Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 298-312
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: Documentary and Fiction Literature in Russia of the 18–19 Century
Year of publication: 2022
Place of publication: Moscow


Author: Igor A. Vinogradov
Vinogradov, I.A. “‛Friend’ of Karl Marx — Grigory Mikhailovich Tolstoy: Unknown Acquaintance of Gogol in Mannheim.” Documentary and Fiction Literature in Russia of the 18–19 Century. Ex. ed. V.M. Guminsky. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 298–312. (In Russian) 0680-2-298-312

About the author:

Igor A. Vinogradov, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya  25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The authorship of the memoirs about N.V. Gogol’s stay in Mannheim in 1844 is being established. The memoirs were first published by the author of the article in 2013, but the question of the memoirist’s personality remained open. As it turns out, the memoir belongs to the notorious Grigory Mikhailovich Tolstoy (1808– 1871), a wealthy landowner in Simbirsk and Kazan, an acquaintance of K. Marx. An outstanding personality, a convinced liberal, a lover of gypsy songs, a theater-goer, a gambler and a hunter, G.M. Tolstoy was distinguished by his non-obligation and, as one can judge, “extraordinary lightness of thought”, so he could well have served Gogol in replenishing his gallery of “dead souls”. An episode from Gogol’s biography is viewed against a broad cultural and historical background. Biographical information about Tolstoy is given, the political views of the memoirist, his attitude to the Decembrists are considered. The history of G. Tolstoy’s acquaintance with Gogol in Moscow in 1840 and his communication with the writer, four years later, in Mannheim are studied. The circumstances of Tolstoy’s rapprochement with K. Marx in Paris, as well as his role in acquaintance of another Gogol acquaintance, Westernizer P.V. Annenkov, with Marx are highlighted. The reported information opens a new page in Gogol’s biography.

Keywords: Gogol, G.M. Tolstoy, P.V. Annenkov, K. Marx, biography, slavophilia, westernism.