Acknowledgments: The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 20-012-00102.
Abstract: The article examines the emergence of personal and then creative ties between I. S. Turgenev and B. M. Markevich. It is proved that the novels of Markevich and other members of the “constellation of Moscow writers”, employees of the Russian Bulletin, were created with an attitude towards artistic polemic. The article examines connections and confrontations in the worldview of Turgenev and Markevich, who shared the ideological guidelines of the editor of the “Russian Bulletin” M. N. Katkov. Markevich advocated the state integrity of the country, in addition to Turgenev’s “nihilists” and “superfluous people”, he chose patriotic nobles as literary heroes. In the novel Types of the Past, published in the Russian Bulletin four months after the publication of the novel Smoke, Markevich contrasted Irina and Litvinov with “a virtuous matron” and “exemplary citizens”. Markevich argues with Turgenev’s cult of love as a spontaneous passion, defending Orthodox Christian values. Turgenev’s response to this novel is lost, but Markevich’s reply letter shows that Turgenev subjected him to severe criticism. In the novel Virgin Soil in the person of Nezhdanov, Turgenev gave a polemical answer to Markevich, resolving this conflict in his own way in favor of the hero’s political convictions.
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