By Elizabeth Allen
A Fallen Idol continues 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 via demonstrating that Lermontov’s works illustrate the situation of residing in an epoch of transition. Lermontov’s specific epoch used to be that of post-Romanticism, a time whilst the twilight of Romanticism was once dimming however the sunrise of Realism had but to seem. via shut and comparative readings, the booklet 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 booklet finds that, even though restricted to his transitional epoch, Lermontov didn't succumb to it; as a substitute, he probed its personality and evoked its ancient import. And the publication concludes that Lermontov’s works have resonance for our transitional period within the early twenty-first century to boot.
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Additional resources for A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition
In Britain, there was Mary Russell Mitford (1787–1864), who produced the Byronesque tragedies Foscari (1826) and Rienzi (1828); John Clare (1793– 1864), who wrote the poems of The Rural Muse (1835) in imitation of Robert Burns; and Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803–73), a Walter Scott manqué who wrote another version of Rienzi in 1835. 36 But besides such post-Romantic epigonal imitators of preeminent Romantic authors and their works, there were other authors who were aware in varying degrees, to varied effect, of their post-Romantic condition and its consequences for culture and character.
Soon thereafter his father dies, and his wife eventually remarries, only to sink into poverty and despair. Christian returns to visit his wife only once, appearing “all in tatters, barefoot, sunburned to a black brown color in the face, deformed still further by a long matted beard; he wore no covering on his head, but had twisted a garland of green branches through his hair, which made his wild appearance still more strange and haggard” (233). He is carrying what the narrator describes as a heavy sack containing gravel and chunks of stone, but which he describes to his wife as jewels “not ground and polished yet, so they want the glance and the eye; the outward fire, with its glitter, is too deeply buried in their inmost heart” (234).
The gods are dying,” he grieves after the demise of Goethe a year earlier, and then adds cynically, “but we keep the kings” (180). Subsequently he says of August Wilhelm von Schlegel—whom in 1819 he had deemed a “poetic genius” and “the first great man” he had seen besides Napoleon, and whom he had recently seen again—that now “his spirit is dead, and his body still walks the earth like a ghost and in the meantime has become quite fat” (194–95). And he asserts of Ludwig Tieck that lately “a strange disparity between [his] intellect and his imagination” had appeared, so that in Tieck’s recent works “a timorous manner, a certain indefiniteness, uncertainty, and weakness are noticeable” (203–4).
A Fallen Idol Is Still a God: Lermontov and the Quandaries of Cultural Transition by Elizabeth Allen