Not a Hero

A Novel

Deftly introduced by Otto Boele and engagingly translated by Michael Katz, this edition of Ignaty Potapenko’s novel Not a Hero brings non-Russian-speaking readers important perspectives on Russian culture in the age of Chekhov. Highly recommended.
William Mills Todd III, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor of Literature, emeritus, Harvard University

Translated by Michael R. Katz

Between 1890 and 1893, Ignaty Potapenko published a number of works in which he presented the Russian intelligentsia with a new role model, the “mediocre, but common-sensical man,” whose diligence and steady devotion to the improvement of society are depicted as being more productive than the reckless heroism of the regime’s most outspoken, and sometimes violent, intellectual opponents. Not a Hero introduces the twenty-first-century reader to an important debate of the prerevolutionary period, a debate that is still relevant today: how to bring about social change within an oppressive and ossified political system without resorting to violence.

206 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5 in.

October, 2021

isbn : 9780822946984

about the author

Ignaty Potapenko

Ignaty Potapenko (1856–1929) was a prolific writer known for his ability to capture the zeitgeist of late imperial Russia and address the burning issues of his age.

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Ignaty Potapenko