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Tolstoy Journal, August 3, 2017: “War & Peace is in my opinion the best novel”–C. S. Lewis

The featured image is of another book I bought in Houston, The Portable Nineteenth-Century Russian Reader edited by George Gibian. I bought this because I love the photograph on the cover (entitled Tolstoy riding, Yasnaya Polyana by Karl Karlovich Bulla) and because I thought it would give me a good overview of the literary context of Tolstoy’s… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, August 3, 2017: “War & Peace is in my opinion the best novel”–C. S. Lewis

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Tolstoy Journal, June 21, 2017: “The spiritual future of the human race.”

I am forty pages behind on my reading today, as usual on Wednesday, but, as usual again, I read some pages of The Gospel in Tolstoy during my holy hour. I read “The Healing of Prince Andrei,” from War and Peace, “The Repentant Sinner,” “A Grain as Big as Big as a Hen’s Egg,” and the… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, June 21, 2017: “The spiritual future of the human race.”

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Tolstoy Journal, June 16, 2017: Joyce and Tolstoy

In honor of Bloomsday I am featuring James Joyce in the image today. I already have a blog about how highly he thought of Tolstoy here. Which always kind of surprised me because sometimes I think of Joyce as a sort of amoral writer, but, really, he wasn’t. He didn’t believe in dogma but he did… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, June 16, 2017: Joyce and Tolstoy

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Tolstoy Journal, May 31, 2017: Tolstoy the Folklorist

Well, I did not get my reading done yesterday, so now I am behind 50 pages in Volume X and 30 pages behind in Sterne. But I should finish them tonight and onto Volume XI (The Cossacks and Sevastopol sketches) tomorrow! I did, however, read some of The Gospel in Tolstoy last night during my… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, May 31, 2017: Tolstoy the Folklorist

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Tolstoy Journal, May 18, 2017: “Suffering is not an evil which you must be rid of, but the work of your life which you must accept.”

The above photograph is the frontispiece of Volume X of The Novels and Other Works of Lyof N. Tolstoi. It is from a daguerreotype in 1848, so Tolstoy was 20 years old. Thus I have finished Volume IX and read Anna Karenina for the second time in my life. I have read the first 24… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, May 18, 2017: “Suffering is not an evil which you must be rid of, but the work of your life which you must accept.”

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Tolstoy Journal, May 11, 2017: “the loopholes through which appeared something higher.”

I have read up to page 273 of Volume IX of the Works of Tolstoy. That is, up to Chapter XVII of Part Seventh of Anna Karenina. These pages describe Kitty’s anger at Levin for going to see Anna, Anna’s argument with Vronsky, and then Kitty’s labor and the birth of her and Levin’s son.… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, May 11, 2017: “the loopholes through which appeared something higher.”

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Tolstoy Journal, May 10, 2017: “a reliable man.”

I have read up to page 250 of Volume IX of the Works of Tolstoy, or Chapter XI of Part Seventh of Anna Karenina. On the travel book side I have read up to page 45 of Talks With Tolstoy by Goldenweizer. What struck me in these pages is how inexorable Tolstoy makes the progress… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, May 10, 2017: “a reliable man.”