The Decembrists in the Epic Representation of L. N. Tolstoy and N. A. Nekrasov
Декабристы в эпическом отображении Л. Н. Толстого и Н. А. Некрасова

Alexander V. Gulin
2021 Two centuries of the Russian classics  
The article considers the most ambitious attempts in Russian literature of the 19th century to create an epic work on the material of the Decembrist movement and the fate of its participants made by L. N. Tolstoy in the genre of novel and by N. A. Nekrasov in the genre of poem. The study of main stages of Tolstoy's work on the unfulfilled plan of the Decembrists and Nekrasov's work on the poem Grandfather and the cycle of poems "Russian Women" allows to conclude that Tolstoy and Nekrasov,
more » ... ng their epic works in prose and verse, came to extremely dissimilar results. Tolstoy's psychologically deep sketches and hot and sometimes melodramatic pathos of Nekrasov's poems formed in many ways contrasting artistic worlds. Tolstoy's moral search in the failed novel presupposes the resolution of social contradictions in the field of a kind of "religion of feeling" and causes a grandiose "side effect" — the creation of the epic novel War and Peace. Nekrasov's poems, following the journalism of A. I. Herzen, laid the foundations of the Decembrist myth and the cult of the Decembrists as martyrs of the revolutionary faith. The hypothesis is put forward that Tolstoy's failure to work on a novel about the Decembrists and the low artistic viability of Nekrasov's "Decembrist" poems are explained by the lack of a basis for truly epic creativity in the historical material.
doi:10.22455/2686-7494-2021-3-2-96-119 fatcat:zcj2u73lvjhaxjkatxipcvx324