Пьеса У.Б. Йейтса "Там, где ничего нет" и ее толстовское измерение

Рассматривается вопрос влияния произведений Л. Н. Толстого на творчество У. Б. Йейтса в общем контексте восприятия русского писателя в России и Великобритании на рубеже XIX и XX вв. Выявлен целостный образ Толстого-писателя в корреспонденции и нехудожественных работах Йейтса. Показано, как в пьесе «Там, где ничего нет» толстовство, ницшеанство и собственно йейтсовский символизм составляют синтетический образ визионера, разрушителя старого миропорядка и одновременно проповедника ненасилия.

The article discusses the issue of the influence of Leo Tolstoy, his fiction and non-fiction, on William Butler Yeats's drama in the broader context of Tolstoy's reception in the late 19th - early 20th century in both Russia and the United Kingdom. Tolstoy's image as a writer in the correspondence and non-fiction of the Irish playwright is analysed. The author shows that Yeats's attitude towards the Russian writer, though initially favourable, was gradually becoming more and more irreverent and complex. Similar attitudes towards Tolstoy are detected in Russian writers of the period. Yeats criticises Tolstoy for his didactic tendencies. Nevertheless, Yeats acknowledges Tolstoy's genius and puts him on a par with greatest ancient and modern authors (Shakespeare, Goethe, English romantic poets, Balzac, Flaubert, Ibsen, etc.). Yeats's absolute favourite is his idea of non-resistance and non-violence, which is interpreted in Yeats's own way in his play Where There is Nothing. Yeats's reading of this concept is set in the context of the early 20th century discussion around Tolstoyism, since at the time Tolstoy was mostly perceived as a thinker in Britain. Yeats's position in this discussion is thoroughly analysed. It is most probable that Yeats read one of very short pamphlets compiled by English editors of Tolstoy. The author argues that Tolstoy's ideas and images in Yeats's play were immediately grasped and attacked by its critics. A comparative analysis of the play and Tolstoy's manifesto “What I Believe” reveals that in the play the Russian author's teaching interacts with Nietzschean philosophy and Yeats's own symbolism, as well as various occult practices he was deeply interested in. This amalgam is concentrated in the paradoxical image of a prophet, visionary, destroyer of the old world order (in fact, any order - secular and ecclesiastical) and at the same time a preacher of non-violence, Paul Ruttledge. As it has been argued in previous studies, the episode of a mock trial echoes Tolstoy's interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. The in-depth analysis shows that not only this episode is related to Tolstoy but the whole play is somewhat reminiscent of his vision of Christian life (rejection of people's law as opposed to God's law, and of urban living; criticism of civilization; necessity for manual labour and simple life in harmony with nature; call for unity and equality of all people). Despite these similarities, there is still a lot of disagreement with Tolstoy in the play, mainly due to the Nietzschean influence (desire to destroy the old world, Dionysian motifs), who Yeats considered to be the exact opposite of Tolstoy. A similar juxtaposition of Tolstoy and Nietzsche is found in both English and Russian literature. A parallel is revealed between Paul and Tolstoy, who, according to Yeats, were mad prophets unable to change the world. This parallel is both mocking and tragic, and Paul is in line with other Yeats's images of jesters and madmen.

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  • 1 Институт мировой литературы им. А.М. Горького Российской академии наук
  • 2 Российский университет дружбы народов
W.B. Yeats; Leo Tolstoy; tolstoyism; reception; reciprocal influence of Russian and Irish literature; У.Б. Йейтс; Л. Н. Толстой; толстовство; рецепция; взаимовлияние русской и ирландской литератур
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Сауренко Т.Н., Анисимов В.Г., Анисимов Е.Г., Пак А.Ю.
Журнал исследований по управлению. Общество с ограниченной ответственностью «Научно-издательский центр ИНФРА-М». Vol. 8. 2022. P. 3-9