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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Kirill V. Anisimov
  • Pages: 924–933
  • 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: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Funder: Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)
  • Funder – grant number: 20–012–41004
  • Collection: I.A. Bunin and his Time: Context of Life — History of Work
  • DOI:
  • Year of publication: 2021
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Anisimov, K.V. “A Note to the Old Theme: Tolstoy in the Consciousness of Bunin, the Author of ‛The Temple of the Sun’.” I.A. Bunin and His Time: Context of Life — History of Work. Ex. eds. T.M. Dvinyatina and S.N. Morozov; Eds. A.V. Bakuntsev and E.R. Ponomarev. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 924–933. (In Russ.)

About the author:

Kirill V. Anisimov, DSc in Philology, Head of the Department of Journalism and Literary Criticism, Institute of Philology and Language Communication at Siberian Federal University, Svobodny Prospekt 82 a, 660041 Krasnoyarsk, Russia.


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


The research was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) in the framework of scientific project No. 20–012–41004.


The paper is dedicated to Tolstoy’s impact on Bunin as the author of “travel poems” “The Temple of the Sun”. The fact that Tolstoy has never written any travelogues even slightly similar to Bunin’s travel sketches makes the posed problem theoretically complex. Led by an ‘antiromantic’ idea, Tolstoy as an author of Caucasian stories remained at an absolute distance from the problem of ancient religions, archaic history, the new world man’s feeling of delusion in the face of eternity etc — i.e. all that could captivate writer of the 20th century, that is, of the modernism era. However, the proximity of both classics’ manners exists. It can be detected in the writing devices both of them used for creating the images of animals, equally significant for both. The animals’ corporal composition is depicted by Bunin as fundamentally collage-like and diverse (“cat snake”, ostrich’s “horsy” legs etc.). As a parallel, the author of the paper demonstrates a number of instances picked out of tolstoyan creative ‘dictionary’ effectively used in the short novel “The Cossacks” where the novelist’s typical personages who represent ‘people of Nature’ are described basically as some ethnographic hybrids whereas the rhetoric embracing the whole text puts an emphasis on the problematic cohesion of man and animal. The author of the research then draws a conclusion on the strategy that unites both writers — the tendency to present the immortal wholeness comprehended by Bunin and Tolstoy, the feeling of a ‘common’ living matter that overcomes the separate nature of either zoological taxon or human individual.

  • Keywords: Ivan Bunin, “The Temple of the Sun”, Leo Tolstoy, “The Cossacks”, travel-writing, images of animals.


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