Round table: “Vladimir Nabokov about Leo Tolstoy” Part 2

Round table: “Vladimir Nabokov about Leo Tolstoy” Part 2

In our next meeting we will continue our conversation about Nabokov’s work ‘Lectures on Russian Literature’. This round-table talk will be dedicated to the Nabokov’s lecture – “Leo Tolstoy. Anna Karenina”

According to Nabokov, Tolstoy (1828-1910) is the greatest Russian writer of prose fiction. Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a robust man with a restless soul, who all his life was torn between his sensual temperament and his supersensitive conscience. His art was so powerful, so tiger bright, so original and universal that it easily transcends the sermon.

During our round-table talk we will think about the endless struggle between Tolstoy-artist and Tolstoy-moralist. We are going to discuss what is the most important in literature – a pattern of ideas or a pattern of images. To what extent we can share Nabokov’s point of view that ‘image is the true function of literature”.

As Nabokov states, “Whether painting or preaching, Tolstoy was striving, in spite of all obstacles, to get at the truth. As the author of Anna Karenina, he used one method of discovering truth; in his sermons, he used another; but somehow, no matter how subtle his art was and no matter how dull some of his other attitudes were, truth which he was ponderously groping for or magically finding just around the corner, was always the same truth — this truth was he and this he was an art”.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 29 at 7p.m. Discussion is led by Elena Neznamova – Associate Professor, MA in Psychosocial Studies – Birkbeck University, Fulbright-Kennan Institute Research Scholar. (In English) Registration id necessary:

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