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A.S. Khomyakov and “people’s thought” in the epic novel by Leo Tolstoy “War and Peace”

Yu.V. Lebedev
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-6


Lebedev Yury V.,

Doctor of Philology, Professor,

Honored Scientist of the Russian Federation

Kostroma State University



The article reveals the deep connections of the “people’s thought” and Tolstoy’s philosophy of history in “War and Peace” with the theological and literary-critical works of A.S. Khomyakova. The author of the work analyzes the dispute between Tolstoy and the cult of an outstanding personality, with the Hegelian understanding of his role in the historical process. Tolstoy is alien to the Hegelian rise of “great personalities” over the masses, the Hegelian liberation of the “genius” from moral control and evaluation. Tolstoy believes that it is not an exceptional personality, but the life of the people that turns out to be the most sensitive organism, catching the will of Providence, intuitively sensing the hidden meaning of the historical movement. Anticipating Tolstoy, Khomyakov sharply criticizes the cult of personality in the church hierarchy, the Catholic dogma of papal infallibility, of the unconditional authority of an individual in matters of conscience and faith. Khomyakov reveals deep religious roots that feed the centuries-old Western enmity towards Russia. The article proves that Tolstoy is close to Khomyakov’s idea that Divine Providence overshadows with its grace only the believing people, united into a single organism by Christian love, that the epic basis of “War and Peace” is anticipated in Khomyakov’s literary-critical works “Glinka’s Opera ‘Life for Tsar’”, “On the Possibility of the Russian Art School”, “Ivanov’s Painting. Letter to the editor of ‘Russian Beseda’”. The article proves that “War and Peace” overcomes the conflict between the individual and society, the hero and the people, and reveals the epic horizons lost in the Western European novel.

Keywords: L.N. Tolstoy, A.S. Khomyakov, people, crowd, folk thought, Christian thought, epic, epic foundations.



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