Studi Slavistici XVIII (2021) 1 • Per Andrea Trovesi in memoriam

Nikolaj Leskov as a Literary Critic. The Case of the Russian Clerical Novel

Marta Łukaszewicz
University of Warsaw
Published July 20, 2021
  • Nikolaj Leskov,
  • Literary Criticism,
  • Journalism,
  • Reception,
  • Orthodox Clergy,
  • Russian Clerical Novel
  • ...More
How to Cite
Łukaszewicz, M. (2021). Nikolaj Leskov as a Literary Critic. The Case of the Russian Clerical Novel. Studi Slavistici, 18(1), 35-50.


The Russian writer Nikolaj Leskov is widely renowned as a portrayer of the everyday life of the Orthodox clergy; his literary works depict God’s righteous servants as well as the greedy, selfish priests. Notwithstanding being a significant part of his work and effective way to express his views, Leskov’s activity as a book reviewer is not as well-known. Leskov wrote numerous book reviews, mostly on novels featuring clergymen and the ordinary aspects of clerical life, where he analyses the artistic merit and ideological perspective expressed in a work; literary-aesthetic values were, however, at the centre of his critical evaluation and interest. This paper examines Leskov’s book reviews by focusing on their content, structure linguistic style, and the evaluation framework employed by the author for book critical assessment. The aim of the present investigation is to shed some light on Leskov’s critical strategies and compare his critical arguments as a reviewer with the way he describes clergymen in his own works.


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