The сontemporaries of L. Tolstoy as the types of characters in “Anna Karenina” (based on the encyclopedia “Leo Tolstoy and His Contemporaries”)

Abstract: 

Based on the encyclopedia “Leo Tolstoy and His Contemporaries” the article discusses the contemporaries of Leo Tolstoy, who became the prototypes of his characters in the novel “Anna Karenina” due to some features of their character, their physical and spiritual appearance, or their destiny. Thus, Perfiliev Vasily Stepanovich (1826-1890), a close friend of Tolstoy and the vice-governor and governor of Moscow the last years of his life, became the prototype of Steve Oblonsky. Gartung Maria Aleksandrovna (1832-1919), the eldest daughter of Alexander Pushkin, “prompted” a portrait of Anna Karenina by her outward appearance. According to the biographical data, the fate of Anna Karenina is the fate of Tolstoy’s sister Maria Nikolaevna. The scene when Levin confesses his love to Kitty also has a link to the biographical fact from Tolstoy’s life. Many other characters of Leo Tolstoy, including Anna Karenina, have their literary ancestors in Pushkin’s life and work. Of interest is the story about the creation of Leo Tolstoy’s portrait, executed by I. N. Kramskoy, and its connection with individual episodes from the novel “Anna Karenina” (the image of artist Mikhailov). In general, we  emphasize that the historical and biographical materials of the encyclopedia “Leo Tolstoy and His Contemporaries” enable us to deeper understand the images from the novel “Anna Karenina” in terms of their artistic creation. This article reveals the possibilities of using this publication in both research and teaching work on the history of creation of Leo Tolstoy's most real-life novel, “Anna Karenina”.

Key words: 

L. N. Tolstoy's novel “Anna Karenina”, prototype, V. S. Perfiliev, M. A. Hartung, M. N. Tolstaya.

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