Pechorin's self-centered vanity almost results in Vulich's death. These circumstances closely parallel the duel in Princess Mary; in The Fatalisthowever, Fate, instead of the leering Captain, is the arbitor. Grushnitsky held Pechorin's life in his hands; Pechorin's acceptance of the challenge compels him to hold sway over Vulich's life. Nabokov (p. 210) points out further parallels 252 to the duel in Princess Mary: Pechorin looks steadfastly into Vulich's eyes as he did with Grushnitsky; in both places he says he is becoming "bored" with the whole procedure; Pechorin tells Vulich that he is lucky at gambling as he told Grushnitsky the same thing. Although Pechorin's character is not well-developed in the first section of The Fatalist3 there are a few key phrases which exemplify his personality. His desire to see Vulich endanger his life certainly involves a kind of wicked curiosity, intensified by the impatience of his cynical remark to "get on with the procedure." The crux of Pechorin's role is contained in his prediction of death for the young Serb as he reads his imminent doom on his face. I looked fixedly into his eyes, but he countered my probing glance with a calm and steady gaze, and his pale lips smiled; but despite his cool ness, I seemed to decipher the imprint of death upon his pale face. I had observed — and many a seasoned warrior had confirmed this observation of mine — that often the face of a man who is to die within a few hours bears the strange imprint of his imminent fate, so that an experienced eye can hardly mistake it. (p. 185) This passage echoes Pechorin's declaration elsewhere in A Hero of Our Time that he is an instrument of fate. Not only does Lermontov's hero believe that he sees the mark of death on Vulich's visage, he also believes the opposite of what he says at the end of the first part. 253 Soon after, everyone went home — commenting variously upon Vulich's vagaries, and probably, in unison, calling me an egoist for having made a bet against a man who was going to shoot him self, as if without me he would not be able to find a convenient occasion! . . . (p. 187) Pechorin actually means that since he has provided the circumstances for Vulich to shoot himself (though he states otherwise) he is acting like some kind of deus ex machina, which he vociferously complained about in Princess Mary. Once again Pechorin's personality traits centre around his egoism and purpose as an executioner. Pechorin's closing remarks serve as an ironical linking device for the second part, for although he loses the bet, his prediction of doom for Vulich does come true. Thus the first section of The Fatalist contains a kind of duel in fate between Pechorin and Vulich with the latter emerging as victor. Pechorin's prediction forms the -point de depart for the second part: just as the first episode needs the second to complete the ironical impact of the bizarre events, so the second requires Pechorin's fatal prediction and Vulich's first escape from death for its astounding effect. The events of part two actually form a denouement to the first section. Lermontov skilfully uses Pechorin's lengthy meditation on fatalism both as a transitional device and as a kind of lens to focus attention on Pechorinywho emerges as the principal figure of this second section. 254 Because this long contemplative passage is essentially a confession, it will be considered later when Pechorin's character is discussed. The action and intrigue of the latter portion of The Fatalist begins with Pechorin's sudden emergence from his reverie as he stumbles over the inanimate remains of a mutilated pig. This first example of the murderous Cossack's grisly handiwork acts a signpost of the impending 14 horror. Pechorin heeds the warning of the two men and returns home safely; however, he is soon awakened by the clamour of officers who inform him that Vulich, who had escaped death only a short time before, had been murdered by the same nefarious Cossack who slaughtered the pig. Pechorin decides to test his own fate in the same way as Vulich by risking his life to capture the criminal. This action parallels the Serb's experiment and by complementing the odd circumstances of the first part, Pechorin's success serves as an ironic finalization of the strange tale of The Fatalist. The final anecdote between Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych contains further ironic comment and con cludes the compact final adventure of A Hero of Our Time. Although the intrigue of the second episode is deceptively simple and lacks the Byronic essential of a love triangle, it does contain certain Byronic elements. The extraordinary heroism and dashing bravery which Pechorin demonstrates in subduing the murderer follows Byronic tradition which invariably requires a bold deed of daring at considerable peril to the hero. The circumstances require an unusual feat: the criminal might kill many men if he were rushed. Thus a truly audacious gesture is needed to seize the Cossack.and save several lives. By performing this action Pechorin proves himself to be a man above the common masses for no one else dares to be the first to act except him. It is remarkable that the novel concludes with the only "positive" action that Pechorin 15 performs. Elsewhere as he dodges Circassian bullets, fights duels, plots against maidens, intercepts smugglers, and kidnaps native girls Pechorin's bravery has been ego tistical and used only for a- selfish end. It would seem that here he does his first "good" deed in direct contrast to his various nefarious actions. Not only does Pechorin demonstrate the extraordinary courage of the typical Byronic hero by his bold actions in The Fatalist, he also contains several of the other traits that characterize the leading men of this genre. These qualities have been reshuffled with the result that Pechorin is portrayed in a slightly different light. At heart Pechorin remains the Child of Nature. He still lyrically contemplates the splendours of his environ ment. "I was walking home along the empty alleys of the settlement. The moon, full and red, like the glow of a conflagration, began to appear from behind the uneven 256 line of roofs; the stars shone calmly upon the dark-blue vault. ..." (pp. 187-188) This brief though character istic nature passage introduces the more revealing meditation on fatalism. Lermontov's hero still feels the beauty of the moon's illumination, but the story's conciseness pre cludes the detailed lyricism which was evident in Princess Mary, for instance. As a Gloomy Egoist Pechorin once again enjoys reflecting on his misery: he is full of nostalgia and disillusion. Whereas we, their miserable descendants, who roam the earth without convictions or pride, without rapture or fear (except for that instinctive dread that compresses our hearts at the thought of the inevitable end), we are no longer capable of great sacrifice, neither for the good of mankind, nor even for our own happiness, because we know its impossibility, and pass with indifference from doubt to doubt, just as our ancestors rushed from one delusion to another. But we, however, do not have either their hopes or even that indefinite, albeit real, rapture that the soul encounters in any struggle with men or with fate. (p. 188) After contemplating complicated metaphysical concepts Pechorin only becomes more bored and disgusted with the lack of anything to believe in; he is only able to con sider the circumstances of other men and the important events of their lives from the point of view of how they relate to him. Pechorin's inability to "put himself in someone else's place" shows that he is still the same 257 self-pitying egoist that he always was. Even his daring seizure of the murderous Cossack is not done to save others' lives, but only to gratify his own consuming vanity. Pechorin's great agitation at the fantastic events at the Major's house illustrate that he has the same capacity for feeling that he demonstrated in other parts of A Hero of Our Time. He declares that "the