• "With all my soul I longed to be in a position to join with the people in performing the rites of their faith, but I could not do it. I felt that I would be lying to myself, mocking what was sacred to me, if I were to go through with it."
    At the height of his fame, a Tolstoy in his mid-fifties went through an existential crisis. Despite an accomplished writing career and a good family life, Tolstoy was considering suicide. Instead, he wrote A Confession, which describes his search for the answer to the question, "What is the meaning of life?", making him one of the first to pose the problem it in a modern way.
    A Confession is an interesting and heart-wrenching essay for religious people and atheists alike.



    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was a Russian author, a master of realistic fiction and one of the world's greatest novelists. Tolstoy's major works include "War and Peace" (1865-69) and "Anna Karenina" (1875-77), two of the greatest novels of all time and pinnacles of realist fiction. Beyond novels, he wrote many short stories and later in life also essays and plays.

  • The artistic work of Leo Tolstoy has been described as 'nothing less than one tremendous diary kept for over fifty years'. This particular 'diary' begins with Tolstoy's first published work, Childhood, which was written when he was only twenty-three. A semi-autobiographical work, it recounts two days in the childhood of ten-year-old Nikolai Irtenev, recreating vivid impressions of people, place and events with the exuberant perspective of a child enriched by the ironic retrospective understanding of an adult. Boyhood and Youth soon followed, and Tolstoy was launched on the literary career that would bring him immortality.

  • The Kreutzer Sonata' is the self-lacerating confession of a man consumed by sexual jealousy and eaten up by shame and eventually driven to murder his wife. The story caused a sensation when it first appeared and Tolstoy's wife was appalled that he had drawn on their own experiences together to create a scathing indictment of marriage. 'The Devil', centring on a young man torn between his passion for a peasant girl and his respectable life with his loving wife, also illustrates the impossibility of pure love. 'The Forged Coupon' shows how an act of corruption can spiral out of control, and 'After the Ball' examines the abuse of power. Written during a time of spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life, these late stories reflect a world of moral uncertainties.

  • Serving on a jury at the trial of a prostitute arrested for murder, Prince Nekhlyudov is horrified to discover that the accused is a woman he had once loved, seduced and then abandoned when she was a young servant girl. Racked with guilt at realizing he was the cause of her ruin, he determines to appeal for her release or give up his own way of life and follow her. Conceived on an epic scale, Resurrection portrays a vast panorama of Russian life, taking us from the underworld of prison cells and warders to the palaces of countesses. It is also an angry denunciation of government, the upper classes, the judicial system and the Church, and a highly personal statement of Tolstoy's belief in human redemption.

  • 'All happy families are alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.' Anna Karenina is a novel of unparalleled richness and complexity, set against the backdrop of Russian high society. Tolstoy charts the course of the doomed love affair between Anna, a beautiful married woman, and Count Vronsky, a wealthy army officer who pursues Anna after becoming infatuated with her at a ball. Although she initially resists his charms Anna eventually succumbs, falling passionately in love and setting in motion a chain of events that lead to her downfall. In this extraordinary novel Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together the lives of dozens of characters, while evoking a love so strong that those who experience it are prepared to die for it.

  • Written over a period of more than half a century, these stories reflect every aspect of Tolstoy's art and personality. They cover his experiences as a soldier in the Caucasus, his married life, his passionate interest in the peasantry, his cult of truth adn simplicity, and, above all, his growing preoccupation with religion. Ranging in scope from novellas like The Kreutzer Sonata and Hadji Murad to folk-tales only a few pages long, they provide a marvelous opportunity to become closely acquainted with Russia's great novelist. Aylmer and Louise Maude's classic translations are supplemented by new translations by Nigel J. Cooper of six stories, including two that have never before appeared in English.
    (Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed) From the Hardcover edition.

  • The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the masterpieces of Tolstoy's late fiction and the first major fictional work to be published by the author after his crisis and conversion to Christianity. The story of the life and death at the age of forty-five, of a high court prosecutor in 19th-century Russia, it is an intense and moving examination of loss and the possibilities of redemption, in which Tolstoy explores the dichotomy between the artificial and the authentic life.The nine other stories in this new collection include 'Hadji Murat' which has been described by Harold Bloom as 'the best story in the world' and 'The Devil', a tale of sexual obsession based on Tolstoy's own relationship with a married peasant woman on his estate in the years before his marriage.

