A Hero of Our Time, part 10: The Sense of Ultimate Futility

Ah, well! If I must die, I must! The world will lose little, and I am weary enough of it all. I am like a man who yawns at a ball and doesn’t go home to sleep only because his carriage hasn’t come. But now the carriage is here–goodbye!

I run through my past life in my mind and involuntarily ask myself: Why have I lived? For what purpose was I born? There must have been a purpose, and certainly fate must have something noble in store for me, for I am conscious of untapped powers within me . . . But I didn’t figure out my destination. I allowed myself to be carried away by the temptation of vain and frivolous passions. I emerged from their crucible hard and cold like iron, but gone forever was the ardor of noble aspirations–life’s finest flower. How often since then have I played the role of an ax in the hands of fate! Like an instrument of execution I have fallen upon the heads of the condemned, often without malice, always without regret . . . My love has never made anyone happy, for I have never sacrificed anything for those I loved; I have loved only for myself, for my own pleasure. I have striven only to satisfy a strange craving of the heart, greedily absorbing their emotions, their tenderness, their joys and sufferings–and have never been fully satisfied. I have been like the starving man who falls into a stupor from sheer exhaustion and dreams of luxurious foods and sparkling wines–exultingly he shovels in these ephemeral gifts of the imagination, and seems to feel better–but when he awakes the vision is gone . . . and redoubled hunger and despair remain!

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About Pechorin

A Hero of Our Time
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2 Responses to A Hero of Our Time, part 10: The Sense of Ultimate Futility

  1. Pingback: A Hero of Our Time, part 11: How Nihilists Remake Their Ambitions, or, What Comfort Can Be Provided By Game | Pechorin

  2. Pingback: A Hero of Our Time: Introduction | Pechorin

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