event of the evening had made a rather deep impression" upon him and "had irritated" his nerves. As a traditional "Man of Feeling" type, Pechorin has been so affected by the strange happen ings that he has considerable difficulty in falling asleep. After his fellow soldiers have awakened him with the dreadful news of Vulich's demise, Pechorin is "stupified." His main emotion is astonishment at the amazing circumstances that Vulich was dispatched only half an hour after he almost blew his own brains out. However, when he is notified of Vulich's last words that Pechorin's fatal prediction was correct, Lermontov's hero shows a distinctive lack of emotion, revealing his status as a Man of Unfeeling: The two Cossacks who had met me and who were on the lookout for the murderer, came along; they picked up the wounded officer, but he was already breathing his last and said only three words: "He was right!" I alone understood the obscure meaning of these words: they referred to me. I had un wittingly foretold the poor fellow's fate; my intuition had not betrayed me; I had really read upon his altered face, the imprint of his imminent end. (p. 191) 258 Pechorin expresses no remorse that he, acting like an 16 "instrument of fate," foretold his friend's death. More over, there are no passages which enlarge on his grief at Vulich's tragic demise. In fact, there is little indication that Pechorin feels much regret; his principal feeling is amazement at the incredible circumstances. A basic evil streak marked Pechorin as a Gothic Villain in the other parts of the novel. In The Fatalist, however, these elements are not greatly developed. Concern ing his relationships with women in this story, there are no plots to abduct or humiliate. Pechorin's cold indiffer ence toward Nastya and her subservient adulation of him suggest a slave-master relationship. The love element is far less important here than in Princess Mary, Bela or Taman' so there is less opportunity for the hero to demonstrate any cruelty to the female sex. The essence of Pechorin's role as a Gothic Villain in The Fatalist lies in his actions as an instrument of a cruel fate. His capture of the murderer is basically a positive act atypical of a Gothic Villain, but his acceptance of the Serb's challenge could have made him responsible for Vulich1s death if the pistol had gone off. Any man who would not rescind his approval of such a contest (especially when it was accepted "in jest") when he realized it meant playing with life and death, must assume some of the responsibility. Since the 259 reader already knows what type of man Pechorin is, the possibility that he accepted the challenge out of sadistic motives cannot be easily dismissed. Indeed, this inter pretation is more in keeping with Pechorin's wicked nature. The status of Lermontov's hero as a Gothic Villain provides a natural introduction to fatalism, one of the essential elements of the story, particularly since it was established already that the Gothic Villain could be a fatalist and that Pechorin seemed to display credence in this doctrine throughout A Eero of Our Time. Predestination and fate are the main constituents of The Fatalist. On the surface Lermontov seems to set the situation and character development to point out once again how his hero is a fatalist. Pechorin mentions being a tool of fate in Vulich's near demise; after the fantastic events of the evening he declares "I do not know for certain if I now believe in predestination or not, but that night I firmly believed in it: the proof was overwhelming, and despite my laughing at our ancestors and their obliging astrology, I had involuntarily slopped into their tracks." (p. 189) This contrasts starkly with his meditation on the stars and the part they play in human affairs. There Pechorin merely scoffs at the gullibility of the ancients who believed that the universe was guided by some mysterious power. 260 . . . and it amused me to recall that, once upon a time, there were sages who thought that the heavenly bodies took part in our trivial conflicts for some piece of land or some imaginary rights. And what happened? These lampads, lit, in the opinion of those sages, merely to illumine their battles and festivals, were burning as brightly as ever, while their passions and hopes had long been extinguished with them, like a small fire lit on the edge of the forest by a carefree wayfarer! But on the other hand, what strength of will they derived from the certitude that the entire sky with its countless inhabitants was looking upon them with mute but permanent sympathy! (p. 188) This important monologue is not only the thematic centre of 17 the story, it provides Lermontov's views on astrology: It is not accidental that right in The Fatalist3 as I already remarked above, Lermontov approached the question of astrology with that same, i.e. active, point of view: he unexpectedly discovered that within determinism and the crude mechanical belief in fatalism of astrological superstitions, there is another aspect — the not indifferent, for practical purposes, influence that astrology has on the power of the will, on the confidence in practical activity and on the purposefulness of actions ... 18 Pechorin's convictions about fatalism are strengthened after he realizes that his prediction of doom has come true, and the proof seems undeniable when he concludes his own 19 experiment in fate. The author has carefully built up sufficient detail about predestination that his hero's 20 belief in it would seem quite logical at this point. But all these bizarre circumstances that almost force the hero to acknowledge a firm belief in fatalism result in a fascinating conclusion. 261 After all this, how, it would seem, can one escape becoming a fatalist? But then, how can a man know for certain whether or not he is really convinced of anything? And how often we mistake, for conviction, the deceit of our senses or an error of reasoning? I like to have doubts, about everything: this inclination of the mind does not impinge upon resoluteness of character. On the contrary, as far as I am concerned, I always advance with greater courage, when I do not know what awaits me. For nothing worse than death can ever occur; and from death there is no escape! (pp. 193-194) Boris Eykhenbaum suggests that this shift from the metaphysical to the practical consideration of the doctrine, although it does not resolve the theoretical aspects of the problem, provides the logic for the "decisiveness" of Pechorin's actions and saves the novel from ending on a "tendentious" 21 note. The author could have finished his story at this point, but in a masterful undertone of irony he appends certain important remarks between Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych. The old captain, always the pragmatist, pro vides a keen insight into the matter by his extensive knowledge of Asian guns. "Yes, sir! this is, of course, a rather tricky matter! . . . However, those Asiatic pistol cocks often miss fire if they are not properly oiled or if you do not press hard enough with the finger. I must say, I also do not like Circassian rifles. Somehow, they don't seem to be suitable for the likes of us: the butt is so small you have to be careful not to get your nose burnt. . . . But then, those swords they have — ah, they're really something!" Then he added after some thought: "Yes, I'm sorry for the poor fellow. . . Why the devil did he talk to a drunk at night!. . . However, this must have been what was assigned to him at his birth!" (p. 194) 262 Maksim Maksimych means that Vulich was not taking too much risk by using an Asiatic pistol in his test since they "often" misfire. He infers that the young lieutenant endangered his life more by conversing to a drunk at night than by pointing a loaded Asiatic gun to his forehead. It is possible that Vulich knew this secret of the operation of Asian triggers, and the hammer's movement, unseen by the naked eye, could have caused the misfire. Because of this, one could think that it was not fate