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LITERARY CREATION MOVEMENTS IN LEV TOLSTOY: A Study in the Representation of Natural Man and of Russian Musical Tradition as seen in "Cossacks-A Tale of the Caucasus"

Grant number: 12/25193-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Modern Foreign Literatures
Principal researcher:Elena Vássina
Grantee:Luiza Nascimento Almeida
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


The project's intent is to present an unique study on the representation of the natural man--embodied in Tolstoy's oeuvre in the peasant, the Gypsy, the Cossack, among others--from the analysis of "Cossacks-A Tale of the Caucasus" (1852). In that way, we intend to display the paths taken by the author to compose his canon character: a face of what was most dense in his soul and the genesis of his moments of epiphany. The novel will inevitably lead us to a double investigation in order to comprehend the creative process concerning the author's work. For starters, we will study Tolstoy's "rousseaunism", tracing a critical parallel with the thought that allegedly guided the Russian writer, primarily indebted to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, philosopher whose body of work discusses quite profoundly the concept of 'natural man' or 'noble savage'. The latter being he who functions according to his nature finds in the cossack on of his kind. Henceforth, we shall attempt to similarly establish in what way traditional Russian folk music (the ultimate expression of this natural man), seen as an element of the author's dwelling among the men he describes, inspired Tolstoy in the formulation of this story. We shall arrive at such through an examination of the work itself and of the music which it contains, while simoultaneousley examining the work of the Bratina Cossack Folk Music Group. This other form of artistic pratice/speech analysed in lieu with the literary manifestation would serve the purpose to not only compare different types of expression, thus identifying elements of intertextuality in the space of an interdisciplinary effort, but also to come forth with Tolstoy's musical face, proving likewise that, in natural and organic form, Russian folk music has favored and interspersed his creation by allowing the understanding of the relevant aspects of his hero. The idea is similarly to develop the thesis that such paths have served, in convergence, to constitute the bases of the aforementioned work: one of the principal marks in the career of the Russian author and of world literature itself.

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Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
ALMEIDA, Luiza Nascimento. Movements of literary creation in Lev Tolstoy: a study of the representation of natural man and the Russian musical tradition in the light of Cossacks - Caucasus Novel. 2017. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH/SBD) São Paulo.

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