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Gorelov, A. A. Lev Tolstoy’s Novel ‘Resurrection’ and the Problem of Ethic Choice

Published in journal "Philosophy and Culture", 2013-9 in rubric "Man and mankind", pages 1233-1243.

Resume: The author of the article compares the reemergence of the main hero in ‘Resurrection’ with the ‘spiritual rebirth’ of Lev Tolstoy himself as well as with the philosophical interpretation of the ‘borderline situations’ represented by existentialists. The author makes a conclusion that Tolstoy’s hero behaves the same way as a man in a borderline situation described by existentialists. Noteworthy that Tolstoy did not appeal to existentialists and such likeness is caused by objective processes ongoing in a man’s inner world. Generally speaking, the process of ethic choice (or Tolstoy’s ‘spiritual rebirth’) consists of the following stages: decisive affect, borderline situation, conviction, despair, awareness of one’s possibility to make an ethic choice, ethic choice (which, being the point of bifurcation, can lead to three options: suicide, return to previous lifestyle and start of a new life), spiritual rebirth, crucifixion and resurrection. The process described by the author of the article is based on the combination of ideas presented by Soren Kierkegaard (‘either/or’), Karl Jaspers (‘borderline situation’) and Lev Tolstoy (‘confession’ and ‘resurrection’).

Keywords: Tolstoy, human, penance, despair, awareness, resolution, ethics, choice, crucifixion, resurrection.

DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2013.9.9293

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