Leo Tolstoy in Conversation with Four Peasant Sectarian Writers : the Complete Correspondence / edited by Andrew Donskov ; letters compiled by Liudmila Gladkova ; correspondence translated from the Russian by John Woodsworth. - Ottawa : University of Ottawa Press, 2019. - xxxi, 386 p. : portraits ; 23 cm.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 365-374) and index.

"The peasantry: a central theme in Tolstoy's writing In this comprehensive and meticulously researched volume, Andrew Donskov takes a critical look at Tolstoy's attitude towards the peasant class he so often championed and, importantly, also gives voice to representatives of the peasant class itself. The integrated correspondance between Tolstoy and the four major sectarian writers - Bondarev, Zheltov, Verigin, and Novikov - reveals that they were well-matched correspondents on a wide range of religious, philosophical, and social questions. Juxtaposing their letters with Tolstoy's, as Donskov does here, brings the long-past dialogue back to life: a unique opportunity for readers to eavesdrop on the conversation. Importantly, it will prove significant to both scholars and general readers in a wide variety of disciplines. Donskov sets the stage with a discussion on Tolstoy's relationship with peasants in general and with each of the four writers featured in this volume in particular. A background sketch of two major religious groups - the Doukhobors and the Molokans - both of which still claim followers in North America today, rounds out this accomplished work and anticipates the next volume, which will focus on the Doukhobors." (Book Cover) TABLE OF CONTENTS Preface A Note on Calendar Dates and Measures INTRODUCTION: Leo Tolstoy, peasants, and sectarianism in the second half of nineteenth-century Russia PART I LEV NIKOLAEVICH TOLSTOY AND TIMOFEJ MIKHAJLOVICH BONDAREV
Leo Tolstoy and Timofej Bondarev
Tolstoy and Bondarev: Letters 1885-1898 PART II THE MOLOKANS AND FEDOR ZHELTOV
A brief outline of the Molokans
Leo Tolstoy and Fedor Zheltov
Tolstoy and Zheltov: Letters 1887-1909 PART III THE DOUKHOBORS AND PETR VERIGIN
A brief outline of the Doukhobors
Leo Tolstoy and Petr V. Verigin
Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Novikov
Tolstoy and Novikov: Letters 1896-1910 Bibliography List of Tolstoy Titles Index of Names

"The theme of the peasantry is central throughout almost the whole of Tolstoy's long career. His obsession with this class is seen not just as a matter of social or humanitarian concern, but as a response to the questions of "how to live a good life" and "what is the meaning of life that an inevitable death will not destroy?" questions that plagued his entire life. The letters he exchanged with the four major peasant sectarian writers (Bondarev, Zheltov, Verigin and Novikov) reveal not only Tolstoy as a profound thinker, but his correspondents also, as they converse on subjects concerning religious-moral questions, the meaning of life and how one should strive to find it, along with a wide array of burning social and personal problems. An analysis, and a consecutive reading of the letters (provided with extensive annotations) as a unified whole, elucidates the progressive development of the ideas they held in common (and where these diverged) and which guided Tolstoy's and his correspondents' lives. The juxtaposition of Tolstoy's letters with those of his four sectarian correspondents makes them even more significant by showing them in their original context of a dialogue, or conversation. Also, with the aim to present the conversation in an even broader context, Andrew Donskov briefly discusses Tolstoy's relationship with peasants in general as well as with each of the four individual writers in particular. In addition, he has provided a background sketch of two major religious groups, namely the Doukhobors and Molokans, both of which still claim sizeable populations of followers in North America today. "--

0776627791 (pbk) 9780776627793 (pbk)

Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910 --Correspondence.

Authors, Russian--19th century--Correspondence.

PG3379.A2 / E5 2019


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