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The hero of a void time: negativity as social experience in Mikhail Lermontovs a hero of our time

Grant number: 19/24612-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): May 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Modern Foreign Literatures
Principal Investigator:Bruno Barretto Gomide
Grantee:Pedro Augusto Pinto
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Undertaking a critical study of M. Yu. Lermontovs novel A Hero of Our Time focused on its central character (which is likewise its very axis and title), the present project aims to demonstrate in the novel a correlation between irony or ethical negativity, on the one hand, and the social experience one may identify in its heros narrative and descriptive characterisation. By negativity is meant here both Pechorin's immorality (which has yielded the novel countless attacks already in its appearance) as well as the insistence with which he remains in an empty ethicity, i.e., his amorality, averse to love, friendship, prevailing morality and other intersubjective determinations. Identifying thus a state of permanent ironisation, and starting from the correlation between irony and personality presented by Søren Kierkegaard in his 1841 thesis, we propose that Pechorin's negativity corresponds to a series of socio-historical traits, particularly those of a nobleman from the specific segment responsible for the episodes of the 14th of December 1825. Hence we also propose that Pechorins irony is not a merely accidental characterisation, but his very condition of existence, relying for such purpose on the idea of Romanticism taken as a historical conception, on Kierkegaard's writings on irony and the aesthetic stage, and finally on Paulo Arantes' intellectual history essays. (AU)