everybody is bored, especially pechorin.
so, they behave badly, manipulate others, and portray themselves and their hearts falsely to gain power over others. and, they are fascinated with the inner workings of their psyches, and the plotting of their schemes to exert influence over others.
for whom they have no real affection, or real longing. they are infatuated, however, with the notion that they might actually experience genuine emotion some day.
they find ultimately that they cannot fill empty lives w/ empty gestures. they may be disappointed by this notion, but i am not sure for how long. most of their angst is salved by a new conquest. to be replaced by further angst.
they, in effect, become actors playing their own part, and with about as much commitment and emotion. they have "objectified" themselves and their inner workings to a part of their inner self that acts as observer, and critic, and to whom no one is more fascinating than himself.
you would recognize them. they are very contemporary. the russians literary types were very astute at seeing what modern man & woman were becoming, with the waning of necessity as motivator and the waxing of indulgence brought on by wealth and all kinds of time to kill.
quite a few things do not end well.
one of the characters remarks to his russian compatriot that it was the french who invented boredom, to which the other replies that no, it was the besotted english.
surely, the russians were not far behind. and, the rest of us, not far behind the russians.
it is one of the sources of the downfall of contemporary america (one of the last societies to befall to this malady, this mania for self indulgence), that posturing and preening to the mirror have largely replaced and subsumed the real struggle for existence.
oh, it goes on, but it has been masked by materially rich societies. it is real enough to the rest of the world. they hate us for our shallowness and emptiness, even as they say to themselves, i gotta get me some of that.
"a hero of our time," by mikhail lermontov. an unblinking look into the hall of mirrors that has become the modern man.
this is a world in which schopenhauer triumphs over kant, hegel, and eventually, even over nietzsche. mist become substance. the irony, of course, is that even the heroic act for our hero is naught but a pose. the world is his boulevard, upon which he strolls in nice shoes and a well turned frock.
he kills his antagonist. but, it is only in a fit of pique that the man will not be manipulated into being his public foil, would rather choose death than a humiliation into which he has been manipulated. some irony there?
john jay @ 08.22.2012
p.s. what'shisface, chuckie, i think his name is, at "little green footballs", and 10,000 chimpanzees equipped w/ 10,001 computers couldn't have written this review locked up in a hotel ballroom for 10,000 years. although i suspect a couple of the chimpanzees would have gotten the book read over that space of time. i am not so sure about chuckie.