Leo Tolstoy in Mikhail Prishvin’s Diary Discourse

Natalia Valerievna Borisova


The purpose of the article is to study the different aspects of Leo Tolstoy’s phenomenon in the diary discourse of Mikhail Prishvin, a Russian prose-writer, thinker/sophist and artist of a unique range, who lived through the tragic Russian history in the first half of the twentieth century. Prishvin’s diaries represent a unique chronicle of the difficult epoch, a lively, subjective and at the same time inherently veracious evidence of historical time. A great deal of attention is paid to the writer’s reflections on creative originality, philosophical and moral principles of many Russian and European prose-writers and poets, who considerably influenced Prishvin’s creative method, his artistic philosophy and aesthetic distinction. Leo Tolstoy occupies a special place in the domain of the writer’s internal dialogues, being the center of Prishvin’s reflection, a symbolic figure, whose creative life became a special link between the cultural paradigm of the classical literature of the XIX century and the emerging trends of the Russian philosophical and artistic modernism. Throughout his life, Prishvin was concerned about Tolstoy’s phenomenon, his ideas and life paradoxes. Prishvin tries to unravel “Tolstoy’s mystery” – the mystery of a brilliant artist, essay writer, philosopher, and preacher, agreeing and at the same time disagreeing with the most significant principles of his world perception. Prishvin does not accept him as a moralist and a preacher, claiming that the writer cannot “abandon art”. He has to serve only his creative gift. In Prishvin’s diaries Tolstoy is the artist who portrays people as they are in a crucial historical moment, because even being under delusion he has always served the truth, understanding life as a great integrity.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v6n5s4p27

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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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