that spared Vulich's life, but that he himself was confident of his success; this is why he was so calm the first time that Pechorin told him about the possibility of death, but felt ill at ease when reminded about it the second time. 22 If this were true, then the whole import of Vulich's experi ment in fate loses much of its impact as a test of pre destination, but gains in ironic effect. The irony is further intensified by the captain's fatalistic quip that these events, i.e. Vulich's unfortunate encounter with the murderous Cossack, must have been written out ahead for him at his birth. This last anecdote has little to do with the episode of the Asiatic pistol for Maksim Maksimych finds nothing unusual in it; his fatalism arises solely out of the circumstances surrounding Vulich's demise. Pechorin seems uncommitted in his belief in fatalism; as he said before "... I have, for rule, never to reject anything decisively, nor trust blindly in anything, ..." (p. 189) Lermontov provides the key to 263 his hero's behaviour at the beginning of the story during the intense discussion on fatalism: "'And if predestination actually exists, why then are we given free will and reason, and why must we account for our actions?'" (p. 182) Pechorin too is committed to this idea of free will, for we have already seen him imposing his will on other people; indeed, forcing his desires on those around him is the 23 virtual nucleus of his existence. When Pechorin obtains this gratification for his ego and feels no pain of responsibility, he insists that he alone controls his destiny and declares that fate plays no part in his life. But on those rare occasions when his actions prick his conscience, he removes the burden of responsibility from his own shoulders and uses fate as a scapegoat, asserting that he has been predestined to play the "miserable part of the executioner." The evidence of "Bela," "Taman'," and "Princess Mary" substantiates an interpretation that Pechorin is undecided in his attitude toward fate. When life proceeds in such a way as not to excite his conscience, he is pleased to believe that he is in command of his own and other's destinies. He actively seeks to shape events in order to realize his ambition of power over others: "... my chief pleasure — the subjugation to my will of everything that surrounds me. . . ." But when his interference in the lives of others leads to tragedy, he assuages his conscience by putting the blame on fate. 24 Thus The Fatalist provides the key to the moral deficiency of Lermontov's hero. Richard Freeborn has a slightly different interpretation; he insists that Pechorin is basically an anarchist: 264 There are no rules, then, no systems of belief, no moral codes in Pechorin's view of life. All is anarchic, just as for him the free exercise of will absolves him of responsibility. 'His only imperatives,' as John Mersereau has put it, 'are those dictated to him by his passions.' Even if repentance is as impossible for him as it is for the murderous Cossack, since he cannot acknowledge the moral sanction which would make repentance possible, his free exercise of will is based on the premise that passions are the source of ideas which only acquire form through action. For all his speculations on the nature of life, the true centre of his life is action, the implementation and testing of his ideas; and clearly the most private, or personal, point to which all experimen tation can be taken is that at which he —or any man, for Pechorin's is at this point a universal dilemma — confronts death, of which he may be the agent or the victim, but to which he is inevitably fated. 25 Anarchist or not, by insisting that he controls his own destiny even under such weird circumstances as those of The Fatalist (which would be enough to make almost any man fatalistic), Pechorin reveals the aimlessness of his personal will. Moreover, his words and deeds in the tale also disclose that his belief in fatalism is nothing but a convenience: why not refuse to heed the voice of conscience, when he can lay the blame for his destructiveness on the vagaries of the Universal Control? Pechorin's last positive action proves that he is once again a Man of Will. To gratify his ego Pechorin roams around looking for adventure and making things happen. Now in The Fatalist challenging both fate and 2 6 death is the greatest adventure. By testing his fate in much the same way as Vulich tested his, Pechorin is able 265 to feel that if there is a prime control, then he has challenged it and defeated it. The second aspect of this two-fold conquest is that he has again subjected the will of another human being — the Cossack assassin — to his own. Not only does The Fatalist present the final insight into the hero's moral status, it emphasizes another basic theme of the novel itself: the triumph of irony. Irony is developed in the story by the process of doubled impact. Lieutenant Vulich's escape from death is amazing at first, but its effect is multiplied by the astounding fact that the pistol was loaded and fires the second time. Vulich's murder is also bizarre, yet the irony is inten sified when this event is coupled with his escape, and doubled again after one realizes that Pechorin, who predicted Vulich's death, is the one who captures the murderer in a similar daring test of fate. The ultimate irony is achieved when the reader understands that Pechorin, even after his valourous deeds in The Fatalist as an experiment in predestination, also died under mysterious 27 circumstances on his return from Persia. Furthermore, it seems apparent that the final conversation between Pechorin and Maksim Maksimych was appended as a final ironical anecdote to cast doubt on Lieutenant Vulich's original escape from death. In conclusion The Fatalist provides certain key insights into some important aspects of the novel. The triumph of irony attains its final development and Pechor in's convictions about fatalism are clarified. Byronism in the tale is contained in the events and in the two leading men. Although there is no love plot and certain Byronic motifs are lacking, an essential feature of the Byronic genre is evident: a superior man performs an extraordinary deed requiring great courage, pitted against remarkable odds. Both Pechorin and Vulich, the parallel heroes of the tale, exhibit the characteristics of the Child of Nature, Hero of Sensibility and Gothic Villain, although these features are not well developed because of the story's conciseness. The extraordinary events of The Fatalist with its overt triumph of irony and clarifi cation of fatalism present the ultimate modifications of Lermontov's own brand of Byronism. 267 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER FIVE ''"Henry Gifford, The Novel in Russia, (1964), 33. 2 B. Eykhenbaum, "0 smyslovoy osnove Geroya nashego vremeni," (1959), 25. I. Vinogradov, "Filosofskiy roman Lermontova," (19 64) , 217. "H $aTajiHCT - OTHKfl He "flOBecoK" K OCHOBHOH, CaMOCTOHTeJIBHO 3Ha^HMOH ^aCTH pOMaHa. B H3BeCTH0M OTHOmeHHH OH 3aHHMaeT B CHCTeMe noBecTeft repo-H Hamero BpeMeHH Kjiu^eBoe nojioaceHHe, H 6e3 Hero poMaH He TOJIBKO noTepHJi 6u B CBoeii Bbipa3HTeJIbH0CTH, HO BO MHOrOM yTpaTHJI 6bl H CBOH BHyTpeHHHH CMHCJI. BCH jiorHKa noBecTBOBaHHH, Becb XOJ; pa3BepTUBaK>merocH KOMno3Hi;HOHHoro ero nocTpoeHHH nojjroTaBJiHBaiOT nocTeneHHO, mar 3a marOM, HeoSxojjHMOCTb noHBJieHHH 3Toro nocjie,HHero H pemaromero 3BeHa, - ^aTajiHCT 3aKjiK^aeT poMan, KaK CBOero pofla "3aMK0Bbifi KaMeHb", KOTOPHH jjepstHT Becb CBOJJ; H npHjj;aeT e#HHCTBO H nojiHOTy ijejiOMy..." ^For a complete discussion of this point plus an incisive look at works by some of Lermontov's contemporar ies (Marlinsky, Stankevich, Pogodin) on the same theme, see I.M. Toybin, "K problematike novelly Lermontova Fatalist," (1959), 30-41. 5 A.K. Bocharova, "Fatalizm Pechorina" in Tvorohestvo M. Yu. Lermontova, K.D. Vishnevsky editor, (1965), 235. ^B. Eykhenbaum, Op.Cit., 25-26. 