Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy

Lev Tolstoy and American Philosophy” (Лев Толстой и американская философия), including Canadian Doukhobors, was an open lecture with a Microsoft PowerPoint slide presentation given in Russia on October 11, 2018, at 5 pm by Dr. Irina A. Anosova.

This lecture stems from her 1995 PhD dissertation: "American Philosophy in the Context of Leo Tolstoy’s Spiritual Legacy." While researching Tolstoy, she became interested in Doukhobors, contacted Koozma, and came to Canada in 2005 and 2010 for field research. This short lecture was an overview of her message to appreciate Tolstoy and Doukhobors.

She was the second speaker for the event “Tolstoy Library: a century-long project” (Библиотека Толстого: проект длиною в век) celebrating the 190th birthday of Lev Tolstoy and the 100th anniversary of the Lev Tolstoy Library (No 2) on Vasilievsky Island, a bourough in the center of St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tolstoy Library and event poster.

The library was founded in 1918 and named in 1920 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of L.N. Tolstoy. The library displays history, art, film and video, has meeting rooms and about 89,000 books.

Anosova's 23-slide presentation was in Russian, which she sent to Koozma to post online. We translated, edited, and added links. Slide #18 (Doukhobor meetings) was added because she mislabeled slide #17 (USCC dove formation, 1999) as a “regular Doukhobor meeting.”

Download the enhanced Microsoft PowerPoint slide file (PPT 5,436 KB). <2018_Anosova_Tolstoy_American_Philosophy.ppt>

Dr. Anosova (centre) showing title slide in the library "green room".

Dr. Anosova reviewed the many American philosophers who influenced Tolstoy, and explained Tolstoy's connection with Canadian Doukhobors. She began with American transcendentalism from the 1700s through the mid 1800s (Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, Channing, Emerson, Thoreau); progressed to nonresisters (Mennonites, Quakers, Ballou, Garrison); then introduced Doukhobors.

Several photos gathered during her 2010 trip across Canada were used — women pulling plow, painting of a village in Saskatchewan, USCC centennial, USCC human dove formation, staff of the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, and a tribute to Koozma J. Tarasoff for all his help.

Other speakers presented the website “All of Tolstoy in one click” (Весь Толстой в один клик), readings from Tolstoy's three novels, the exhibit “Discovering Tolstoy again” (Открывая Толстого заново), and a Tolstoy family tree poster.

The event was announced in a poster (above), formal press release (below), then reported on a news blog with 6 photos (below) taken at the event attended by about 15 people. We hope many will see this story and the slides.

More by Dr. Irina Anosova,
Dept.of Philosophy, St. Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts, Russian Federation.

1 comment:

  1. Henry Beissel, Ottawa, Ontario21 January 2019 at 16:49

    Thanks very much, Koozma, for the info about Dr. Anosova's work about Tolstoy and the Spirit Wrestlers. She sounds like a thoughtful person exploring the connections between American transcendentalism and the
    Doukhobors peace movement. If everyone were as committed to a world of peace, we might be getting somewhere.

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