"Dmitry Tolstoy's Classicism": And The Formation Of The Russian Literary Canon in The High School Curriculum
The article reconstructs the history of the creation of Russia’s literary canon in the second half of the nineteenth century, and more speci cally – the phenomenon of Russian classic literature as codi ed in the high school curriculum of the time. The fact that teaching Russian literature was not abandoned in schools in the 1870s and that the writings published before about 1842 had acquired the status of “classics” owed to a very speci c political constellation. The author argues that the turn toward classicism in education in the early 1870s by the newly appointed minister of public education, Dmitry Tolstoy, re ected the regime’s determination to embrace and promote Russian nationalism while curtailing its democratic potential. This both opened up an opportunity for Russian literature to be included in the school curriculum and mandated the format of this inclusion as rigid lists of compulsory reading.