The Organic Worldview of Nikolai Leskov
Northwestern University Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
Although little studied in the West, Nikolai Semenovich Leskov (1831-95) is accorded a place among major nineteenth-century writers in his native Russia. Irmhild Christina Sperrle's The Organic Worldview of Nikolai Leskov draws on previously unavailable archival and primary sources to offer English-speaking readers the opportunity to appreciate the work of this neglected author.Leskov remarked to his contemporary Anatolii Faresov, "People talk about my 'language, ' about its colorfulness and its national traits; about the richness of my plots, about my condensed way of writing, about 'similarity' and so on, but they do not notice the most important thing". It is this "most important thing", Leskov's consistent thematic adherence to an "organic" philosophical model, that Sperrle traces and elaborates here. Focusing on movement and transformation in "an organic manner" -- a manner in which death and rebirth alternate and condition each other -- Sperrle develops Leskov's notion of organicity and explores his relationship to the organic tradition in philosophy and literature. Her reading of key texts among his more than five hundred works entails a close look at Leskov's ideas about the Divine as freedom of belief, about truth as a continual renewal of previously held theories, and about death in both a physical and a spiritual sense. She examines Leskov's vexed relation to Tolstoyan ideas and shows how the notion of heresy -- as a questioning rather than rejection of authority -- is a crucial element in his worldview and his work.
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Chapter One Leskovs Organic Worldview
Chapter Two Leskov Tolstoy and the Three Questions
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accepted Akhilla Andrei authority Bakhtin becomes belief called Cathedral characters Christ Christian chronicle church considered create creative criticism cubist death depict despite dialogue distortion Dmitrii Tolstoi dogmatic Dostoevsky Edgerton elements evil example expressed fact faith Faresov fictional Fond genre God's Gospel heretical idea inspiration interpretation IRLI Kiev L. N. Tolstoi Leningrad Leskov to Ol'ga Leskov's notion Leskov's view Leskovian letter literary literature living look material McLean meaning mind moral Moscow N. S. Leskov narrative narrator nihilist movement nihilists Nikolai Leskov nonresistance novel Ol'ga Krokhina Old Peregud one's Onoprii organic past person perspective Petersburg polyphony position present Primary Chronicle Prolog Protiv techenii question quotation Rabbit Carriage reader rejected RGALI rules Russian Russkaia salvation Sbornik skaz Skovoroda sochinenii spirit stomach stress tells theme theory thought tion Tolstoy's Tolstoyan truth Tuberozov unreliable narrators word worldview writes Zaiachii remiz