7 See Richard Freeborn, The Rise of the Russian Novel, (1973), 71. g Perhaps as Nabokov suggests on page 209 Lermontov was implying that his hero tested his fate once more by marrying against the prediction of the old fortune teller. This idea seems plausible especially because of the threads of irony woven throughout the novel. 268 9 I.M. Toybin, Op.Cit., 22. "^V.A. Yevzerikhina, "K voprosu ob istochnikakh i problematike Fatalista Lermontova," (1960), 12. 11This ace of hearts has, no doubt, some symbolic presence as a "fateful" portent of the outcome. 12 I.M. Toybin, Op. Cit. 3 24. "IIojj,o6Haa aHajiorHH 3RH3HH c KapTO^HOft Hrpoii SbiJia pacnpocTpaHeHa mnpoKO. He cjiy^aiiHO H B $aTajiHCTe nopy^HK Byjinu aBJineTCH CTpacTHHM HrpoKOM, H cnop o npeflonpejj;ejieHHH npoHexojjHT 3a KapTOMHbiM CTOJIOM: fljia Hero napn OTHOCHTejibHO irpeflonpeflejieHHH, conpoBOXflaiomeecH Heo6bi*iHbiM SKcnepHMeHTOM, npHHi^HnajibHo HH^M He OTJiH^aeTCH OT KapTOtraoft Hrpti — OH Bcer^a H Be3/j;e ocTaeTca caMHM CO6OK: a3apTHHM HrpoKOM. C TaKOH xe OT^aHHHoS peinHM-OCTBK), c KaKOH ByjiHM HrpaeT B Kapra, HrpaeT OH H caMoii XH3HBK). XapaKTepHO, MTO nOCJie TOrO, KaK TJ0pa3HTejIbHbIH 3KC-nepHMeHT 3aK0H^tHJicH 6jiaronojiyHHO ^JIH ByjiH^a, IleuopHH 3a-MeTHJi eMy: "BH cuacTJiHBbi B nrpe"." 13G. Meyer, "Fatalist," (1965), 136-137. "3TOT KpaTKHii pa3roBop Mexfly ne^opHHbiM H ByjiH^eM B Bbicmen CTeneHH BaxeH fljiH BHyTpeHHero xojj,a Beero noBecTBOBaHHa JlepMOHTOBa... HTO xe KacaeTCH aKcnepHMeHTa c iracTOJieTOM, TO noflOKa3aTejib-HOCTH OH CHJibHO ycTynaeT 6OS3HH oxBaTHBmeft Byjinna npn 3aMe^aHHH ne^opHHa. OnpoMeT^HBaa BbixoflKa, flaxe caMan OT-BaxHan, He TaK ySejjHTejibHa, KaK 6e30T^eTH0 XKBymntt B ttejjOBeKe H BHe3anH0 npoHBJiaeMHft CTpax nepejj; HeMHHyeMOCTbio cyflbSbi. HTaK, KopoTKHii pa3roBop-npH3HaHHe pa3o6jia^aiomHH Hame nojj,cyjJ,Hoe 3HaHHe o PoKe, 6ecnoBopoTHO npe^pemaeT B <l>aTajiHCTe pacnopnflOK JiajibHeiimHx co6biTHft." 1AIbid., 138. 15 A.K. Bocharova, Op.Cit., 244. 16Ibid., 228. 17 I.M. Toybin, Op. Cit., 47. B. Eykhenbaum in "Litera-turnaya pozitsiya Lermontova," (1941), p. 66, shows how closely related this monologue is to Lermontov's poem "Duma." 18 V.F. Asmus, "Krug idey Lermontova," (1941), 104. "He cjiyMattHO, HIO HMCHHO B $aTajiHCTe, KaK H yxe OT-MeTHji Bbime, JlepMOHTOB no^omeji K Boppocy 06 acTpojiorHH c Toii 269 ace — jjeftcTBeHHc-M — TO^KH 3peHHn: B jj,eTepMHHH3Me H rpySoM, MexaHH^iecKOM $aTajiH3Me acTpojiorH^ecKHx cyeBepHH OH HeoxcHjuaHHO ycMOTpeji TaKace H jjpyryio CTopoHy — He6e3pa3JiH^Hoe AJIH npaK-THKH BJiHHHHe acTpojiorn^ecKHX npejjcTaBJieHHH Ha CHJiy BOJIH, Ha yBepeHHOCTB npaKTH^iecKoro jjeiicTBHH, Ha ijejieycTpeMJieHHOCTb nocTynKOB..." 19 G. Meyer, Op.Cit., 135. 20 On pages 102-104 of his article cited above, V.F. Asmus shows how Lermontov carefully developed a logical three-way proof of the doctrine in this story. 21 B. Eykhenbaum, Op. Cit., 25 . I.M. Toybm, Op.Cit., 27 states the same conclusions. 22V.A. Yevzerikhina, Op. Cit., 15. "BO3MO*CHO, ByjlHM 3HaJI CeKpeT fleHCTBHH a3HaTCKHX KypKOB, H HeBH^HMOe JJJIH npocToro rjia3a flBHxeeHHe CTpejiKa Morjio Bbi3BaTb ocemcy. IlosTOMy MOXHO jryMaTb, HTO He cyjjbSa nomaflHJia ByjiHua, a caM OH 6biJi yBepeH B CBOeM ycnexe; BOT noueMy TaK cnoKoeH 6HJI OH, Korjja Ile^opHH nepBbift pa3 cica3aji eMy o BO3MOXCHOCTH CMepTH, H HejiOBKO no^yBCTBOBaji ce6a, Kor^a eMy HanoMHHJiH 06 3T0M BO BTOpOH pa3." 2 3 M. Umanskaya, "Roman sud'by iii roman voli. Problem fatalizma v Geroy nashego vremeni," (1967), 19. 24John Mersereau, "The Fatalist as a keystone of A Eero of Our Times, (1960), 143. See also G. Fridlender, "Lermontov i russkaya povestvovatel'naya proza," (1965), 43. 25 R. Freeborn, Op. Cit., 71-72. For further remarks on the necessity of action in Pechorin's life see I.M. Toybin, Op.Cit., 48. 26K. Loks, "Proza Lermontova," (1938), 16. 27 M. Umanskaya, Op.Cit., 25. 270 CHAPTER SIX CONCLUSION Over the previous five chapters of this study I have considered the Byronic aspects of the separate parts of Lermontov's novel. It is apparent that in each tale not only does the Byronism vary in its development, use and impact, but also differing views of the hero are pro vided. Although the author's technique of using a fragmen tary structure for his narrative (a usage which parallels Byron's own methods of story-telling) resulted in a loosely cohesive series of components,"'" A Hero of Our Time is, nevertheless, a complete work and must be viewed as a whole. The tremendous variety in the novel's Byronic features provokes certain difficulties. Some of the tales have well-developed storm motifs, exotic settings and Byronic poses; some do not. Many of the characters seem to have sprung right out of the world of swashbuckling outlaws, beautiful maidens and villainous pashas; others, such as Maksim Maksimych are not at all characteristic of Byron's writings. At certain times some personages seem to combine Byronic traits with features atypical of Byron's people. Pechorin himself exhibits in varying degrees the 271 qualities necessary for a Byronic hero; sometimes, however, he is not similar to that type: at one point he even resembles a buffoon. Modifying and altering Byronic qualities lent originality to Lermontov's novel and con stituted a new aspect of the Romantic novel. Throughout A Hero of Our Time the author presented three basic Byronic motifs: the exotic setting, the storm and the Byronic pose. The novel's Caucasian locale was a Russian equivalent for the far-off eastern environment of Byron's Oriental Tales or the exotic American frontier of 2 Chateaubriand's Atala. Even though the general setting possesses the necessary Byronic element of exotica, each tale has its own specific modification of this aspect. For example, Princess Mary does take place in the midst of the Caucasian mountains around Pyatigorsk, but the specific milieu is still Russian because it is a resort area for high society. This setting within a setting provides an incisive view of the haut monde intrigues as well as giving the hero an opportunity to lyrically acclaim the majesty of the region. The environments of Bela and Maksim Maksimych do not involve high society, but consist only of the "un civilized" native people of the Caucasus. In both of these stories the setting is vital to the intrigue as well as the atmosphere and character scheme. In Taman' the "evil" environment evokes negative feelings in the hero, in stark contrast to Pechorin's lyrical appreciation of his surroundings in other parts of the novel. It prepares the 272 reader for the tale's unusual events where the ghostly, supernatural atmosphere exemplifies the hero's unfamiliar-ity with his milieu. Lastly, in The Fatalist the actions themselves provide the story with its meaning; the locale is incidental. The lack of detail in the description of the setting confirms this. Thus Lermontov gave each part of his novel a different expression of the exotic environ ment. The specific variations in the setting and its purpose stimulate the individuality and effect of each tale. 3 Lermontov also employed the storm motif, a recurr ing element in Byron's writings. In some cases the author used it in the same manner as Byron, to epitomize the storminess in the hero's soul. This technique is particularly evident in Princes s Mary s where Pechorin constantly identifies with the mountain-top tempests around Pyatigorsk. In Bela the storm motif took on the added function of a dramatic device both to heighten tension and suspense as well as to present a logical opportunity for Maksim Maksimych to begin and conclude his narrative about Pechorin and the beautiful native girl. It also has a lyrical purpose in that story to emphasize the travelling note-taker's Rousseauesque enjoyment of the Caucasian magnificence. These usages closely parallel the function of the storm motif in Byron. However, in Taman' Lermontov introduces a striking variation on this theme: he employs a passage of a great tempest to build up the stature of the smuggler Yanko (the real hero of the story), while at the same time denigrating his leading man by having him watch in passive admiration as the bandit skilfully docks his fragile little