Incidence as a Structure-Forming Principle of the Novel “Anna Karenina” by L.N. Tolstoy Cover Image

Случай как структурообразующее начало в романе Л.Н. Толстого "Анна Каренина"
Incidence as a Structure-Forming Principle of the Novel “Anna Karenina” by L.N. Tolstoy

Author(s): Albina Mazgarovna Sayapova, A. I. Zakirov
Subject(s): Aesthetics, Russian Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Казанский (Приволжский) федеральный университет
Keywords: L.N. Tolstoy; “Anna Karenina”; notion of “incident”; structure of literary work;

Summary/Abstract: This paper is aimed at revealing how incident, becoming an event in the life of main characters of the novel “Anna Karenina” by L.N. Tolstoy, determines the content of the novel and as such forms the structure of the literary work, its plotline, situations and collisions. Based on the notion of “incident”, L.N. Tolstoy used the language of artistic philosophy to represent the deductive reasoning about human life, which shows and explains all phenomena within this life. Besides, this reasoning contains L.N. Tolstoy’s predictions and warnings about the future. The incident in L.N. Tolstoy’s work becomes not only an aesthetic category, but, first of all, a philosophical one, because it does not only explain the character’s nature, his behavior in certain situations. In L.N. Tolstoy’s work, incidence becomes a way of explaining the world. The plot of the novel reveals that almost all the events in the life of the characters, if we try to explain and understand them, turn out to be incidental in the field of “probabilistic regularities”. This incidence in the life of L.N. Tolstoy’s characters represents human behavioral models in the so-called incidental events. L.N. Tolstoy’s novel offers the idea that incidental events influence the human destiny in some fatal way. The artistic structure of the novel, including all the series of events, is determined by the “family idea”. The textual analysis of the notion of “incidence” as the structure-forming principle of the novel underlies both the general philosophical idea of the novel containing the “idea of family” and the artistic expression of it. The situations of incidental encounters within the one plotline (Anna – Vronskii) represent the destruction of traditional views on love, family, while the other one (Levin – Kity) reflects the primordial national views on human values.