Keywords: M. Yu. Lermontov, historicism, Christian enthusiasm, spiritual experience, conceptual oppositions, harmony, hierarchies of meanings.
For citation:

Gulin, A. V. “Heavenly Angel of Mikhail Lermontov (Spiritual Experience as a Creative Category).” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 5, no. 1, 2023, pp. 6–35. (In Russ.) 

Author: Alexander V. Gulin
Information about the author:

Alexander V. Gulin, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A. M. Gorky institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Received: November 20, 2022
Approved after reviewing: January 08, 2023
Published: March 25, 2023
Issue: 2023 Vol. 5, №1
Department: Russian Literature of the 18th–19th Centuries
Pages: 6–35

UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"


The article is devoted to a comprehensive examination of the religious and moral origins of M. Yu. Lermontov’s creative work. The poetic movement of the great artist can be imagined as the realization and expression of a unique spiritual experience associated with the only in Russian literature in terms of its intensity experience of the Christian thought about the lost heavenly bliss, the ways to find it or the eternal loss in a person’s earthly life. Within this framework the poem “Angel” becomes a kind of “program” that covers the work of Lermontov in all his spiritual range. The article analyzes the ways of returning to the lost harmony with the Creator sung by Lermontov — the heroic service of Heavenly truth (“Borodino,” “Song about Tsar Ivan Vasilyevich…”), the feat of maternal love (“Cossack lullaby”), as well as the poet’s catastrophic experiences of human Godforsakenness (“Meditation,” “Both boring and sad,” “Gratitude”). The novel “A Hero of Our Time” is studied in terms of of the conceptual opposition “boring — fun.” Much attention is given to an attempt to determine the true hierarchy of light and darkness, delight and obscurity in Lermontov’s work, where the height of the spiritual ideal and the perfection of poetic speech ultimately transform the “Pechorinsky” meanings and moods. 


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