boat in the teeth of the storm. Moreover, the storm motif does not appear in either Maksim Maksimych or The Fatalist, where the air of deceptive tranquility is disturbed neither by gale nor tempest. The peacefulness of Maksim Maksimych is only broken by the frigid, embarrassing encounter between the experienced old captain and his bored former companion, so the contrast between the atmosphere of calm and Maksim Maksimych's mortified agitation is made even more striking. The bizarre events of The Fatalist are made stranger by the eerie tranquility enveloping them: instead of using a pathetic fallacy of a raging storm to epitomize the probations of fate and the grisly murder, Lermontov set them in an unusual mood of peacefulness. Thus Lermontov followed the Byronic tradition of the storm motif in only three of his five tales and in one of the three the usage could hardly be considered Byronic. By varying the application and altering the function of the motif to heighten the position of someone other than his main hero, Lermontov developed another standard Byronic feature into a new and original form. The third main Byronic motif employed in A Here of Our Time was the pose. Byron's characters are invariably 274 portrayed by depicting their personalities through external detail. Once again Lermontov followed this tradition but developed modifications of his own. Maksim Maksimych is seen in a kind of pose at the beginning of Bela as he walks along, puffing at his Kabardan pipe and exuding an unpre tentious air of experience. It is noteworthy, however, that the old captain's personality is chiefly developed through his simple words and deeds. Lermontov delineates the profound love that the outlaw Kazbich has for his fine steed through a fixed posture of extreme grief after his horse has been stolen: he screams, falls on the ground sobbing like a child and lies there all night. The author depicts the character of the travelling narrator by a typical Byronic stance of looking down from a mountain-top on the valley below. Here he scrutinizes the fabulous Koyshaur Valley. Finally, Pechorin himself is twice seen in a Byronic pose in Bela. On the first occasion he plays the role of a Gloomy Egoist before Bela to gain her sympathy by playing on her emotions. As Bela is dying Pechorin assumes a posture of indifference until after her death he can control himself no longer and breaks into hysterical laughter. Perhaps the best example of portraying the hero through a pose comes in Maksim Maksimych. The travelling note-taker fixes Pechorin in a loose indolent demeanour: 275 he yawns and sits down on a bench. The author-narrator's keen observations provide the only well-developed external description of Lermontov's hero.^ It is significant that Pechorin is set in a pose of meditating on the grandeur of the area. In the two page description of Lermontov's leading man external detail, typical of the Byronic method, is the keynote. Pechorin's gait, constitution, smile, eyes and (most characteristic of all) his pale, wrinkled, noble brow are all in keeping with Byronic tradition. There are no depictions of Pechorin in a fixed stance in Taman'. However, Pechorin portrays the undina in an attitude of Goethe's Mignon, but her perpetual pointless motion seems to preclude any kind of set posture. Nevertheless, the smuggler is seen in a Byronic pose at the end of his story: with his Cossack haircut, his huge knife and his swaggering manner, Yanko towers over the scene dominating everyone in it — including Pechorin. Princess Mary is rich in Byronic poses, but they are mainly confined to the pseudo-romantic poseur Grushnitsky. Time after time he is seen in a false guise of tragedy maintained by his thick soldier's coat. This cloak contains the entire sum of the cadet's mystique and attraction for Mary, since she believes he wears it because of a duel. However, the fake mask of tragedy only emphasizes Grushnitsky's insincerity, mediocrity and ridiculousness. Lermontov constantly depicts the young 27 6 fop in a pose: when he declaims his pointless French axiom, as he walks with his hands behind his back affecting a "mysterious air," while!.'he rides with Mary dramatizing his social status and when he thanks Pechorin in a tragic voice for saving Mary at the ball. Occasion ally though, Grushnitsky is presented in a fixed stance which allows his true character to emerge as, for example, when Lermontov portrays him mawkishly gazing through the windowpane outside the ballroom, or, before the last ball when the late adolescent appears from beneath the absurdly garish exterior, or, finally, during the duel as Grushnitsky expresses his smug satisfaction after he has lightly wounded Pechorin and believes he is in no danger. Doctor Werner too is detailed in a kind of Mephistophelean Byronic pose with the humanistic poet under the caustic exterior. Finally, Pechorin himself assumes a Byronic posture on two 7 occasions in Princess Mary. Despite the cynicism that he exhibits throughout the story, Lermontov's hero takes on a "deeply touched air" and relates his childhood in lengthy fashion, after Mary has related her fear of his sarcastic tongue. Later he assumes a rather inane posture, resting his hand on a doorhandle and begging Mary to for give him, insisting that he has behaved like a "madman." So the Byronic pose is used in Princess Mary to conceal two sets of lies: Grushnitsky simulates a miserable air 277 to cloak his own pedestrianism whereas Pechorin takes on a false guise to deceive Mary. In The Fatalist there is only one clear example of a kind of Byronic pose. This is the brief yet force ful description of Lieutenant Vulich. Pechorin sets his subject in an attitude of excentricity. After delineating his outward appearance, complete with piercing eyes, chilling smile and mysterious, unusual soul, Lermontov presents Vulich in the odd demeanour of an impassioned gambler who would sacrifice everything for the sake of the game. Therefore Lermontov has employed the Byronic pose throughout his novel; the usage of this particular motif closely parallels its original function in Byron's works. Lermontov followed three paths in his depiction of the secondary personages of his novel: in some cases he closely maintained Byronic tradition; in others he trans formed the basic traits of Byron's minor figures; lastly, certain characters in A Hero of Our Time are not to be found in Byron's writings. The minor heroines of Lermon tov's novel came directly out of the Romantic mainstream. Bela is a stereotyped personage, the beautiful native girl whose personality is depicted mainly through her "gazelle like" eyes. Vera is also an idealized vision of the faith ful devoted woman whose adulation of Pechorin closely resembles that of a slave-master relationship. The one striking trait presented in the brief portrait of Nastya 278 is her almost canine faithfulness to the hero. The most notable feature of these heroines is that, like Byron's women, they exist only to love the hero; they have no g function outside of this aspect. The leading lady of Princess Mary is a variation on the Byronic heroine. Although she too exists only to love the hero and eventually possesses the characteristic profound devotion, her primary arrogance and ^ini.tial con tempt for Pechorin are unusual. Mary's pride serves to strengthen the impact of Pechorin's courting and subsequent humiliation of her. According to Pechorin the undina comes directly from the pages of Goethe, yet her actions of wooing the hero, deceiving him and even attempting to kill him are totally uncharacteristic of Byronic standards. Neverthe less, because of the special role that Taman' plays in the novel, her unusual qualities are included for a specific purpose. Some of the male figures from A Eero of Our Time also exemplify Romantic convention. Bandits like Kazbich and Azamat are stock creations of wild, impetuous outlaws. Yanko is also a typical dashing cavalier whose cunning bold ness and swaggering bravura actually defeat Lermontov's hero. The travelling