Mikhail Lermontov (Russia, 1814)
"Smert Poeta/ Death Of A Poet" (1837) [p]
"My Homeland/ Rodina" (1841) [p]
"Dream/ Son" (1841) [p]
"Vychozha Odin ya na Doroga/ I Walk Out Alone Into The Highway" (1841) [p]
"Tamara" (1841) [p]
"Pesnya Pro Tsarya Ivana Vasilevicha/ Tsar Ivan" (1837) [p]
"Mtsyri/ The Novice" (1840) [p] +
"Demon" (1839) [p] +
"Geroi Nashego Vremeni/ A Hero of Our Time/ Un Eroe del Nostro Tempo" (1840) ++
The unnamed narrator now tells us how he met Maxim again. He was stuck at a mountain inn for a few days and Maxim showed up. As they were reacquainting each other, a magnificent carriage arrived and Maxim learned that the owner was Pechorin himself. Maxim was eager to see his old friend, but Pechorin almost avoided him and departed after a few minutes, simply telling him that he was headed to Iran. Pechorin left Maxim his memoirs. The narrator now informs us that Pechorin is dead and that he therefore feels entitled to publish his memoirs. The memoirs begin with Pechorin's sojourn in Taman, a Crimean town where he accidentally discovered a shady encounter between a blind boy, a teenage girl and man called Yanko. Pechorin believed they were smugglers. The girl tried to drown him because he now knew their secret. Yanko and the girl fled the town. When he returned to the inn, Pechorin realized that the "blind" boy had stolen his valuables. He then moved to another town where he met an old acquaintance, the cadet Grushnitsky, a petulant romantic. They spotted a middle-aged princess and her gorgeous daughter Mary. Pechorin's doctor Werner told Pechorin that the princess heard of Pechorin's "exploits". Werner also informed Pechorin of the arrival of a sick lady, a relative of the princess, and Pechorin recognized his old lover Vera. Pechorin started seeing Vera again at the same time that he made sure Mary hated him. On one hand he still loved Vera, who was very sick, aware that she was dying, and remarried to a rich old man to care for her son; on the other hand, he wanted to spite the spoiled Mary and encouraged Grushnitsky to fall in love with her. Grushnitsky tried in vain to make peace between Mary and Pechorin, but it was Vera who indirectly brought them togeter: Vera was staying at the house of the princess and told Pechorin to befriend the princess in order to be able to attend their parties. That's how Pechorin finally met Mary in person. Grushnitsky was madly in love, while Pechorin only played with Mary, knowing that he had no intention to really seduce her nor marry her. Nonetheless the effect was to make Mary less interested in Grushnitsky and more in Pechorin, causing the cadet to become jealous Grushnitsky was promoted officer and he became more determined in making Mary fall in love with him. People started gossiping about Pechorin and Mary, which also made Vera jalous. At another ball Grushnitsky wore his brand new officer uniform, ready to finally propose to Mary, but Mary instead offended him and treated him like an idiot. Pechorin knew that he was causing pain to all of them: Vera, Mary and Grushnitsky. But he couldn't stop himself. Pechorin, the fashionable stranger from the big city, was less and less welcome by the local people. The friends convinced Grushnitsky to challenge Pechorin to a duel, and Pechorin overheard the conversation. Minutes later, Pechorin admitted to Mary that he didn't love her. The whole town was drawn to the show of a traveling entertainer, and Vera's husband was out of town, so Vera invited Pechorin to her place and they made love. Vera was aware that Mary was madly in love with Pechorin. Pechorin then sneaked out in the middle of the night and briefly passed in front of Mary's room. Just then Grushnitsky saw him and concluded that he had been visiting Mary. Pechorin responded by challenging him to a duel. Wagner informed Pechorin that Grushnitsky's friends were planning to hand Pechorin a pistol with no bullet. Nonetheless, Pechorin decided to go ahead with the duel. The morning of the duel, Pechorin chose a dangerous place, so that the loser would roll down the mountain and the death could be imputed to a fall. Grushnitsky was to shoot first and could have easily killed Pechorin but refused to do so. Then it was Pechorin's turn, and he asked for the missing bullet. Grushnitsky's seconds initially pretended to be surprised, but Grushnitsky himself admitted the scam and then begged Pechorin to kill him, threatening that he would kill Pechorin at the next opportunity. Pechorin shot him dead. Wagner later informed Pechorin that the authorities suspected the truth. Vera sent him a farewell letter explaining that, upon hearing of the duel from her husband, she had confessed her love for Pechorin and was now leaving town forever. Vera begged Pechorin not to marry Mary. Pechorin tried in vain to see her but his horse collapsed on the way to town. The authorities dispatched Pechorin to the distant fort where he met Maxim and where he wrote the memories that we are reading. Before leaving, Pechorin visited Mary's mother. She openly told Pechorin that Mary was in love with him and offered him her fortune if he married her. Pechorin asked to talk alone to Mary and told her that he didn't want to marry her. Pechorin's memory end here.
In the last chapter Pechorin narrates his encounter with the gambler Vulich. Pechorin bet some gold coins on the statement that predistination does not exist. Vulich accepted the bet and, to prove that it does exist, he pointed a pistol at his head and pulled the trigger: the pistol snapped, and he won the bet. Pechorin nonetheless had the presentiment that Vulich would die. Sure enough, that very night Vulich was killed by a drunk Cossack. The killer barricaded himself inside a building and Pechorin decided to test his own fate by jumping from a window and apprehending him. Pechorin returned to the fort and told his adventure to Maxim, and asked Maxim if he believed in predestination. Maxim replied that some men are born for certain things (which is also what he said about Pechorin to the unnamed narrator at the beginning of the novel), which seems to imply predestination, but, uninterested in philosophical conversations, didn't elaborate.
"Maskarad/ Maquerade" (1835) [t]