P. V. Annenkov (essay date 1880)
SOURCE: "Chapter XVII," in The Extraordinary Decade: Literary Memoirs, by P. V. Annenkov, edited by Arthur P. Mendel, translated by Irwin R. Titunik, University of Michigan Press, 1968, pp. 86-91.
[Annenkov, a Russian of aristocratic background, was a member of the same intellectual circles as Herzen, and he later proved to be a faithful recorder of his colleagues' thoughts and manners. In the following excerpt, Annenkov sketches Herzen 's multifaceted character.]
In the early days of my acquaintance with [Herzen], I must admit, I was stunned and nonplussed by that extraordinarily mobile intellect which ranged from one subject to another with inexhaustible wit,...
(The entire section is 1689 words.)