About the author:
Lyudmila V. Gladkova (Kalyuzhnaya), Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3640-8783
L.N. Tolstoy called the Russian peasantry “still the most numerous, reasonable and moral class, thanks to which we all live”. Considering himself “the advocate of the 100-million-strong agricultural people”, Tolstoy saw the future of Russia in the peasant and free agricultural life. In the peasant, Tolstoy also saw his main reader.
Writing peasants often turned to Tolstoy for help and invariably received it. Tolstoy acted in correspondence with them as an editor, literary critic, sensitive teacher, edited their manuscripts, helped to print their works, wrote prefaces to their books. In communication with the writing peasants, Tolstoy formulated the principles of his artistic worldview.
In this connection, Tolstoy’s correspondence with the beginning peasant writer F.F. Tishchenko, which lasted from 1886 to 1909 (9 letters of Tolstoy, 26 letters of Tishchenko) and related to the issues of art, the artistic word, is of interest. Tolstoy highly appreciates the story “Rye Bread is a Grandfather of Kalach” in his article “On Art” (1889).
The introduction to scientific circulation and updating of Leo Tolstoy’s correspondence with F.F. Tishchenko will allow us to take a new look at Tolstoy’s artistic world, to enrich our ideas about the work and biography of the great writer.
The publication is based on the materials of the L.N. Tolstoy State Museum, where the manuscripts of peasant writers are kept, including those edited by Tolstoy, correspondence between Tolstoy and T.M. Bondarev, P. Karpov, S.G. Skitalets, F.F. Tishchenko et al.