narrator from Bela and Maksim Maksimych is a definitive portrait of a naive Child of Nature turned disillusioned Gloomy Egoist. Both Bela's father and Vera's husband could be considered Byronic pasha 279 types except that they are not well-developed nor do they play the central role that pashas occupy in Byron's writings. Three male types from A Hero of Our Time could be considered distinct modifications of Byronic types. The blind urchin from Taman ' can almost be classified as a conventional wild outlaw figure, but his youth and blindness provoke both sympathy and admiration for him from the reader. Moreover, his clever adroitness is so great that he betters the hero. Because of his qualities of "extraordinariness" Vulich could be a good example of a Byronic character, except that his courage and daring are devoted to the passion of gambling instead of winning a beautiful maiden over a pasha's obstacle. Thirdly, the Doctor whose Mephisto-like presence complements Pechorin's Byronism has a keen intelligence and a sharp tongue which not only make him an extraordinary man, but also a fitting confidant for Lermon tov's leading man. However, his criticism of Pechorin's brutal behaviour is a clear Lermontovian variation on the theme of the hero's trusted partner. Grushnitsky is a definite innovation of the Byronic figure; he is altered so much that he is not found in Byron's works. Despite his tragic cloak and guise of suffer ing the cadet has none of the real Byronic hero's extra ordinary qualities: he is all banality, commonness, 9 mediocrity. Neither a pasha nor a hero Grushnitsky is a parody on the fake display of an heroic mantle. He 280 possesses almost all of Pechorin's failings, egocentricity, conceit, self-satisfied smugness and the obsessive desire for revenge, yet has none of Pechorin's incisive intelli gence, audacious courage or inexorable will. His failure to come to grips with his own identity contributes directly to his downfall. In the end it is Grushnitsky's lack of self-assurance, bottomless banality and self-delusion which destroy him. In certain ways Grushnitsky is Pechorin's alter ego but because he has none of his foe's strength, he can only imitate the external qualities of a Byronic hero. Maksim Maksimych is the other character not found in Byron's writings. The old soldier's humility, simplic ity and lack of unusual qualities do not belong to the Byronic world of extraordinary people. Maksim Maksimych's commonness produces a believability about him which sustains an equilibrium that balances the novel with everyday qualities against the sometimes excessive Byronism of the book.1^ The inclusion of such a character provides a new dimension of Lermontov's variations on the Romantic theme and presents a more original literary creation. It is evident from the conclusions made in the first five parts of this study that the hero of Lermontov's novel is a contradiction in terms. At certain times Pechorin is most definitely a Byronic hero; at others he is not. 281 To take the negative aspects first, it was shown that Pechorin exhibited characteristics of the Gothic Villain which found its expression in Byron in the taint of the "secret sin." Though the Byronic hero had committed crimes, he was not cruel or sadistic.'''"'" Byron's noble outlaws were pirates and bandits who, despite their mis deeds, were heroes of admirable strength and courage and possessed souls of sensibility. Even his creations of evil such as Cain and Lucifer were not villains, but titanic romantic rebels. Pechorin's wicked sadistic streak makes him diverge from the Byronic type, since he closely resembles the original Gothic Villain. Pechorin's rapacious cruelty is an outgrowth of his powerful will which engulfs everyone and everything in its path. Instead of the positive assertions of the Romantic superheroes, Pechorin's will 12 turns to destruction to satisfy its hunger. The perverse pleasure that Pechorin receives from humiliating Mary and destroying Grushnitsky differs from Byronic custom. The conventional hero of Byron is never cruel to females; Lermontov's leading man is ruthless toward all his women. Pechorin's "secret sin" has been placed out in the open for all to see. The cruelty with which Pechorin commits his evil deeds makes him diverge from Byronic tradition. The usual leading man in Byron's writings was not a fatalist, yet Pechorin often expresses views on his belief in the fates. In Princess Mary Lermontov's hero 282 confesses that he fears marriage because of a superstitious belief in a prophecy made by an old fortune teller. In the same story he declares that fate must be bringing Vera to him; on two occasions he relates his disgust at being an instrument in the hands of a fatal universal control. Pechorin admits that he first,thought that Bela was sent to him by a "compassionate fate." From his words and deeds in The Fatalist Pechorin clarifies his beliefs in fate: when all goes well for him, he thinks he has a free will; however, as soon as his crimes prick his conscience, he assuages his guilt by conveniently using predestination as 13 a scapegoat. Pechorin is a largely un-Byronic hero in the story Taman', where I suggested that a conscious effort was made by the author to debunk the myth of the hero's infallibility. Pechorin's passive timidity is twice juxtaposed with Yanko's bold assertion of authority. Both the grand entrance of the smuggler and his swaggering presence serve to make Pechorin's feeble hiding in the rocks seem even more ludicrous and weak. The other characters of the tale also contribute to the systematic destruction of the hero's titanic stature. The Cossack lackey, the old woman and the military personnel succeed in browbeating Pechorin; the blind boy humbugs him and the undina tricks and almost kills him. The "evil" setting and circumstances of the story, over which Pechorin has no 283 control, also add to the gradual undermining of his heroism. Pechorin himself greatly contributes to bringing down his own heroic stature: he permits himself to be tricked, deceived, humiliated and nearly killed. Nowhere in Taman' does he assert his physical or intellectual prowess; instead of a man of action, he is only a passive observer. Pechorin is reduced to the role of at best, a timid inert clown, at worst, a bumbling dimwit. In Taman' the hero's personality is decidedly un-Byronic, since it virtually amounts to a reversal of the features of the powerful keen-witted man of action. Thus Taman' constitutes another clear trans formation of basic Byronic elements. On the other hand, Pechorin often displays typical traits of a Byronic hero who, as I showed above, developed from the four basic preromantic prototypes. In his roots Pechorin is a Child of Nature just like Childe Harold, the Noble Outlaws, Manfred and several others. He consistently expresses a lyrical appreciation of the joys of nature, whether it be the profound meditation on the majestic Caucasian scenery or the cheerful ebullience of a trained 14 outdoorsman who loves to hunt and ride. Lermontov's hero also demonstrated the features of the Hero of Sensibility, expressed in the Gloomy Egoist and the Man of Feeling. Pechorin's supreme egocentricity results in an inability to relate to other people. Pechorin humiliates and destroys only to satisfy the self-centred 284 needs of his ego; he also exhibits the Gloomy Egoist's cynical disillusion with society and humanity in general. He constantly bemoans his own circumstances and his "gloomy" youth. When Bela is unhappy Pechorin believes that he is actually more deserving of pity than she.1"* His selfishness makes him greet his old friend with callous indifference: when Maksim Maksimych asks what he has been doing over the past five years, Pechorin only cynically replies "I have been bored!" After Vulich's murder Pechorin does not consider the fact that a friend is dead, but is only con cerned with the strange circumstances surrounding his death. The hero's cynicism is quite evident as he tells 16 Vulich to either shoot himself