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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

About the author:

Natalia I. Gorodilova, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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This article is devoted to the creative history of the novel “Anna Karenina” by L.N. Tolstoy. The author consistently restore the stages of the writer’s work on the scene describing the acquaintance of Anna Karenina and Alexey Vronsky on the material of autographs and authorized manuscripts. Interest in this episode is due to the fact that it lies the tie of the main conflict tragically refracted in the destinies of heroes. Presentation of archival documents, only partially published in Tolstoy studies, allows you to look into the creative laboratory of the writer and to trace the evolution of the artistic intent. Numerous corrections reflected in manuscripts convincingly testify that Tolstoy was not satisfied with the found art solutions. The plot of dating in general, was reflected in the early autographs, but the scrupulous work allowed the author to create a complex image: mentioning in a conversation between Vronsky and Oblonsky of all future participants of the drama, a description of the gradually approaching train — all this precedes exit to the scene of the main female character. The episode entered into the narrative with an accident gives rise to a premonition of future denouement. The main difficulty for the author was a way to present an image of the nascent feeling between Anna and Vronsky: Tolstoy went on the way to deepen the experiences of characters, describing their meeting as a fateful. The portrait of Anna: round and round the character acquired the features that allowed Tolstoy to create a charming female image and great personality. As a result, the main idea of the writer about the love of Anna was embodied as a natural need for living life.

  • Keywords: L.N. Tolstoy, novel, textual criticism, creative history of text, poetics, autograph, manuscript, archive.


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