Information about the author:
Ekaterina A. Mikheicheva
Ekaterina A. Mikheicheva, DSc in Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Russian Literature of the 20th and 21st Centuries аnd the History of Foreign Literature, Orel State University named after I.S. Turgenev, Komsomolskaya, 95, 302026 Orel, Russia.
The connections in creative works of M. Gorky and L. Andreev have been repeatedly noted by researchers and critics of the early 20th century (A. Izmailov, A. Redko, M. Reisner) and of the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries (K. Muratova, V. Keldysh, N. Tamarchenko). The purpose of this article is to show the similarities and differences in the religious and philosophical research of these writers and how this research fit into the atmosphere of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Particular attention was paid to L. Andreev’s story “Life of Vassili Fiveisky” and Gorky’s story “Confession”. The reason for this comparison is the personal relations of the writers, the influence of their contemporaries (L. Tolstoy, A. Apollov), intensive religious search of that time, and “the extreme exacerbation of the personal principle” in literature. Both works are based on hagiographic canon: education of the protagonist, topic of teaching, stages of life, spiritual maturation. Both writers are characterized by the study of the “abyss” of human soul, bright and dark, “temptation by freedom”, and the collision of the individual with the philistine environment. The protagonists of Andreev and Gorky violate the church canons, try to penetrate the essence of the higher world order and even, if possible, change it in favor of man, as evidenced by other works of writers: Gorky’s “Life of an Unnecessary Person” and Andreev’s “Christians”, “Son of Man”. Vassili Fiveisky and Matvey are close in their striving to acquire a new faith, but the results of their search are different: the egocentrism of Vassili Fiveisky, who declared himself “the chosen one”, leads him to a complete separation from God and from people, while Matvey finds truth and faith in the people, in a team.
Keywords: M. Gorky, L. Andreev, religious and philosophical search, polemics, God, church, faith, concept of personality.