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Pushkin Club Programme

Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time is one of the most powerful character portraits ever written ofa Romantic anti-hero. The novel was influenced by Byron, but its protagonist, Pechorin,outdoes even Byron’s heroes in his bored indifference and cruelty, which mask a deepdisillusionment. Like Byron, Pechorin is irresistible to women. His personaljourney is set in the Caucasus, a dangerously beautiful region also described by Pushkin in histravelogue A Journey to Arzrum .

tl_files/images/events/2013/October/P1010306.JPG Nicolas Pasternak Slater has recently published translations of both these texts ( A Hero of Our Time , Oxford World’s Classics).He will present Lermontov's novel in its historical context and as a work of literature, touch on the linkswith Pushkin, and discuss the problems of translating Lermontov with examples from his ownand other translators’ work (including Vladimir Nabokov’s). Slater is the translator and editor of Boris Pasternak: Family Correspondence, 1921-1960 .

Robert Chandler, whosetranslations from Russianinclude Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate, willround out this picture of Lermontov by readingnew translationsof three of Lermontov's poems.


White sail out in the bay
billowing in the wind.
Why sail so far away?
Why leave so much behind?

Winds must play on the seas
and masts creak in the wind.
Fortune is not what he seeks,
nor what he’s left behind.

A golden light still pours
down onto deep blue seas;
this rebel, alas, seeks storms,
as if in storm lies peace.

tr. Robert Chandler

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