    Magnificently translated by the acclaimed translating team behind War and Peace, this new volume captures the richness and immediacy of Tolstoy's language and reveals the author as a passionate moral guide, an unflinching seeker of truth, and a creator of enduring and universal art.

  • Written over a period of more than half a century, these stories reflect every aspect of Tolstoy's art and personality. They cover his experiences as a soldier in the Caucasus, his married life, his passionate interest in the peasantry, his cult of truth adn simplicity, and, above all, his growing preoccupation with religion. Ranging in scope from novellas like The Kreutzer Sonata and Hadji Murad to folk-tales only a few pages long, they provide a marvelous opportunity to become closely acquainted with Russia's great novelist. Aylmer and Louise Maude's classic translations are supplemented by new translations by Nigel J. Cooper of six stories, including two that have never before appeared in English.
    (Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed) From the Hardcover edition.

  • This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.
    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.
    Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life." From the Hardcover edition.

  • 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 thenfeverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenthcentury 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.

  • (Book Jacket Status: Not Jacketed)“Tolstoy’s lavish and always graphic use of detail,” wrote John Bayley, “together of course with its romance and exotic setting ... has made The Cossacks the most popular of all his works.” This vibrant new translation of Tolstoy’s 1862 novel, by PEN Translation Award winner Peter Constantine, is the author’s semiautobiographical depiction of young Olenin, a wealthy, disaffected Muscovite, who joins the Russian army and travels to the untamed frontier of the Caucasus in search of a more authentic life. Quartered with his regiment in a Cossack village, Olenin revels in the glories of nature and the rough strength of the Cossacks and Chechens. Smitten by his unrequited love for a local girl, Maryanka, Olenin has a profound but ultimately shortlived spiritual awakening. Try as he might to assimilate, he remains an awkward outsider and his long search for a more enlightened and purposeful existence comes to naught.With the philosophical insight that would characterize Tolstoy’s later masterpieces, this long overdue major new translation is a revelation.From the Hardcover edition.

  • This new edition combines Tolstoy's most famous short tale, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, with a less well known but equally brilliant gem, Master and Man, both newly translated by Ann Pasternak Slater. Both stories confront death and the process of dying: In Ivan Ilyich, a bureaucrat looks back over his life, which suddenly seems meaningless and wasteful, while in Master and Man, a landowner and servant must each confront the value of the other as they brave a devastating snowstorm. The quintessential Tolstoyan themes of mortality, spiritual redemption, and life's meaning are nowhere more movingly and deftly explored than in these two tales.
    This unique edition also includes a critical Introduction and extensive notes by Ann Pasternak Slater, a Fellow at St. Anne's College, Oxford.
    From the Hardcover edition.

  • There is no explanation.Written eight years after the publication of Anna Kareninayes'>mdash;a time during which, despite the global success of his novels, Leo Tolstoy renounced fiction in favor of religious and philosophical tractsyes'>mdash;The Death of Ivan Ilych represents perhaps the most keenly realized melding of Tolstoy’s spirituality with his artistic skills.Here in a vibrant new translation, the tale of a judge who slowly comes to understand that his illness is fatal was inspired by Tolstoy’s observation at his local train station of hundreds of shackled prisoners being sent off to Siberia, many for petty crimes. When he learned that the sentencing judge had died, Tolstoy was roused to consider the judge’s thoughts during his final daysyes'>mdash;a study on the acceptance of mortality only deepened by the death, during its writing, of one of Tolstoy’s own young children.The final result is a magisterial story, both chilling and beguiling in the fullness of its empathy, its quotidian detail, and the beauty of its prose, and is, as many have claimed it to be, one of the most moving novellas ever written. 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 seies, 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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

  • Anglais The Devil

    Leo Tolstoy

    "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.

  • The artistic work of Leo Tolstoy has been described as 'nothing less than one tremendous diary kept for over fifty years'. This particular 'diary' begins with Tolstoy's first published work, Childhood, which was written when he was only twenty-three. A semi-autobiographical work, it recounts two days in the childhood of ten-year-old Nikolai Irtenev, recreating vivid impressions of people, place and events with the exuberant perspective of a child enriched by the ironic retrospective understanding of an adult. Boyhood and Youth soon followed, and Tolstoy was launched on the literary career that would bring him immortality.

