Classification – name: Literary studies
Author: Valeria G. Andreeva
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: Monograph
Collection: Literary process in Russia of the 18th  — 19th centuries. Secular and spiritual literature. Issue 2
Year of publication: 2020
Place of publication: Moscow


Andreeva V.G. Properties and signs of the epic in three novels by Leo Tolstoy.

About the author

Valeria G. Andreeva, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia; Professor, Kostroma State University, Dzerzhinsky St., 17, 156005 Kostroma, Russia.


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The author of the article raises the question of the genetic relationship of the Russian novel of the second half of the 19th century with the epic, notes that it is precisely on the scale of the epic worldview that the global goal was set for themselves by Russian writers, when arguing about the need for universal coverage and understanding of life, of the insight of Divine laws. The article proves that one of the features of the epic novel included the turn to the popular worldview, but at the same time Russian writers were able to create an artistic world in which the importance of the personality is not diminished. The epic novel “War and Peace” opened up the opportunity for many of Leo Tolstoy’s contemporaries to create an epic novel based on the material of new and recent Russian history and contemporary life. The author analyses the features present in “War and Peace” and Leo Tolstoy’s epic novels “Anna Karenina” and “Resurrection” — the ratio of the personal and the common, the special integrity and totality of the artistic world, the objectivity of the narrative, the wide scope of events, the precedent picture of the world, etc. All the deeds of the heroes in the epic novel are evaluated not only from the position of a specific time, but from the position of eternity, from the point of view of religious consciousness.

Keywords: Tolstoy, epic, epic novel, epic features, genre, man and the world, precedent picture of the world.