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The epistolary heritage of Leo Tolstoy at the turn of the XIX–XX centuries: the motive of reading in the estate

V.G. Andreeva
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-6


Andreeva Valeria G.,

Doctor of Philology, Leading Researcher

Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences;

Professor оf the Domestic Philology Department

Kostroma State University




Based on the analysis of the letters of Leo Tolstoy 1890–1910 the article analyzes the motive for  reading, which is directly related to the estate life. The epistolary heritage of the writer has not yet been fully investigated, and in the study of the estate theme in the work of the late Tolstoy, it plays an important role. Typical for the late XIX — early XX centuries the process of impoverishment of noble estates at this time almost did not touch Yasnaya Polyana. While Tolstoy was alive, his estate  remained a kind of energy center. Tolstoy's statements about the works he read in letters make it possible to estimate the volume of his reading, the literature he preferred. The author of the article

selected illustrative examples from Tolstoy’s letters with a polar assessment of the works of various writers. The author analyzes the direct messages of the writer about reading as a pastime, hobby, realized mainly in letters to close people: stories about home reading, about the impressions of books. Special attention is paid to reading as the basis for the moral formation of a person and his spiritual growth, as well as the choice of books, the study of which was of decisive importance for the further course of Tolstoy's thought and the direction of his artistic and journalistic work. The article comprehends the role of Tolstoy as a key figure in the literary process at the turn of the century, evaluates its manifestations in the writer’s epistolary heritage.

Keywords: estate, estate culture, Leo Tolstoy, reading, epistolary heritage, correspondence, Yasnaya Polyana, literary process.



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