Wisconsin Slavic Conference Keynote Lecture

April 9, 2021 @ 4:00 pm
Brian Kilgour

Ilya Vinitsky – Fake Tolstoy as a Cultural Problem: The Case of ‘Tolstoy Prophecy of WWI’

“To the best of my knowledge, the real problem of the fake (or imaginary – “мнимый,” in Tynianov’s words) Tolstoy has never been examined by scholars. In this lecture, I will focus on a striking case of this phenomena, a sensational prediction of WWI communicated (arguably) by Tolstoy’s daughter (or grandniece) Countess Nastasia Tolstoi before his death and widely discussed in newspapers and pamphlets all over the world in the 1910s and 20s. I will try to identify the real author of this influential “vision” and interpret the latter within the context of the faker’s works, activities, and a system of beliefs. My project aims to develop a new interdisciplinary methodology for the analysis of the formation and cultural values of liars, forgers, and mystifiers.” – Ilya Vinitsky

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