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Title:Aleksej Konstantinovic Tolstoj and Russian Romanticism
Author(s):Ivancin, Michael Walter
Department / Program:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Discipline:Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Slavic and East European
Abstract:Aleksej Konstantinovic Tolstoj is, perhaps, Russia's most Romantic poet and, as N. Kotljarevskij wrote in the nineteenth century, its most religious writer. Tolstoj had the hubris to advance a world view, to re-write Dante and the Bible and to offend every political and literary interest. Touched by Catholicism as had been Novalis and the German Romantics, Tolstoj's works were most thoroughly shaped by German Idealism and the radical Protestant sects of the early nineteenth century. The poet's works are invested with a private mythology and a symbolic significance. The writer started as a poet of supreme individualism and aestheticism. His views of Christianity are aesthetic and moral. He was among the first to deal blows to religious Slavophilism and Russian nationalism. The character of Tolstoj's oeuvre, its ties to Voltairianism and late, decadent Classicism, places it historically within that of the Puskin Pleiad. The writer's quest for God presents a significant parallel to the works of Dostoevskij and those of the poet's cousin, L. N. Tolstoj. The poet's militant mystical individualism contrasts with the collectivistic trends that dominated the era. Humor, destructively nihilistic, inseparably blends with a high-strung religious and moral earnestness.
Tolstoj's works are conflict-ridden and underlined by a deeply-felt sense of crisis. Perhaps closest to F. I. Tjutcev among Russian poets, Tolstoj in his early works most readily reveals traces and direct parallels with M. Ju. Lermontov and Puskin. Few writers, whose imagination was primarily aesthetic, have managed to escape the socially and politically tense atmosphere of mid-nineteenth century Russian literary life. To compare Tolstoj, who, like Lermontov, represents the rebellious element of the Russian consciousness, to Tennyson is to ignore the profound Romantic experience that underlines the writer's oeuvre.
Issue Date:1983
Description:255 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8409962
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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