Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Journal of Literary History and Theory
Peer-reviewed Academic Journal


Ranchin A.M.


The subject of analysis in this article is the narrative paradoxes of the poetics of the novel A Hero of Our Time, manifested in its communicative structure. There are contradictions and serious differences between assessments of Pechorin in the author’s preface to the second edition of the novel and in the fictional author’s preface to the hero’s diary. The fictive author of the preface to the diary calls the central character “a hero of our time”, but does not exclude the possibility that such a definition expresses “evil irony”. The word “irony” characterizes not only the relativity and controversy of the narrator’s opinion about Pechorin, but also the interpretation of the image of the protagonist and the author’s position throughout the text of the novel. This irony is based on the conflict between explicit and implicit meanings, neither of which is absolute and final. The definition of Pechorin’s diary as a “history of the soul” is also ironic: there is no history of the formation and development of Pechorin’s “I” in his notes. Lermontov’s paradoxes are original examples of the so-called romantic irony.


M.Yu. Lermontov; A Hero of Our Time; communicative structure; narrative paradoxes; irony; point of view; romanticism.

For citation

Ranchin, A.M. “Ironic Paradoxes in A Hero of Our Timeˮ. Literaturovedcheskii zhurnal, no. 2(60), 2023, pp. 130–147. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2023.60.07

DOI: 10.31249/litzhur/2023.60.07

Download text