Keywords: Ivan Goncharov, Russia, state, free labour, religious historiosophy, historical mission of nation, Orthodoxy, autocracy, nationality.
For citation:

Melnik V. I. “The totality of all the forces of Russian life ...” (Ivan Goncharov about strong Russia) // Two centuries of the Russian classics, 2020, vol. 2, № 4, pp. 118–135. (In Russ.) DOI

Author: Vladimir I. Melnik
Information about the author:

Vladimir I. Melnik, ORCID–0001–9684–8943, DSc in Philology, Professor, Pererva Theological Seminary, Shosseynaya street, 82 g, 109383, Moscow, Russia

E–mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: October 22, 2020
Published: December 8, 2020
Issue: 2020 Volume 2 No. 4
Department: Russian literature XVIII and XIX centuries
Pages: 118-135
UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"

Abstract: In the article, the topic “Ivan Goncharov and Russia” is first developed in terms of the historiosophical ideas of the novelist, as well as within the framework of Sergey Uvarov’s formula: “Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality”. Both approaches are correlated with Ivan Goncharov’s ideas about strong Russia. The writer began to think about civilisationally and culturally developed Russia back in the 1830s–1840s, when he began serving in the Department of Foreign Trade, where statistics convinced him of Russia’s economic lag behind European countries. The trip on board of the frigate “Pallada” significantly broadened Ivan Goncharov’s horizons and brought specificity to his reflections on this problem. Critically regarding serfdom, Ivan Goncharov considered free creative labour to be the basis of the state’s strength, which he interpreted not only as an economic but also as a religious category, since he viewed the history of civilisation primarily as a collaboration with the Creator. Like a private person, a nation, in Ivan Goncharov’s view, just as well has its own mission, the fulfillment of which is possible when all its forces flourish, with free labour and solidarity around the national idea. Ivan Goncharov saw an example of friendly work of all classes in Siberia, showed it in the Siberian chapters of “Frigate “Pallada””. The writer’s reliance on the formula of Count Sergey Uvarov finds expression in “An Uncommon History”, in the essay “A Literary Evening” and is realised in the symbolism of the image of “Grandmother Russia” in the novel “The Precipice”.


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