Anton Rubenstein's lush opera on the same subject was also banned by censors who deemed it sacrilegious and stupid.I read this in a Wikipedia article on Lermontov whose A Hero of Our Time I am starting to read in the translation by Wisdom & Murray(from Gutenberg Project). It made me laugh, out loud even, in an unironic fashion. But why? Do we need not access to the stupid as a matter of free speech. It ought not to be kept from us. I demand the right to be baffled.
Speaking of free speech one recalls that it was our President-elect Michael D. Higgins that abolished Section 31 which kept Sinn Fein off the airwaves in Ireland. How karmically appropriate that it was Martin McGuinness in a television debate that delivered the election to Michael D. when he sunk the front runner ,by all polls, Sean Gallagher. As with all Sinn Fein truth it was larded with lies but precisely timed to be too late in the campaign to counter.
Michael D. will be fine. I met him a couple of times at funerals. We had a chat and a laugh. I was recalling to him the previous funeral. Because Pat's woman was away in Europe at the time his sisters took charge of the laying out of his body and had entwined his hands in sturdy rosary beads. Pat affected to believe in fairies and paid out good money for an advanced course in TM; spiritually eclectic would be a fair description of his religious views. Many and wandering paths. Probably not Marian. I said to Michael D that Irish funerals had a tendency to fall into low comedy. We laughed and then we talked of his efforts to secure the release of Kenneth Bigley who was a hostage in Iraq. In the end Bigley was beheaded but I think that contacts and middlemen from Gaza that Michael D would have known were used to try to reach Abu Musab al-Zarqawi the leader of the group.
Somehow Pat's teeth were lost and his jaws had a Schopenhaurian chapfallen visage that gave him a peevish look as of one who had just noticed a dog pissing on his shoe. I liked Pat, God rest him, and I think that he would have enjoyed the broad and low element.