Keywords: L. N. Tolstoy, A. T. Tvardovsky, true, living testimony, tragedy of war, brotherhood of soldiers, psychologism, mythologized images, epic thinking.
For citation:

Ermolaeva, N. L. “L. N. Tolstoy and A. T. Tvardovsky. On the Way to Epic.” Dva veka russkoi klassiki, vol. 4, no. 3, 2022, pp. 96–119. (In Russ.)

Author: Nina L. Ermolaeva
Information about the author:

Nina L. Ermolaeva, DSc in Philology, Associate Professor, Independent Researcher, Ivanovo, Russia.


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

Received: May 14, 2022
Approved after reviewing: June 09, 2022
Published: September 25, 2022
Issue: 2022 Volume 4 No. 2
Department: To the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Apollon Alexandrovich Grigoriev
Pages: 96–119

UDK: 821.161.1.09"19"


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project no. 20-012-00102.


The article reveals the affinity of the world outlook, values and the ways of formation of the epic thinking of L. N. Tolstoi and A. T. Tvardovsky in their pre-epic sketches “Sevastopol Sketches” and “From Karelian Isthmus (The Front-line Notebook).” These works present their authors as the chroniclers of the on-going historical events, depicting their tragic character by different means of artistic expression. Both Tolstoi and Tvardovsky find the ways of depicting the epic image of the war fraternal community in the genre of a sketch. In their poly-character sketches, the writers use the ways of psychological analysis typical to their future epic: “dialectics of soul” of Tolstoi and the “folk” psychological characteristics of Tvardovsky. The epic thinking of the writers means the use of the poetic images, traditional to the folk culture as well as the mythological images that they treat in different way. The author of the article is assured that the formation of the epic thinking of Tolstoi and Tvardovsky, “truth of the explicit live witness” in “War and Peace” and “A Book about a Soldier” became possible due to the closeness of the writers with the folk masses as well as acquiring the folk view on the war and peace: in Sevastopol for the former and in the snows of Finland for the latter.


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