or go home to bed. Even Pechorin, as the booby from Taman', is still sullen. Throughout the novel then, the hero's cynicism, morosity and egocentricity resemble the main traits of the Gloomy Egoist, in keeping with Byronic tradition. Though Pechorin often attempts to hide his emotions under a mask of disillusion and indifference, he still possesses intense feelings, but only shows them when he is alone. Thus, under the guise of the unfeeling cynic lies a true Man of Feeling. Lermontov's hero is grief-stricken at Bela's death but attempts to control himself; however, he finally breaks down and bursts into hysterical laughter and, indeed, is ill "for a long time." Maksim Maksimych knows Pechorin's sensitivity for he realizes 285 that the mere mention of her name would be unpleasant for him. Pechorin contains a paradoxical mixture of the Child of Nature's robustness and the Man of Feeling's effeminate fragility, for the old captain mentions that one day he would be hunting all day in inclement weather, but the next he could complain about the slightest draught. Moreover, he might start and grow pale at the banging of a shutter, but could also tackle a wild boar single-handedly. When Pechorin re-encounters the aged captain and the latter mentions Bela's name, Lermontov's leading man is so affected that he pales and turns away, even after an interval of five years. Pechorin is bothered so much by the appearance of the blind rascal in Taman ' that he cannot sleep: the ghostly image of the boy with his white eyes keeps hovering over him like an apparition. He feels glad when he sees the girl safe on the beach and sad when he hears the boy crying, yet these characters tricked him and even tried to get rid of him. Pechorin also exhibits the nostalgia necessary for the true Man of Feeling: the mermaid's glance reminds him of the tender looks from past love affairs. In Princess Mary Pechorin even admits that there is no one over whom the past has such control. Even though in that story he wears the mask of indifference, shrugging his shoulders at every opportunity, Pechorin is still a man of profound emotion. Vera's appearance makes him blurrily tender and he is touched by Mary's face. 286 After the duel Pechorin acts cold and unaffected with the others, but when he rides down the mountain and glimpses Grushnitsky's multilated corpse, he cannot contain his emotion and tightly clamps his eyes shut. The climax of Pechorin's expression as a Man of Feeling occurs after he has read Vera's letter and rides his horse to death in pursuit: the tide of feelings overcomes him and he bursts into tears. But the hero cynically rationalizes this outburst, attributing it to the excitement of the duel, lack of sleep and —- an empty stomach. Thus it is evident that Pechorin's character is made up of basic Byronic traits (disillusion, egocentricity, profound emotion, love of nature, keen intelligence and extraordinary bravery) modified into a new and original personality. The innovation achieved by Lermontov consists of the equilibrium between Pechorin's un-Byronic traits and the purely Byronic ones. His features as Child of Nature, Gloomy Egoist and Man of Feeling counterbalance his Gothic Villain cruelty. Moreover, the parody element in Taman ' is a Lermontovian variation on the Byronic myth. There is no doubt that Lermontov's novel has sociological significance, yet to attribute Pechorin's personality only to the social disillusion of a latter-day Decembrist, as so many Soviet critics do, completely misses 287 17 the point. True, Pechorin is much more than merely a simple expression of a Byronic hero, but he is also much more than a revolutionary romantic. In his preface to the novel the author stated A Hero of Our Time, gentlemen, is indeed a portrait, but not of a single individual; it is a portrait composed of all the vices of our generation in the fullness of their development. You will tell me again that a man cannot be as bad as all that; and I shall tell you that since you have believed in the possibility of so many tragic and romantic villains having existed, why can you not believe in the reality of Pechorin? If you have admired fictions far more frightful and hideous, why does this character, even as fiction, find no quarter with you? Is it not, perchance, because there is more truth in this character than you would desire there to be? (p. 2) Pechorin does exhibit the vices of a generation, but the dandyism which Lermontov criticizes did not result in a politically conscious group: The education and outlook of Chaadayev's generation were largely conditioned by the 18th century. Not one of our dandies was a revolutionary radical. Most were progressively conservative or moderately liberal; in other words, enlightened critics of the old order rather than protagonists of a new order. And so when the old order, instead of collapsing before the Decembrists' trumpet-blast, gathered itself for a formidable counter-offensive, the dandies had no base of principle from which to oppose it — no purpose of their own, no course, no. clear concep tion even of their relation to society — only an innate conviction of their superiority and a habit of criticism, elegiac and witty, to which they continued to cling in private as far as their circumstances or their courage allowed. 18 288 Pechorin could hardly be considered a spokesman for a generation of political rebels. After all, more than political problems, A Eero of Our Time concerns human and social failings such as hypocrisy, greed, self-delusion, conceit, egocentricity, cruelty and indifference which Lermontov saw all around him. The novel deals with the problems of man and society, but from the point of view of the individual's confrontation with his own identity within 19 the social milieu. Lermontov did criticize the two-faced salon customs and the fashionable practice of assum-20 mg false guises. Moreover, he presented a searing indictment of the code of "honour" in duelling where neither combattant fought over anything more than the gratification of a self-centred ego. The author attacked the cruel treatment of native peoples, when Russian soldiers simply took what they wanted with no regard for human feelings. As he stated, Lermontov presented the vices but offered no solutions. Pechorin is a "rebel without a cause." In the demon-hero of the 1830's, as exemplified by Pechorin, these two weaknesses have been elimin ated. The hero has uncompromisingly rejected the old order in his soul, however much he may be bound to it formally by birth and wealth: he is a rebel, even though he may have no idea of what he is rebelling against and has no idea at all of what he is rebelling for. 289 Consequently the aesthetic element yields pride of place to the will, which emerges as the dominant motive-force in the character of the hero, and the shift in primacy involves the regrouping or modification of its other main elements. The aesthetic synthesis is superimposed, and even those of its constitu ents which at first sight would seem to have been taken over into the new synthesis turn out on closer inspection to have been modified almost past recognition. 