Spring 1963 • Vol. XXV No. 2 Book ReviewsApril 1, 1963 |

Of Times and Their Heroes

Guy Daniels OF TIMES AND THEIR HEROES MIKHAIL LERMONTOV by John Mersereau, Jr. Southern Illi- nois University Press, $4.50. This delirium Obsessed my mind for many years. And then, Haziing disowned my other dreams aor worthless, I rid myself of it by means of verses. Leriinontov, A Fairy-Tale for Children (1840) WE ARE ALL FAMILIAR, I THINK, WITH a certain chapter found in virtually every history of Russian literature by an 6migre scholar. It is the one in which the author, already ex- hausted by the impassioned perora- tion with which he has just con- cluded his chapter on Pushkin, girds up his loins again and strives val- iantly to convince us just how great Lermontov really is, then heaves a large sigh of relief as he heads for the safe ground of Gogol and Dosto- evsky. This unhappy state of affairs is in no way the fault of such authors -nor, indeed, of Lermontov him- self, who has ranked as a major figure in Russian letters since Bel- insky's authoritative appraisal of him in t

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