Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his death so much as a passing thought. But one day death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise he is brought face to face with his own mortality. How, Tolstoy asks, does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truth? This short novel was the artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life, a nine-year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fiction. A thoroughly absorbing and, at times, terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death, it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation.
A vibrant translation of Tolstoy's most important short fiction by the award-winning translators of War and Peace. Here are eleven masterful stories from the mature author, some autobiographical, others moral parables, and all told with the evocative power that was Tolstoy's alone. They include "The Prisoner of the Caucasus," inspired by Tolstoy's own experiences as a soldier in the Chechen War, "Hadji Murat," the novella Harold Bloom called "the best story in the world," "The Devil," a fascinating tale of sexual obsession, and the celebrated "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," an intense and moving examination of death and the possibilities of redemption. Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation captures the richness, immediacy, and multiplicity of Tolstoy's language, and reveals the author as a passionate moral guide, an unflinching seeker of truth, and ultimately, a creator of enduring and universal art.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"I am acting badly," thought Yevgeny, "But what's one to do? Anyhow it is not for long."Leo Tolstoy is known for epic novels that brilliantly dissect society, but the novella The Devil may be the most personally revealing--and startling--fiction he ever wrote. He thought it so scandalous, in fact, that he hid the manuscript in the upholstery of a chair in his office so his wife wouldn't find it, and he would never allow it to be published in his lifetime.Perhaps that's because the gripping tale of an aristocratic landowner slowly overcome with unrelenting sexual desire for one of the peasants on his estate was strikingly similar to an affair Tolstoy himself had. Regardless, the tale--presented here with the two separate endings Tolstoy couldn't decide between--is a scintillating study of sexual attraction and human obsession. The Art of The Novella Series Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.
A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy
Although best known for War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy did not confine his literary talents to voluminous works. He was also a master of the short story and the long story--the particularly Russian form known as povest'. Each of the tales in this collection exhibits the rich detail, vivid narration, and startling truths that characterize Tolstoy's famous novels.Two unusual, intriguing short stores -- "Three Deaths" and "The Three Hermits" -- appear here, along with four powerful long stories: "Family Happiness," "The Devil," "Father Sergius," and "Master and Man." "Family Happiness," the first story in this compilation, features a Tolstoyan theme that recurs both here and elsewhere in the author's writings: "The only certain happiness in life is to live for others." Written over a period of 40 years or more, these works display the author's evolving perspectives on love, marriage, art, politics, and patriotism. They offer an eclectic introduction to the great Russian writer's fiction as well as a feast for those already acquainted with the pleasures of reading Tolstoy.
The most celebrated novelist of all time retells "the greatest story ever told," integrating the four Gospels into a single twelve-chapter narrative of the life of Jesus. Based on his study of early Christian texts, Leo Tolstoy's remarkable The Gospel in Brief-virtually unknown to English readers until this landmark new translation by Dustin Condren-makes accessible the powerful, mystical truth of Jesus's spiritual teaching, stripped of artificial church doctrine. "If you are not acquainted with The Gospel in Brief," wrote the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose life was profoundly influenced by it, "then you cannot imagine what an effect it can have upon a person."
Novelist, essayist, dramatist, and philosopher, Count Leo Tolstoy is most famous for his sprawling portraits of nineteenth-century Russian life, as recounted in Anna Karenina and War and Peace. But at the age of fifty, he endured a spiritual crisis that prompted him to seek answers from learned men on "the problem of life." When they were unable to offer solutions, he turned to the study of Christianity. Dazzled by the light of truth that illuminated mankind for more than two thousand years, he found answers to his questions that led him to write his own version of "the greatest story ever told."As he reinterpreted the first four books of the New Testament into a single, integrated version that expressed the essence of Christ, Tolstoy avoided the mystery and miracles emphasized by the Church. Instead, he worked exclusively from the actual words and actions of Jesus, uncluttered by what he regarded as the Church's false interpretations. The result: a revolutionary work that challenged long-held doctrines, presented in a way that reflects Tolstoy's views on the divine purpose for human existence in a chaotic world. As brilliantly written as his other literary treasures, The Gospel in Brief is a remarkably modern--and moving--meditation on spirituality.
In 1851 Leo Tolstoy enlisted in the Russian army and was sent to the Caucasus to help defeat the Chechens. During this war a great Avar chieftain, Hadji Murád, broke with the Chechen leader Shamil and fled to the Russians for safety. Months later, while attempting to rescue his family from Shamil's prison, Hadji Murád was pursued by those he had betrayed and, after fighting the most heroic battle of his life, was killed.Tolstoy, witness to many of the events leading to Hadji Murád's death, set down this story with painstaking accuracy to preserve for future generations the horror, nobility, and destruction inherent in war.From the Trade Paperback edition.
"In the Days of Serfdom" and Other Stories, originally published in 1911, presents in miniature themes developed in Tolstoy's longer works War and Peace and Anna Karenina. The compelling stories in this collection have largely been ignored by contemporary scholars and teachers because of their general unavailability. Available once again, the stories reveal new thematic and stylisitic dimensions to Tolstoy's oeuvre.While not all of the stories deal with actual serfdom, they all address the legacy of serfdom, of choicelessness, in Tolstoy's Russia. These stories are also thoroughly modern, concerned as they are with the market economy, changing values, and women's roles in society. Artistically and historically significant, they constitute ethical and spiritual questionings that deal with lives out of control, with characters making sense of the experience of living.
