By Elizabeth Allen
A Fallen Idol remains to be a God elucidates the ancient area of expertise and importance of the seminal nineteenth-century Russian poet, playwright, and novelist Mikhail Iurevich Lermontov (1814-1841). It does so by means of demonstrating that Lermontov’s works illustrate the situation of residing in an epoch of transition. Lermontov’s specific epoch was once that of post-Romanticism, a time while the twilight of Romanticism used to be dimming however the sunrise of Realism had but to seem. via shut and comparative readings, the publication explores the singular metaphysical, mental, moral, and aesthetic ambiguities and ambivalences that mark Lermontov’s works, and tellingly replicate the transition out of Romanticism and the character of post-Romanticism. total, the ebook finds that, even if limited to his transitional epoch, Lermontov didn't succumb to it; as an alternative, he probed its personality and evoked its historic import. And the e-book concludes that Lermontov’s works have resonance for our transitional period within the early twenty-first century to boot.
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Additional info for A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition
In literature, that loss manifested itself in three principal types of authors: (1) those who were themselves epigones and unselfconsciously created epigonal characters; (2) those who criticized the post-Romantic loss of cultural integrity by deliberately creating characters exemplifying post-Romantic fallibilities such as epigonalism, self-deception, and unimaginativeness; and (3) those who criticized that loss of integrity through explicit statements in novels, essays, and poetry. In post-Romantic times, many authors became Romantic epigones writing novels, stories, plays, and poetry deriving from or overtly imitating Romantic models.
Chapter 4, “The Attenuation of Romantic Evil: A Demon Undone,” addresses the ethical quandaries of identifying evil in transitional times by showing how Lermontov’s long and often-revised narrative poem The Demon [ Демон] attenuates the Romantic vision of ethics while drawing on Romantic ideas and images of spiritual transcendence and demonic rebellion. Chapter 5, “Ideals to Ideology: Unmasking Masquerade,” turns to the intellectual quandaries of guarding against the conversion of a cultural period’s authentic ideals into a post-period’s derivative ideology as portrayed in Lermontov’s most famous play, Masquerade [Маскарад].
271). Remarking that Germany still “casts a melancholy glance at the past it leaves behind” (268), he urged the young to muster their strength and move forward. For Heine, “the gods” of Romanticism were “dying” in spirit, as well as in body, putting a whole generation at risk of going astray. Near the same time, in France, Alfred de Musset not only created his André del Sarto, he epochally revealed his sense of his times as an enfeebled aftermath of Romantic grandeur in the roman à clef entitled The Confession of a Child of the Century [La Confession d’un enfant du siècle] (1835).
A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition by Elizabeth Allen