  • Describing Tolstoy's crisis of depression and estrangement from the world, A Confession (1879) is an autobiographical work of exceptional emotional honesty. By the time he was fifty, Tolstoy had already written the novels that would assure him of literary immortality; he had a wife, a large estate and numerous children; he was 'a happy man' and in good health - yet life had lost its meaning. In this poignant confessional fragment, he records a period of his life when he began to turn away from fiction and aesthetics, and to search instead for 'a practical religion not promising future bliss, but giving bliss on earth'.

  • During his decades of world fame as a novelist, Tolstoy also wrote prolifically in a series of essays and polemics on issues of morality, social justice and religion. These works culminated in What is Art?, published in 1898. Impassioned and iconoclastic, this powerfully influential work both criticizes the elitist nature of art in nineteenth-century Western society, and rejects the idea that its sole purpose should be the creation of beauty. The works of Dante, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Baudelaire and Wagner are all vigorously condemned, as Tolstoy explores what he believes to be the spiritual role of the artist - arguing that true art must work with religion and science as a force for the advancement of mankind.

  • The ten stories collected in this volume demonstrate Tolstoy's artistic prowess displayed over five decades - experimenting with prose styles and drawing on his own experiences with humour, realism and compassion. Inspired by his experiences in the army, 'The Two Hussars' contrasts a dashing father and his mean-spirited son. Illustrating Tolstoy's belief that art must serve a moral purpose, 'What Men Live By' portrays an angel sent to earth to learn three existential rules of life, and 'Two Old Men' shows a peasant abandoning his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in order to help his neighbours. And in the highly moving 'Master and Man', Tolstoy depicts a mercenary merchant travelling with his unprotesting servant through a blizzard to close a business deal - little realizing he may soon have to settle accounts with his maker.

  • In 1851, at the age of twenty-two, Tolstoy joined the Russian army and travelled to the Caucasus as a soldier. The four years that followed were among the most significant in his life, and deeply influenced the stories collected here. Begun in 1852 but unfinished for a decade, The Cossacks describes the experiences of Olenin, a young cultured Russian who comes to despise civilization after spending time with the wild Cossack people. Sevastopol Sketches, based on Tolstoy's own experiences of the siege of Sevastopol in 1854-55, is a compelling consideration of the nature of war, while Hadji Murat, written towards the end of his life, returns to the Caucasus of Tolstoy's youth to explore the life of a great leader torn apart by a conflict of loyalties. Written at the end of the nineteenth century, it is amongst the last and greatest of Tolstoy's shorter works.

  • A NEW TRANSLATION BY RICHARD PEVEAR AND LARISSA VOLOKHONSKY Tolstoy's enthralling epic depicts Russia's war with Napoleon and its effects on the lives of those caught up in the conflict. He creates some of the most vital and involving characters in literature as he follows the rise and fall of families in St Petersburg and Moscow who are linked by their personal and political relationships. His heroes are the thoughtful yet impulsive Pierre Bezukhov, his ambitious friend, Prince Andrei, and the woman who becomes indispensable to both of them, the enchanting Natasha Rostov.

  • The official movie tie-in to the major motion picture starring Keira Knightly, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, directed by Joe Wright, including a screenplay by Tom Stoppard.
    Leo Tolstoys classic story of doomed love is one of the most admired novels in world literature. Generations of readers have been enthralled by his magnificent heroine, the unhappily married Anna Karenina, and her tragic affair with dashing Count Vronsky.
    In their world frivolous liaisons are commonplace, but Anna and Vronskys consuming passion makes them a target for scorn and leads to Annas increasing isolation. The heartbreaking trajectory of their relationship contrasts sharply with the colorful swirl of friends and family members who surround them, especially the newlyweds Kitty and Levin, who forge a touching bond as they struggle to make a life together. Anna Karenina is a masterpiece not only because of the unforgettable woman at its core and the stark drama of her fate, but also because it explores and illuminates the deepest questions about how to live a fulfilled life.
    Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude

  • Anglais Anna Karenina

    Leo Tolstoy

    Trapped in a stifling marriage, Anna Karenina is swept off her feet by the dashing Count Vronsky. When the truth about their passionate liaison comes out, Anna's husband is more concerned with keeping up appearances than anything else, but at last he seeks a reluctant divorce.

  • This edition includes: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Happy Ever After, and The Cossacks. Mortality was one of Tolstoy's most persistent themes, and all of the stories in this volume are connected by this preoccupation, along with the author's simultaneous attempt to help us improve our lives.

  • This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.
    "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.
    Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life." From the Hardcover edition.

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