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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: Vladimir K. Zantaria
  • Pages: 261–272
  • 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
  • Collection: Abkhazia in Russian Literature of the 19th — 20th Centuries: in 3 vols. Vol. 2
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2023
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Zantaria, V.K. “The Caucasus in the Life and World Perception of L.N. Tolstoy (Generalization of the Experience of Studying the Caucasian Problems).” Abkhaziia v russkoi slovesnosti XIX–XX vv.: v 3 t. [Abkhazia in Russian Literature of the 19th–20th Centuries: in 3 vols.], vol. 2, ex. ed. M.I. Shcherbakova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2023, pp. 261–272. (In Russian)

Information about the author:

Vladimir K. Zantaria, DSc in Philology, Professor, acting member of the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia, winner of the State Prize of D.I. Gulia, Honored Worker of Culture of the Republic of Abkhazia, Leading Research Fellow, Abkhazian Institute for Humanities Research named after D.I. Gulia under the Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia, Aidgulara 44, 384900 Sukhumi, Republic of Abkhazia.

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


The author’s reflections on the role of the Caucasus in the life and work of L.N. Tolstoy are intertwined with an analytical review of contemporary research on this topic. The unrelenting interest of Tolstoy scholars in the difficult Caucasian period of the life and work of the classic, which is largely associated with the formation of a historical and philosophical concept and with moral quests, is noted. The diverse points of view of scientists with their polyphony actualize the value-ethical problems of a universal scale, indicated by the writer in the stories and novels “Raid,” “Cutting the Forest,” “Notes of the Marker,” “Degraded,” “Prisoner of the Caucasus,” “Cossacks,” “Hadji Murat” and others, give an additional impetus to research attention to the Caucasian artistic model of Tolstoy’s worldview. It is emphasized that the deep originality of the culture of the highlanders, the life-giving spirit and energy of Caucasian mythology, oral folk art in general, were a unique breeding ground for Tolstoy, which gave an extraordinary clarity of thoughts and feelings, the opportunity to take a different look at the surrounding reality. The assumption is supported that Tolstoy was directly or indirectly associated with prominent representatives of the Abkhaz intelligentsia.

  • Keywords: Russian literature, the Caucasus, L.N. Tolstoy, literary criticism, Caucasian studies, Caucasian texts.


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