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Keywords: Gogol, G.M. Tolstoy, P.V. Annenkov, K. Marx, biography, social ideology, westernism.
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Vinogradov I.A. Gogol’s Contacts in the Circle of Кarl Marx: The Story of One Acquaintance. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 1, pp. 236–249. (In Russ.)
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-1-236-249

Author: Igor’ A. Vinogradov
Information about the author:

Igor’ A. Vinogradov, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, Moscow 121069, Russia.
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: September 12, 2018
Published: March 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №1
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 236-249
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-1-236-249
UDK: 821.161.1
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)52


The essay establishes the hitherto unknown authorship of the memoir that mentions Gogol’s stay in Mannheim in 1844. I published this memoir, for the first time, in 2013, however the question of the author’s personality remained open. As it turns out, the memoir note belongs to the notorious Grigory Mikhailovich Tolstoy (1808–1871), a wealthy Simbirsky and Kazan landowner, and an acquaintance of Karl Marx. Tolstoy was an outstanding, well-educated representative of a well-known noble family, a staunch liberal, a lover of gipsy songs and theater, player and hunter. He was known as an unreliable person and therefore might have inspired some of the traits of Gogol’s non-ideal characters in his Dead Souls. The essay examines the episode from Gogol’s biography recorded in the memoir against a broad cultural and historical background. It provides the reader with biographical information about Tolstoy, his extensive family ties, and his attitude to the Russian noble rebels known as Decembrists. It also tells the story of Tolstoy’s acquaintance with Gogol in Moscow in 1840 as well as their meeting in Mannheim four hours later. Finally, the paper reveals the circumstances of Tolstoy’s acquaintance with Marx in Paris, his promised contribution to Sovremennik, a magazine issued by Nikolay Nekrasov, and the role he played in putting together Marx and Gogol’s friend, P.V. Annenkov, an eyewitness to the French Revolution of 1848. It introduces Annenkov’s commentaries on these events that Gogol was aware of.


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