21 Above all, Lermontov presents the problems of a particular individual in conflict not only with the world around him, but also with himself. Lermontov developed his novel around four basic themes: free will, good and evil, fate and irony. Each of these is inseparable from the others and deeply concerns the hero. Most of the stories pertain to the exploits of Pechorin's attempts to exert his own will. The result of this powerful will is usually unfortunate for the other characters since Pechorin satisfies his wishes by destruction, not construction. The author shows that if a man such as Pechorin, selfish and egocentrically obsessive, is allowed to force his inflexible will on other people, the con sequence will be catastrophic. Pechorin permits himself to believe he has a free will and is answerable to no one; when, however, his actions cause an appeal to conscience, he invariably casts off his guilt by blaming fate. Irony is perhaps the most remarkable theme running through the 22 novel. The book's title has, of course, a double meaning: the "hero of our time" is actually a villainous 290 cad. Moreover, his heroic status is undermined by the events of an entire story, Taman'. Pechorin rushes through the book in a frantic search for love, yet when he finds it he casts it away. The strange irony of The Fatalist clarifies Pechorin's belief in fate. Indeed, the entire novel is developed around the triumph of irony. Perhaps it is fitting that the author himself provided the ultimate ironical denouement to the novel by the awesome circumstances of his own death. In conclusion then, A Hero of Our Time and its main figure Pechorin are both Byronic and un-Byronic. There is no doubt that in certain aspects Lermontov closely followed Byronic tradition and that in others he strayed far from it. Most remarkable are the areas where Lermontov took the fundamental characteristics of Byron's writings and carefully modified them to form his own original concepts of the individual. Pechorin himself is a develop ment of the basic type: his lineage is Byronic, but his realization is strictly Lermontovian. The fascinating innovations that the author advanced, combined with the traditional and the unconventional sides of A Hero of Our Time, produced a new and influential interpretation of Romanticism which never ceases to spark the imagination of the reader. 291 FOOTNOTES CHAPTER SIX D.M. Lemnion on page 51 of his dissertation en titled "The Rovelle, or the Novel of Interrelated Stories . . . ." shows how Lermontov had the structure very much under control. 2 V. Spasovich, "Bayronizm u Pushkina I Lermon tova," 542. 3 B. Eykhenbaum, Lermontov, 1967, 149. 4 V.M. Markovich, "Problema lichnosti. . . ," 218. ^A.N. Veselovsky on page 220 of his article "Etyudy o Bayronizme" likens Pechorin's description closely to that of Lara. c B.V. Neyman, "Portret v tvorchestve Lermontove," 85. 1Ibid., 85-86. g Peter Gerlinghoff, Frauengestalten und Liebes-problematik. . . , 1968, 107. 9 G. Fridlender, "Lermontov l russkaya povestvova-tel'naya proza," 48. "^G.G. Shevchenko, "0 svoyeobrazii metoda. . . ," 83. See also B. Eykhenbaum, Op.Cit., 150. 11P.J. Thorslev, The Byronic Hero, 1962, 8. 12 G.G. Shevchenko, Op. Cit., 88. 13 M. Umanskaya, "Roman sud'by ill roman volx " 28 292 14 For further discussion on how the setting reflects Pechorin's feelings see G.G. Shevchenko, Op.Cit., 92-93. 15 It is also true, furthermore, that Pechorin kidnapped Bela because of his disillusionment with high society. 16 For further discussion of Pechorin's dual cynicism see G.G. Shevchenko, Op.Cit., 81. 17 E. g. G.G. Shevchenko, Op.Cit., 78, M. Uman-skaya, Op.Cit., 19 and L. Ya. Ginzburg, Tvorcheskiy Put' Lermontova, 1940, 170. 18 F. F. Seeley, "The Heyday of the 'Superfluous Man' in Russia," 104. 19 M.M. Zdziechowski, Byron i jego wiek, 1897, 320. 20 E. Duchesne, M.I. Lermontov. . . , 1910, 253. 21F.F. Seeley, Op.Cit., 105. 22 B. Eykhenbaum, "Literaturnaya pozitsiya Lermontova," 66. 293 BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbreviations. The following abbreviations have been used in the bibliography: I.A.N. — Izvestiya Akademii Nauk,  L.N. — Literaturnoye Nasledstvo, R.L. — Russkaya Litera-tura, U.Z. — Uchonyye Zapiski; Isk. — Izdatel'stvo "Iskusstvo," Iz.Ak. — Izdatel'stvo Akademii Nauk, Iz.D. — Izdatel'stvo "Detskaya Literatura," Iz.G. — Izdatel'stvo "Goslitizdat," Iz.Kh. — Izdatel'stvo "Khudozhestvennaya Literatura," Iz.P. — Izdatel'stvo "Prosveshcheniye," Iz.U. -Izdatel'stvo "Uchpedgiz," M.G.U. — Izdatel'stvo Moskovskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta, S.P. — Izdatel'stvo "Sovetski Pisatel'." I Unpublished Sources Khan, Mokhammad. "M. Yu. Lermontov v angliyskom i amerikan-skom literaturovedenii." (Dissertation) Moscow: M.G.U., 1971. Lemmon, D.M. "The Rovelle, or the Novel of Interrelated Stories: M. Lermontov, G. Keller, S. Anderson." (Ph.D. Dissertation.) University of Indiana: 1970. Matthews, W.K. "The Influence of Byron on Russian Poetry." (Ph.D. Dissertation.) University of London: 1926. Paganuzzi, Paul. "La Vie de Lermontov Refletee dans ses Oeuvres." (Ph.D. Dissertation.) Universite de Montreal: 1964. Shaw, Joseph T. "Byron and Lermontov: The Romantic Verse Tale." (Ph.D. Dissertation.) Harvard University: 1950. II. Published Sources A. Lermontov's Works in Russian I have consulted over forty collected editions of Lermontov's writings and eight separate editions of Geroy nashego vremeni. The most authoritative modern editions are the Polnoye Sobraniye Sochineniy in five volumes, Moscow/ 294 Leningrad: "Academia," 19 35-7 and the Polnoye Sobraniye  Sochineniy in four volumes, Moscow/Leningrad: "Khudo-zhestvennaya Literatura," 1948. Both these editions are edited by B.M. Eykhenbaum. The most complete pre-revolu-tionary edition was edited by P.A. Viskovaty: Polnoye  Sobraniye Sochineniy Moscow: V. Rikhter, 1889. B. Translations After having consulted a large number of English renderings of Geroy nashego vremeni, it seems apparent that the best English translation available is by Vladimir Nabokov (in collaboration with D. Nabokov) Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Co., 1958. C. Books Allen, Clifford. Sexual Perversions and Abnormalities. London: Oxford University Press, 1949. Andreyev-Krivich, S.A. Lermontov. Voprosy vorchestvo i iografii. Moscow: Iz. Ak., 1954. . Tarkhanskaya Pora. Moscow: Iz.D., 1963. Andronikov, I.L. Lermontov. Moscow: S.P., 1951. . Lermontov. Issledovaniya i nakhodki. Moscow: Iz. Kh., 1964. . Lermontov. Novyye razyskaniye. Moscow: S.P., 1955. Belinsky, V.G. Polnoye Sobraniye Sochineniy. Moscow: Iz. Ak., 1953-1959. . Stat'i o Lermontove. St. Petersburg: M.M. Stasyulevich, 1911. Borozdin, A.K. M. Yu. Lermontov. St. Petersburg: "Prometey," 1914. Borshchevsky, F.M. and Sidorenko, M.M. M. Yu. Lermontov. Zaporozh'e: 1964. 295 Boyd, A.F. Aspects of the Russian Novel. London: Chatto and Windus, 1972. Brandes, Georg. Reminiscences of My Childhood and Youth. New York: Duffield and Co., 1906. Brodsky, N.L. M. Yu. Lermontov. Biografiya. Moscow: Iz. G., 1945. Bursov, B.I. Lev Tolstoy i russkiy roman. Moscow: Iz. Ak., 1963. Butkov, N. Tvorchestvo M. Yu. Lermontova. Washington, D.C.: Viktor Kamkin, 1964. Byron, Lord George Gordon. Poetical Works. London: Oxford University Press, 1967. Chateaubriand, Francois Auguste Rene, vicomte de. Oeuvres  Completes. Paris: pourrat, 1836-9. Constant, Benjamin. Adolphe. Paris: Livre de Poche, 1957. Davie, Donald. Russian Literature and Modern English Fiction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965. Duchesne, E. M.I. Lermontov. Sa vie et ses oeuvres. Paris: 1910. Durylin, S. Geroy nashego vremeni M. Yu. Lermontova. Moscow: Iz. U., 1940. . Kak rabotal Lermontov. Moscow: "Mir," 1934. Elze, Karl. Lord Byron: A Biography. London: John Murray, 1872. Ellis, Havelock. The Psychology of Sex. 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Zeitschrift fur  Slavische Philologie, 1926, Vol. 3, No. 3-4, 290-310 and 1927, Vol. 4, No. 1-2, 20-42. Zurov, L. "Taman' Lermontova i 'L'Orco' George Sand." Novyy Zhurnal, 1961, No. 66, 278-281. 311 Errata To quotation No. 40 p. 109 add the following: "OcoSeHHO R 3TOM OTKomeHHH xapaKTepno ynoTpefijieHHe B pa3KbIX .uaCTHX pOMaHa MOTKBOB npi<ipO£bI. 3TK MOTiiBbI HBJI.SiOTC.fi OAEHM H3 KOHCTpyKTHBHbix 3JieMeHTOB poMaKa. PoMaH 3a£yMaK KEK "KaBKa3CKHH", C HenpeMeHHHMK OnKCaHMKH KaBKa3CKOK npHPOflbi. *OH rop npn^aeT poMany OCO6HH KOJIOPHT, oco&'yjo CTHJiHCTHKecKyjo OKpacKy. He^apoM onHcaHHH Kasica3a K3 "Tepotf-namero BpeMeHH" CTajiH KjiaccH^ecKHMH, BomjiH B y^eSHO-niKOJibHbiH OSHXCJJ; H £axe npHBO^HJii-rcb KEK oSpasiibi onHcaTejibHOH snacTOJinpHOK npo3bi (B "06pa3n;oBOM nHCbMOBHHKe" 1845 r.) JlHPH^eCKKe OHHCaHHH npHpO^H npHCyTCTByKT B O^HKaKOBOH CTeneHK B nyTeBbix 3anHCKax "aBTopa" H B "Hypnajie ne^opHHa". OHH OflHOCTKJIbHbi; flaie PKTM pe^H CTaHOBHTCS OJIHHaKOBbIM B cooTBeTCTByroinHx MecTax." 

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