ON THE WRITER’S CROSSROADS: E.N. CHIRIKOV, A.L. TOLSTAYA, A.N. TOLSTOY

Abstract

The article attempts to consider the biographical and creative relations and mutual influence of three masters of the pen – E.N. Chirikov, on the one hand, and A.N. Tolstoy and his mother A.L. Tolstaya, on the other hand. Introduced in Samara in the 1890-ies, E. Chirikov and Tolstoy maintained relationships and maintained interest in each other’s work for many decades, as evidenced by correspondence, memoirs and works of art containing direct and indirect traces their mutual influence on each other. The latter is proved by the example of comparative analysis of the collected book by A.L. Tolstoy «Backwater» with the early stories of E.N. Chirikov «The Invalids» and «Strangers», as well as the «Mermaid Tales» by A.N. Tolstoy with the «Volga Tales» by E.N.Chirikov. There are similarities and differences between the «Samara» works of A. Tolstoy and the works of E. Chirikov written under the impression of life in Samara; similarities relate to the function of urban landscape in the works of two writers, the character of the image of the urban society, as well as the image of the main character’s attempts (heroes) to break the cycle of everyday life and break out of the “provincial” reality, or – to prove its inconsistency. The study of E. Chirikov and A. Tolstoy’s mutual influence was carried out on the material of the «Volga Fairy Tales» of the first and «Shredded Tales» of the second, analysis of which revealed the following: in both cases the fairytale allowed the writers to stop biographical experience, reality to enter with it into new value relations, or, in other words, fabulousness ensured the achievement of that very aesthetic distance, without which the artistic development of reality was impossible, which in the case of Tolstoy was still unfamiliar to him as a young writer, and in the case of Chirikov – too famous. The result of this consideration is the reconstruction of historical-literary plot, which was still outside the limits of literary scholarly attention.

About the authors

M. A. Perepelkin

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7045-4310

Doctor of Philological Sciences, professor of the Department of Russian and Foreign Literature and Public Relations

References

  1. Bostrom 1886 – Bostrom A. (Tolstaya A.L.). Zakholust’e [Backwoods]. SPb., 1886 [in Russian].
  2. Bunin 1967 – Bunin I. Sobr. soch.: v 9 t. T. 9 [Collected works: in 9 Vols. vol. 9]. M., 1967 [in Russian].
  3. Tolstoy 1951 – Tolstoy A. Poln. sobr. soch.: v 15 t. T. 1 [Complete set of works: in 15 vols. Volume 1]. M., 1951 [in Russian].
  4. Chirikov 2000 – Chirikov E.N. Zver’ iz bezdny: Roman, povesti, rasskazy, legendy, skazka [The Beast from the Abyss: Novel, stories, stories, legends, fairy tale]. M., 2000 [in Russian].
  5. Chukovsky 1908 – Chukovsky K. Ot Chekhova do nashikh dnei. Literaturnye portrety. Kharakteristiki [From Chekhov to our days. Literary portraits. Specifications]. SPb.; M., 1908 [in Russian].

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