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2024 №31

Author: Vikentiy V. Chekushin
About the author:

Vikentiy V. Chekushin — PhD in Philology, Senior Lecturer, Department of Public Relations, Reshetnev Siberian State University of Science and Technology, Krasnoyarskiy Rabochiy Avе., 31, 660037 Krasnoyarsk, Russia; Associate Professor, Department of Journalism and Literature, Siberian Federal University, Svobodniy Avе., 82 A, 660041 Krasnoyarsk, Russia.


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In the early 1990s, against the background of the loss of the authority of Soviet culture, the name of Alexey Tolstoy fell out of the core of the national literary canon. There was a consensus regarding the figure of the writer, first of all, as an opportunist who collaborated with the authorities and fulfilled a “social order.” Such assessments often had an emotionally colored character and pushed the discussion about the poetics of Tolstoy’s texts into the background. However, since the beginning of the 2000s, there has been a shift towards a more objective assessment of the writer’s role in the national literary process. Especially the publication of Tolstoy’s biography, written by A.N. Varlamov, has contributed to this course. Since the same period, representatives of various institutes of canonization have actualized the discussion about Tolstoy’s place in the national pantheon of literature. This article examines the mechanisms of the writer’s canonization in the 2000–2020s. The focus of attention, first of all, was on fiction, critical, and media discourses, where there were regular mentions of Tolstoy and references to his literary texts. Despite the intensification of interest in the personality and work of the writer, it is not necessary to assert that his name has entered the core of the national literary canon. It is due to several reasons, in particular, the sharp decline in the authority of Soviet classics after the collapse of the USSR and the absence in modern Russia of systematic attempts by representatives of the major institutions of literary canonization to return Tolstoy’s figure to the national pantheon.

Keywords: A.N. Tolstoy, A.N. Varlamov, canonization, literary criticism, biography.
For citation:

Chekushin, V.V. “Third Wheel? Attempts at Literary Canonization of A.N. Tolstoy in the 2000–2020s.” Literaturnyi fakt, no. 1 (31), 2024, pp. 242–260. (In Russ.)


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