Banned in Russia, Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You was deemed a threat to church and state. The culmination of a lifetime's thought, it espouses a commitment to Jesus's message of turning the other cheek. In a bold and original manner, Tolstoy shows his readers clearly why they must reject violence of any sort--even that sanctioned by the state or the church--and urges them to look within themselves to find the answers to questions of morality.In 1894, one of the first English translations of this book found its way into the hands of a young Gandhi. Inspired by its message of nonresistance to evil, the Mahatma declared it a source of "independent thinking, profound morality, and truthfulness." Much of this work's emotional and moral appeal lies in its emphasis on fair treatment of the poor and working class. Its view of Christianity, not as a mystic religion but as a workable philosophy originating from the words of a remarkable teacher, extends its appeal to secular and religious readers alike.
When Marshal of the Nobility Pozdnyshev suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner, his jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder. Controversial upon publication in 1890, The Kreutzer Sonata illuminates Tolstoy's then-feverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenth-century marriage, and his thinking on the role of art and music in society. In her Introduction, Doris Lessing shows how relevant The Kreutzer Sonata is to our understanding of Tolstoy the artist, as well as to feminism and literature. This Modern Library Paperback Classic also contains Tolstoy's Sequel to the Kruetzer Sonata. From the Trade Paperback edition.
One of the world's greatest novelists, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) also wrote numerous excellent short stories, three of which are contained in this volume. "The Kreutzer Sonata" (1891) is a penetrating study of jealousy as well as a splenetic complaint about the way in which society educates young men and women in matters of sex. In "The Death of Ivan Ilych" (1886), a symbolic Everyman discovers the inner light of faith and love only when confronted by death. "How Much Land Does a Man Need?" (1886) is a simple, didactic story of peasant life, written by Tolstoy in the wake of a spiritual crisis. All three tales offer readers a splendid introduction to Tolstoy's work as well as the focused delights of the short story form brought to a pinnacle in the hands of a master.
An exploration of the teachings of Jesus Christ and thoughts of morality.
While living in Russia, Tolstoy operated a tiny school for the peasant children, where they could learn to read, write, and draw. He found that there were a lack of folktales and fables to read to the children so he created his own, which are now brought together in this beautifully illustrated collection. From "The Lion and the Puppy," a story about friendship, to "The King of the Shirt," a parable about obtaining happiness, to "Escape of the Dancing Bear," about a bear who is trained to be captured, these stories are sure to captivate and delight children of all ages. Similar in scope to Aesop's fables, children will be able to take away important lessons, as well as laugh at silly mishaps and characters, from this timeless collection. Ages 9-12.
A short story from the Classic Shorts collection: Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy
The enduring genius of Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky shines through in this special eBook collection that includes four classic Russian novels--each one recognized as a masterpiece of world literature. ANNA KARENINA "One of the greatest love stories in world literature."--Vladimir Nabokov Anna Karenina is Tolstoy's classic tale of love and adultery set against the backdrop of high society in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. The rich and complex story charts the disastrous course of a love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer. CRIME AND PUNISHMENT "Crime and Punishment has upon most readers an impact as immediate and obvious and full as the news of murder next door."--R. P. Blackmur The story of the murder committed by Raskolnikov and his guilt and atonement, Dostoevsky's brilliant novel is without doubt the most gripping and illuminating account ever written of a crime of repugnance and despair and the consequences that inevitably arise from it. THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV "The Brothers Karamazov stands as the culmination of Dostoevsky's art."--The Washington Post Book World Dostoevsky's crowning achievement is a tale of patricide and family rivalry that embodies the moral and spiritual dissolution of an entire society. To Dostoevsky, it captured the quintessence of Russian character in all its exaltation, compassion, and profligacy. WAR AND PEACE "There remains the greatest of all novelists--for what else can we call the author of War and Peace?"--Virginia Woolf Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle--all of them fully realized and equally memorable.
Tolstoy's novel of spiritual regeneration recounts the sins of a young Russian nobleman and his attempts in later life to redress those transgressions. A panoramic view of Russian social life at the end of the 19th century, Resurrection pointedly articulates the author's contempt for the social injustices of the world in which he lived.
Often called the greatest novel ever written, War and Peace is at once an epic of the Napoleonic Wars, a philosophical study, and a celebration of the Russian spirit. Tolstoy's genius is seen clearly in the multitude of characters in this massive chronicle--all of them fully realized and equally memorable. Out of this complex narrative emerges a profound examination of the individual's place in the historical process, one that makes it clear why Thomas Mann praised Tolstoy for his Homeric powers and placed War and Peace in the same category as the Iliad: "To read him . . . is to find one's way home . . . to everything within us that is fundamental and sane."
War and Peace broadly focuses on Napoleon's invasion of Russia in 1812 and follows three of the most well-known characters in literature: Pierre Bezukhov, the illegitimate son of a count who is fighting for his inheritance and yearning for spiritual fulfillment; Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, who leaves his family behind to fight in the war against Napoleon; and Natasha Rostov, the beautiful young daughter of a nobleman who intrigues both men.
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