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John Bayley, 30 August 1990

A Wicked Irony: The Rhetoric of Lermontov’s ‘A Hero of Our Time’ 
by Andrew Barratt and A.D.P. Briggs.
Bristol Classical Press, 139 pp., £25, May 1989, 1 85399 020 5
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The Battle for Childhood: Creation of a Russian Myth 
by Andrew BaruchWachtel.
Stanford, 262 pp., $32.50, May 1990, 0 8047 1795 8
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... Childhood is rather oddly named, but turns out to be a fascinating book, particularly good on what Wachtel calls the myths of childhood among the Russian gentry, enshrined in Aksakov’s great ‘trilogy’: Childhood Years, A Family Chronicle and The Childhood of Bagrov’s Grandson – the titles with their repetitions are awkward in English. Aksakov wrote ...

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