The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

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Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov had an incredible poetic talent. Contemporaries believed that only he could replace the untimely Pushkin in the firmament of Russian poetry. But alas — the poet also quickly left this world and the cause of his death was also a duel. "That's where he goes" — this is how contemporaries reacted to Lermontov's death and there were good reasons for that.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

The hackneyed truth says that a good guy is not a profession. This formulation perfectly fits the description of the personality of Mikhail Yuryevich, who was a genius of versification, but a very unpleasant person for others. What did not suit others in the poet and why did Nicholas I himself, who regretted the death of the rebel Pushkin, say about Lermontov — "A dog is a dog's death"?

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

Being a military man, Mikhail Yurievich knew a lot about profanity and adored obscenities. His authorship belongs to a lot of "adult" poems, poems and epigrams, which for obvious reasons are not included in the school curriculum.

Despite the fact that even in these dubious works the poet's talent was visible, they did not cause delight in secular society and were popular among the author's friends — dragoon and infantry officers. This part of the poet's work somewhat discredited him in the eyes of his contemporaries.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

As a child, Lermontov was an obnoxious child and grew up to be an equally unpleasant young man. The list of bad traits of the poet's character mentioned by biographers and acquaintances of Mikhail Yuryevich is quite impressive. The titan of literature was attributed to pettiness, envy, short temper, vindictiveness and narcissism.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

In addition, the poet was very sharp-tongued, and he did not particularly choose targets for his witticisms.  Lermontov developed a special tactic for humiliating people — he communicated as if nothing had happened with a person, probing him and finding weak and sore spots. After that, the poet cynically struck at this point and, having enjoyed the negative brought, lost interest in his victim.

Often, people older in age and status in society became the target for nastiness, which caused particular disapproval of others. Mikhail Yuryevich had very few friends, but he was always surrounded by a whole army of enemies and detractors.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

Despite the negative aura, Lermontov was liked by women and often enjoyed this success. Usually the poet courted a lady, showing gallantry and a remarkable mind, and, having achieved full favor, he became cold and sarcastic with a woman.

As a real heartthrob, the poet loved to interfere in the fate of established couples and even families, destroying relationships and enjoying it. If his acquaintances asked him why to do this, the young officer declared that he was looking for inspiration for new works in this way.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

At the beginning of the XIX century, mysticism was an integral part of noble life, but Lieutenant Lermontov surpassed many in his craving for the otherworldly and unusual. The poet was a regular of spiritualistic seances and magical performances, used the services of fortune-tellers and believed in omens and predestinations.

Once a fortune teller who predicted Pushkin's death gave Lermontov an extremely disappointing forecast before going to the Caucasus. The woman hinted to the man that he was not destined to return to St. Petersburg and the poet unconditionally believed the prophetess. And so it turned out — Mikhail Yurievich met death in Pyatigorsk.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

Lermontov, being a fatalist, loved duels and got involved in them whenever there was such an opportunity. The poet 's first duel was with the son of the French ambassador de Baranta, whom Lermontov chose as a target for witticisms at the Countess Laval's ball on February 16, 1840.

The poet and the envoy's son met not far from the place of Pushkin's deadly duel, on the Black River. They fought first with swords and the opponent scratched Lermontov's chest without causing him serious damage. Then they switched to pistols — the ambassador's son missed, and Mikhail Yurievich, braving, shot into the air.

Lermontov also shot into the air during the fatal duel with Martynov at Mashuk Mountain in Pyatigorsk. However, the retired major, offended by the tactless jokes of the young poet, did not play nobility and shot his opponent in the chest.

The obnoxious lieutenant, or Why Lermontov's death did not cause grief

Although it is quite obvious that M.Y. Lermontov was a most unpleasant person, we appreciate him for his magnificent poetry and prose. The merits of the future classic killed in a duel were recognized even by those who were not enthusiastic about his human qualities. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna took the joy of the poet's death with hostility, which even the emperor did not hide. This wise woman said simply — "Gentlemen, the news has been received that the one who could replace Pushkin for us has been killed."

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