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The most striking literary phenomenon of the nineteenth century is, undoubtedly, the rise into power and prominence of Russian authors. Some fifty years ago Russian literature was practically unknown to Western Europe; by the majority of people its very existence seems to have been unsuspected; we find even so great an adventurer as Carlyle, himself guiding his countrymen to many new tracts of literary discovery, speaking of "the great silent Russians who are drilling a whole continent into obedience, but who have produced 'nothing articulate' as yet." In less than thirty years from the time when Carlyle penned that sentence Russian literature had become recognised as one of the most powerful and vital in Europe; its influence, already enormous, increases every day; it is great in France, in Germany, in Scandinavia, even in conservative England; hardly since the Renaissance has Europe beheld such a phenomenon-a literary advance at once so rapid and so great.  Heroes and Hero Worship.
Yasmini"Set down my thoughts not yours if the tale is to be worth the pesa."The why and wherefore of my privilege to write a true account of the Princess Yasmini's early youth is a story in itself too long to tell here; but it came about through no peculiar wisdom. I fell in a sort of way in love with her, and that led to opportunity.She never made any secret of the scorn with which she regards those who singe wings at her flame. Rather she boasts of it with limit-overreaching epithets. Her respect is reserved for those rare men and women who can meet her in unfair fight and, if not defeat her, then come close to it. She asks no concessions on account of sex. Men's passions are but weapons forged for her necessity; and as for genuine love-affairs, like Cleopatra, she had but two, and the second ended in disaster to herself. This tale is of the first one that succeeded, although fraught with discontent for certain others.The second affair came close to whelming thrones, and I wrote of that in another book with an understanding due, as I have said, to opportunity, and with a measure of respect that pleased her.
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