Literature blossomed in the second half of the nineteenth century, dominated by authors Fedor Dostoevsky and Count Leo Tolstoy. In his writings, Tolstoy attempted to break with romanticisim and present real life as it exists.
Through his novels, Dostoevsky expressed the tension between realism and a positive message. Dostoevsky wrote of the Russian idea; of universal reconciliation through love and suffering as an antidote to the Wests problems. He held firmly to the idea that Russia was on a special, Christian path as the redeemer of Europe.
Dostoevsky once wrote, I am a child of the age, a child of unbelief and skepticism; I have been so far, and shall be I know to the grave.... [but] If anyone proved to me that Christ was not the truth and it really was a fact that the truth was not in Christ, I would rather be with Christ than with the truth.