Keywords: Leo Tolstoy, epic novel, epic foundations, image of earth, land issue, war, birth, death, national unity.
For citation:

Andreeva V. G. The image of the earth as one of the epic foundations of the artistic worlds of Leo Tolstoy’s novels // Two centuries of the Russian classics, 2020, vol. 2, № 2, pp. 192–227. (In Russ.) DOI 10.22455/2686-7494-2020-2-2-192-227

Author: Andreeva V. G.
Information about the author:

Valeria G. Andreeva, ORCID 0000-0002-4558-3153, DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25a, 121069, Moscow, Russia

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

Received: April 12, 2020
Published: June 17, 2020
Issue: 2020 Volume 2 No. 2
Department: Russian literature XVIII and XIX centuries
Pages: 192-227
DOI: 10.22455/2686-7494-2020-2-2-192-227
UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"

Abstract: The article considers the image of the earth in Leo Tolstoy’s novels as one of several “epic constants” of the writer’s artistic work. Leo Tolstoy states that the complete separation of man from the earth gradually leads to oblivion of spiritual life, to a loss of understanding of the value of national unity. The image of the earth connects all Leo Tolstoy’s novels, promotes the organisation of religious consciousness, and becomes key in the late work of the writer who dreamed of transferring land for public use according to the system of American publicist and political economist Henry George. Birth and death, the situation of war and the image of the earth become original criteria in Leo Tolstoy’s epic artistic worlds — all four of these concepts are not only semantic centres, but also measures for Leo Tolstoy’s heroes. The enduring epic foundations analysed in the article make it possible to comprehend the features of Leo Tolstoy’s historicism, the connection between the individual and the people. The author of the article shows that after the “War and Peace”, Leo Tolstoy’s orientation to epic breadth was caused by a desire to maintain the scale found, to embody it on new material of his contemporary life. In the artistic world of “Anna Karenina”, a special concentration of epic foundations is noted, and in “Resurrection” the epic essence of the novel is explained by a national catastrophe, a threat hanging over the Russian people and putting it on the brink of extinction.


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