International journal

Speech Genres

ISSN 2311-0759 (Online)
ISSN 2311-0740 (Print)

For citation:

Tokarev G. V. The genre of prayer in the diary discourse of Leo Tolstoy. Speech Genres, 2023, vol. 18, iss. 4 (40), pp. 358-364. DOI: 10.18500/2311-0740-2023-18-4-40-358-364, EDN: CVVHKK

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The genre of prayer in the diary discourse of Leo Tolstoy

Tokarev Grigoriy Valerievich, Tula State Lev Tolstoy Pedagogical University

The article is aimed to consider the genre of prayer presented in the diaries of Leo Tolstoy. An analysis of the entries reveals that over the course of his life Tolstoy recorded several dozen prayers he made up. The article examines recorded appeals to God in syntactic, semantic and pragmatic terms. The research uses methods of description, conceptual and pragmatic analysis. The study reveals that Tolstoy violates the accepted canons, modelling an individual appeal to God. Tolstoy’s discourse is dominated by short prayers, which is a consequence of the addressee’s pragmatic intentions: to be concise, humble, not to ask for anything. The article establishes that the key axiological dominant for Tolstoy is love, with which he identifies God. In his appeals to God, Tolstoy asks for firm faith, hope, and a calm conscience. A large group of Tolstoy’s prayers has a situationally oriented nature. The imperatives of behavior are formulated in the prayers. The article concludes that prayer in Tolstoy’s discourse becomes a means of an individual programme of self-improvement. Tolstoy’s prayer is chamberlike, regular in nature. The addressee of the appeal is God, and often not personified, but as emptiness, something, a moral principle. He defines the role of the addressee through the nominations of an obedient son, servant, worker, messenger of the Almighty, who must humbly accept everything that God wants. The article identifies that Tolstoy’s prayers are heterogeneous in their intensions: a request, a thanksgiving, a statement. According to its axiological content and intentional vector, Tolstoy’s prayer fully corresponds to the Christian ideology, expressed in humility and love. 

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