Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017

Okay think I will journey into Tolstoy now. I have a 24 volume Works of Lyof N. Tolstoi translated by Nathan Haskell Dole. My wife’s best friend, Kelly, gave them to me after her mother died; her mother had gotten them from “Uncle Chester.” I have started reading it twice. The first time I discovered Uncle Chester had never read the books because the rough cut pages were uncut. I had to carefully slice along the edges of the stuck-together pages with a letter opener to read them. That first time I got halfway through volume two: the first few volumes are of War and Peace. I also tried a second time but though I was enjoying it, I did not make it to the 2nd volume again. Now it is January 1, 2017, and I would like to read the entire set. Each volume is about 300 pages so I have to read two volumes a month, 600 pages, divided by 30 is 20 pages a day. And the margins are generous, the type fairly large. I want to take notes as I read as a traveler takes notes on a journey. I am not sure how much travel literature, in the form of biographies, etc. I will read but let’s say here at the start of the journey that I will only refer to books I already own. I am not committing to reading them but there is a chance I might read a few.

The only thing that gives me pause is that I read somewhere (where?) that Tolstoy hated this translation and that he threatened to sue when Scribners claimed in promotional copy that . . . no wait, got that wrong, I think they threatened to sue because he said he hated it. Will have to look into this issue perhaps. But when I read it before I enjoyed it and I think Tolstoy’s greatness still evident. The radiance & depth of it.

So today: 20 pages & a few notes (or maybe not; I want to enjoy the trip & sometimes when traveling you don’t have time for notes). The main thing is to read and enjoy these books of Lyof N. Tolstoi (why Lyof?).


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