For citation:

Bogdanova O.A. “Not a Golden Antique”: Experience of Negative Reception of the “Estate Culture” at the Turn of the 19th–20th Centuries. Studia Litterarum, 2020, vol. 5, no 3, pp. 252–269. (In Russ.)


Author: O.A. Bogdanova
Information about the author:

Olga A. Bogdanova, DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Received: January 15, 2020
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2020 Vol. 5, №3
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 252-269

UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)53
Keywords: literature of the Silver age, “estate culture”, a new myth of the estate, negative connotations, socio-psychological criticism, aesthetic and civilizational criticism, N.S. Gumilev, A.N. Tolstoy, a story “Mishuka Nalymov (Zavolzhye)”.


In contrast to passeistic and neo-mythological trends in the representation of the “estate culture” in the so-called Silver age, a number of works of that time follow another line — the one of aesthetic, civilizational, and socio-psychological critique. The latter tendency dates back to the serfdom period (A.I. Herzen, N.S. Leskov, L.N. Tolstoy, etc.). Pan-aesthetics, one of the main trends of Russian culture of the early 20th century, prompted the mentioned aesthetic critique. A number of authors questioned and rejected the idealization of the Golden age of “estate culture”, which in the Silver age claimed to be the “national ideal.” This is how the polemical image of “not a golden antique” appears in the works of I.F. Annensky, Andrey Bely, N.S. Gumilev, G.I. Chulkov, A.N. Tolstoy, etc. In addition, the structure of the “estate topos” includes civilizational critique of the “estate culture” as organic part of the Russian national-patriarchal world (A.I. Ertel, A.P. Chekhov, I.S. Shmelev, etc.). The article examined the mentioned negative connotations of the “estate topos” on the example of the story by Alexey N. Tolstoy “Mishuka Nalymov (Zavolzhye).”


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