G. R. Derzhavin’s ode “God” and L. N. Tolstoy’s anthropological concept in the epic novel “War and peace”

A. E. Eremeev, E. I. Kopteva

Omsk Humanitarian Academy, Omsk, Russian Federation
Omsk State Pedagogical University, Omsk, Russian Federation

G. R. Derzhavin’s ode “God” and L. N. Tolstoy’s anthropological concept
in the epic novel “War and peace”

Abstract: The comprehension of the national worldview in the comparison of the artistic worlds of G. R. Derzhavin’s
poetry and L. N. Tolstoy’s epic novel is the main problem of this article. The research materials of N. D. Bludilina present direct mentions of Derzhavin’s name in Tolstoy’s works, at the same time, figurative approaches to Derzhavin’s lyrics in
Tolstoy’s prose did not become the subject of literary analysis. The question of the specifics of the national worldview
reflected in art and other types of human activity was considered in the works of G. D. Gachev. In modern literary studies,
the problem of the national worldview is comprehended in the works of such literary critics as A. S. Yanushkevich,
E. E. Prikazchikova, O. Y. Polyakov, etc. This problem is also presented in studies on imagology and comparative studies
in connection with the comprehensive study of the worldview of different peoples and cultures. Our research uses holistic,
typological, comparative-historical types of analysis. Based on the literary analysis presented in the article, we note that
Derzhavin’s work was reinterpreted by Tolstoy not only during the period of work on the epic novel “War and Peace”, but
also throughout his life. The writer’s special interest was shown in Derzhavin’s mature lyrics, reflecting the artistic concept
of life formed in a deep synthesis of heterogeneous traditions (folklore, biblical, national, antique, European) traditions. The
principle of “in the image and likeness” (reflection of the cosmic unity in the small, the Creator in creation) brings together
the figurative systems of Derzhavin and Tolstoy. The ode “God” concentrates this principle, becoming an expression
of the national worldview formed in the secular literary tradition of the post-Petrine era. Tolstoy’s diaries reveal the
transformation of the ideas of Derzhavin’s spiritual ode, whereas in the epic novel the writer artistically rethinks the depth
of the poet’s ideological and imaginative world, which is reflected in the metaphorical system of the work, the formation
of an integral world of heroes, especially Pierre Bezukhov. The comprehension of the world by individual consciousness,
the personal maturation of a person in the family and ancestral circle, historical, social, social trends, national events, the
conjugation of personal and universal – all this brought Tolstoy closer to studying the epoch of the turn of the 18th–19th
centuries – first third of the 19th century. Derzhavin’s work became one of the sources of work on the epic novel “War and
Peace” and influenced the ideological and figurative system of the work, reflecting the established national worldview of
several generations.

Keywords: G. R. Derzhavin, ode God, L. N. Tolstoy, epic novel War and Peace, the principle in the image and likeness,
cosmism, world image, imagology, Napoleon’s comet.

Paper submitted: December 19, 2023.

For citation: Eremeev A. E., Kopteva E. I. (2024) G. R. Derzhavin’s ode “God” and L. N. Tolstoy’s anthropological
concept in the epic novel “War and peace”. Russian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 7–16. DOI:

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