Keywords: K. N. Leontiev, novel, “The Pessimist,” creative history, concept formation, prototypes, Prince A. N. Tsertelev.
For citation:

Fetisenko, O. L. “ʽThe Pessimist’ — a Lost Novel by K. N. Leontiev.” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 4, no. 4, 2022, pp. 216–239. (In Russ.)

Author: Olga L. Fetisenko
Information about the author:

Olga L. Fetisenko, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Makarova Emb. 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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Received: August 01, 2022
Approved after reviewing: September 14, 2022
Published: December 25, 2022
Issue: 2022 Volume 4 No. 4
Department: Textual Criticism. Source Study
Pages: 216–239

UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"


The genre of the novel in its various forms attracted K. N. Leontiev (1831–1891) throughout his life. However, several works remained unfinished, including a novel that had three versions of the title: “The Pessimist,” “Against the Current” and “The Prophet in the Fatherland.” The author wanted to use contemporary material in his novel, i. e. Russian life in the 1870s. Of all the creative manuscripts, only one chapter has been preserved, but the many references to this work in the author’s letters make it possible to build a chronological outline of the work on it, get an idea of its content and establish the prototypes of the main characters. The article is devoted to the solution of these problems.


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