Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 425–440
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: L.N. Tolstoy: Moral Search and Creative Laboratory
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Svetlana Yu. Nikolaeva
Nikolaeva, S.Yu. “Tolstoy’s Book ‘The Reading Circleʼ: The Genre Issue.” L.N. Tolstoy: Moral Search and Creative Laboratory. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 425–440. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Svetlana Yu. Nikolaeva, DSc in Philology, head of the department, Tver State University, 33 Zhelyabova St., 170000 Tver, Russia.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Tolstoy’s book “The Reading Circle” is considered as a complete, original literary work of a complex genre nature, in which artistic, journalistic, and philosophical principles are synthesized and the writer’s fully formed, integral plan is embodied. Only under this condition can the analysis of the book in the aspect of its problems, composition, poetics, sources, and textual theory be fruitful and correct. Special attention is paid to the calendar structure and genre of the philosophical fragment, which under Tolstoy’s pen is transformed from a lapidary aphorism into a “poem in prose” and becomes a structural element of the whole of the entire book.

Keywords: L.N. Tolstoy, “The Reading Circle”, genre, architectonics, calendar, Easter archetype, Christmas archetype.