Talk:Mikhail Lermontov

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Clean Up

I removed 'Sail' from the sample of Lermontov's poetry. First of all because it seems excessive, and secondly because the translation is deplorable. Also I'm considering bringing the old translation for 'The Dream' back, since it is significantly better and it is NOT though it has been wrongly attributed to be Nabokov's translation of the poem.

Also the article still needs a lot of work, both in terms of information and more simply in presentation of information. As an example under Death and Aftermath a paragraph begins with 'Lermontov's life was dramatic.'. Now does it not only so to say terrible style but after all it certainly does not belong in the Death and Aftermath section and neither does it have any informative content.

Please don't remove comments from this page.
I agree with you that the style of the article isn't suitable for an encyclopedia. A lot of it seems slanted to aggrandize Lermontov (who doesn't need it).
I have no opinion on the translation of "The Dream" except that it shouldn't be a copyright violation, including Nabokov's translation (which I have in my copy of A Hero of Our Time). —JerryFriedman (Talk) 04:13, 28 March 2010 (UTC)


This is a great article, but is almost completely devoid of references. Even a few would vastly improve the quality of the article. Pdbailey 00:18, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

"Lermontov's life must be viewed as one of the most epic and dramatic in the history of literature."

"His major works, which can be readily quoted from memory by many Russians, suffer from the generally poor quality of translation from Russian to English - Lermontov therefore, remains largely unknown to English-speaking readers."

Do these seem iffy to some people ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:29, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Although without references, the article is very good. Please don't kill the article just for the lack of references. N6n (talk) 03:40, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Translation of "The Dream"[edit]

In keeping with WP:NFCC, I replaced the copyrighted translation with my own attempt. Please correct it! —JerryFriedman (Talk) 17:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

In my opinion that new translation of Lermontov is horrendous and does a grievous injustice to his poetry. Also the translation displayed should be considered fair-use under copyright laws.

I reverted it. I disagree that a complete translation can be considered fair use. But this disagreement is academic: WP:NFCC clearly states that we can't use copyrighted material when a substitute is available.
Therefore I suggest that you improve the translation or at least make suggestions here. What are your objections? Is "dale" better than "valley", for instance? Or do you think our translation should attempt meter and even rhyme? —JerryFriedman (Talk) 15:45, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Actually, WP:NFCC mentions only images, sound files, etc. However, I think the spirit is clear, and I'm going to ask in the discussion section there. See also WP:LYRICS. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 22:10, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Translations of his other poems [1] including this one [2]:

Farewell, unwashed Russia,
Land of slaves, land of lords,
And you,* blue uniforms,
And thou, a people devoted to them.
Perhaps, beyond the wall of the Caucasus,
I will be concealed from your pashas,
From their eyes all-seeing,
And ears all-hearing.

—1841 (translation by the author)

(The blue uniforms are those of the Third Department secret police).

Another translation:

Farewell, farewell, unwashed Russia, The land of slaves, the land of lords, And you, blue uniforms of gendarmes, And you, obedient to them folks.

Perhaps beyond Caucasian mountains I'll hide myself from your pashas, From their eyes that are all-seeing, From their ever hearing ears.

Biophys (talk) 14:05, 22 May 2009 (UTC)


I've got clipping of an (undated, but from 1995) article from the "Herald" Scottish newspaper, titled "Russia's lost Scots catch up with past". It is about the "Moscow Caledonian Club". It says it meets each month in Moscow's Lermontov Library because of Lermontov's connection to Scotland. The club is open to Russians of Scottish descent, and has two Lermontovs as members. It quotes the words of Vitaly Mironov, a Moscow history teacher: "In the 18th century Russia became a destination for younger sons of younger branches of younger houses of the Scottish aristocracy..." Meowy 13:47, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Er, fine, but none of that constitutes proof or anything close to it. All this goes back quite a ways, and people are often wrong about these things. Herostratus (talk) 04:42, 6 March 2012 (UTC)
Exact nature of the Russian Learmonts is already in the article.--Galassi (talk) 05:01, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

This article needs expansion[edit]

...And I propose to do this, using (along with some minor ones) several ru_language sources. In its current state the article is almost totally unsourced, but there’d be no problem in incorporating almost everything that’s already in there into the new, sourced/expanded version. There are some exceptions, though. The following assertions, to my mind, have to be either re-written or dropped altogether, unless some sound arguments are put forward in their defense:

  • According to tradition, soon after his birth some discord between Lermontov's father and grandmother erupted... - What kind of tradition that is?
  • As a small boy Lermontov listened to stories about the outlaws of the Volga region, about their great bravery and wild country life. - Well-documented are (later) Lermontov's complaints of having heard too little of Russian folklore in his childhood, being fed mostly with the German fairytales, from his governess Rehmer. Anyway, sourcing wanted.
  • in 1828, he entered the gymnasium... - That was the Moscow University's elitist boarding school for the nobility children. In 2 years time it was transformed into an (ordinary) gymnasium, and that was exactly what prompted Lermontov's departure.
  • of his friends, Katerina Khvostovaya... - Khvostova, actually, - but only later, in marriage. She is better known as Yekaterina Sushkova.
  • A prank pulled by a group of students against one of the professors named Malov brought his time at the University to an end.[clarification needed] Several biographers cite this incident as the reason for Mikhail's departure.[citation needed] - At least 4 of my sources tell me otherwise: the Malov incident had no bearing upon Lermontov’s decision to leave the University whatsoever. Participate he did, but hasn’t received any punishment - unlike, say, Hertzen, who's got incarcerated. The 5th source, Mirsky, fails to mention the Malov incident at all.
  • Young cadet - first poems (section). Dates are wrong. The At that time he began writing poetry... assertion - even more so. He started writing poetry way back in 1827.
  • Works (section). Lermontov's poetic development was unusual. His earliest unpublished poems that he circulated in manuscript through his friends in the military were pornographic in the extreme, with elements of sadism. - Again, those were not his earliest poems; he started very early and in the University was quite prolific. If his poetic development was indeed strange, then for totally different reasons, but that would be another story. His 'frivolous' verses deserve a mention, but hardly more than that. Some have termed Lermontov's early verse puerile, since, despite his dexterous command of the language, it usually appeals more to adolescents than to adults. - Debatable; needs to be sourced. Besides, what about the earlier 'pornographic in the extreme, with elements of sadism' bid?)
  • His short poems range from indignantly patriotic pieces... to the pantheistic glorification of living nature... - Looks for me like too narrow a scope. There was some philosophical/metaphysical depth to most of them, too. Besides, along with ‘indignantly patriotic pieces’ there were ‘indignantly unpatriotic’, politically highly provocative ones.

Before getting on to the 'Works', though, I'd rather deal with the 'Private Life' sec. - Evermore2 (talk) 13:12, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

For better or worse, I've assimilated almost everything that’s been there, back into Works. Except for -

Lermontov's major works, which many Russians can readily quote from memory, suffer from poor quality or scarcity of translations - Lermontov therefore, remains largely unknown to English-speaking readers, save for his novel A Hero of Our Time.

But sure, if sourced, that might be returned, too. -- Evermore2 (talk) 13:15, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

who came up with[edit]

"transitive piece of prose." Transitive is a type of verb with a direct object. Is this a bad translation of something? (talk) 22:24, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, fixed. -- Evermore2 (talk) 11:50, 27 May 2015 (UTC)