With affection, empathy, and a tinge of regret, Russian writer Alexander Pushkin (1797-1837) described in his celebrated novel in verse Eugene Onegin a troubled romantic predicament of its main heroine, Tatiana Larina. “A fashionable tyrant” in question is the novel’s title character, Onegin, a wealthy young man from Saint Petersburg—arrogant, cynical and disdainful—who can’t quite figure out what to do with his life and is suffering from a severe case of apathy and boredom.