Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy Writer and Thinker 1828-1910
Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy Writer and Thinker 1828-1910 Ivan Kramskoy Portrait of Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Born August 28 (Sept. 9) 1828 on family estate, Yasnaya Polyana Childhood and Youth Born into an ancient noble family
Parents die when Tolstoy is young Raised by his aunts Studies law at the Kazan University Tolstoys Military Career: 1851-56
Serves first in the Caucasus Then in an artillery regiment in Sebastopol, Crimea Writes and publishes his first fiction: Childhood (1852)
Boyhood (1854) Youth (1857) Literary Beginnings Moves to Petersburg, tries to integrate into literary circles
In 1857 visits France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany Photo: Tolstoy in 1862 1859: Interest in education
Upon his return from Europe, establishes schools for peasant children on his estate at Yasnaya Polyana 1860 goes to W. Europe to study schools
Sophia Andreevna Behrs (1844-1919) Tolstoy and Sophia marry in 1862 They immediately settle in Yasnaya
Polyana They have 13 children (only 9 survive) Life with Tolstoy Sophia Andreevna: "I lived with Lev
Nikolayevich for forty-eight years, but I never really learned what kind of man he was. The Tolstoys
Tolstoy, his children and grandchildren War and Peace (1863-69) Begins to appear in literary magazine Russky vestnik in 1865 Reflects Tolstoys interest in the Russian narod (people)
Graphic descriptions of slaughter on the battlefield reflect Tolstoys experience as a soldier, amount to a pacifist critique of war Tolstoy in his study Anna Karenina, 1873-77
Family novel centred around an autobiographical hero plus a novel about adultery (cf. Flauberts Madame Bovary) Vehicle for Tolstoy to express his opinion on the reforms of the 1860s, agriculture, modernity
Critical, Psychological Realism Investigation into the more profound aspects of life Social inequality Motivation, why do we do what we do?
Psychological contradictions Politics What is Russia? What is Russias role in the world? The 1880s: The Spiritual Crisis Tolstoy radically questions
society, religion, morality, sex, artistic practices Renounces his previous literary works Publishes A Confession (1884), Death of Ivan Ilich (1886), Kreuzer Sonata (1887-89)
Tolstoys core beliefs
Non-resistance to evil Renounce all luxury and wealth Live by ones own labour Be like the humble peasant Vegetarianism Tolstoys Philosophy
Ilya Repin. Tolstoy as ploughman Vladimir Chertkov (1854-1936) and the Tolstoyans Meets Tolstoy in 1883 1884 becomes
publisher of Tolstoys and others work in popular cheap editions Educational projects for moral improvement After Tolstoys death
edits his work The last Chapter 1884 first attempt to leave home, gave up his estate in Yasnaya Polyana
1901 Excommunication from Russian Orthodox Church In November of 1910, Tolstoy leaves home His letter to Sofya Andreevna My departure will sadden you. But
understand and believe that I cannot act in any other way. My position in the house is becoming, or has become, unbearable. Apart from anything else, I cannot live in those conditions of luxury in which I have lived, and am doing what old men of my age usually do: they abandon the worldly life to live out in
isolation and silence their last days Tolstoy falls ill on the train, is taken in by the stationmaster in the small railway station of Astapovo
Tolstoys room in Astapovo The End Fell ill and died seven days later Thousands of
people came to ask about the writers condition Tolstoys wife looking through the window
Clock at the Astapovo railway station stopped at the time of Tolstoys death Last words There are masses of people, apart from Leo Tolstoy, but you only pay attention to Leo
Tolstoythats not how peasants die. I love the truth. Tolstoys grave Leo Tolstoys Biography I clearly realized that my biography, if
it suppressed all the nastiness and criminality of my life - as they customarily write biographies - would be a lie, and that if one is going to write my biography, one must write the whole truth. Leo Tolstoy
Thoughts from the book "For Every Day That the only object of man's life is selfperfection the perfecting of immortal souls that this is is seen to be correct by the fact alone that every other object is senseless in view of death. Therefore the question whether you have done what you should have done is of immense importance, for the only meaning
of your life is in doing in this short term allowed you that which is desired of you by Him who or that which has sent you into life. Are you doing the right thing?
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