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Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence$
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Andrew Kahn

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234745

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199234745.001.0001

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The Hero

The Hero

(p.217) 7 The Hero
Pushkin's Lyric Intelligence

Andrew Kahn (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Pushkin's fascination with Napoleon expressed in poems on Napoleon's escape from Elba and his death. His approach to defining and embodying the heroic was to change again. By 1830 admiration became a question of judgement and who is entitled to make it. Two of Pushkin's greatest poems ponder the question of how such valuation can be made. The final parts of the chapter focus on ‘The Hero’ and ‘The Commander’, paying close attention to the role of portrait painting and historical canvases by David, Gros, and Dawe that Pushkin invokes in articulating an ambivalent message about the heroic ideal.

Keywords:   Pushkin, lyric poetry, philosopher, Napoleon, The Commander, alienation, independence

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