Today members of the Russian PEN club are marking the upcoming 100th anniversary of the death of the Russian literary classic Leo Tolstoy with the opening of the Khadzhi Murat Stone.
The memorial is in the Tolstoy’s so-called “Pirogovo estates” some 40 kilometers from the writer’s famous Yasnaya Polyana museum. Because it was at Pirogovo that the idea of writing a story about one of the best-known leaders of Caucasus mountaineers’ resistance to the Russian expansion south first crossed Tolstoy’s mind. Initially a sworn enemy of Russia, Khadzhi Murat then became its best friend only to become an enemy again and ruthlessly destroyed. For Tolstoy, Khadzhi Murat is an epitome of selfless courage and perseverance.
The Russian PEN Club’s president Andrei Bitov says that the Khadzhi Murat Stone is a monument to both a literary work and a historical prototype, a person who really lived and fought in the mid-19th century.
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