THE THIRD GREAT QUESTION IN RUSSIAN LITERATURE: “WHAT MEN LIVE BY” BY L. N. TOLSTOY
Tolstoy’s late works
love of people
Slavic languages. Baltic languages. Albanian languages
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AbstractThere are two great questions raised in Russian literature of the 19th century – “Who is to blame?” by A. I. Herzen and “What shall we do?” by N. G. Chernyshevsky. This article for the first time draws attention to the third great spiritual and ethic question of Russian literature – “what men live by?”. It was raised and answered by Leo Tolstoy in his short story “What men live by” (1881). A religious crisis the writer was undergoing while writing the story did not impede his discovering the truth by the fallen angel Michael: “there is love in men”, Man is not able to know his future, “each person lives not by self-concern but by love”. Individual welfare is manifested in global welfare. Analysis of moral and ethic problems of this parabolic story reveals the affirmation of supernatural and consecrated reality in life of the mankind, a chance for salvation by praying. Peculiarities of realism and psychologism, man’s soul dialectics, genre specificity of Tolstoy’s story of his late period are revealed in the article.