Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, June 13, 2017: “Vanity! vanity! and vanity everywhere, even on the brink of the grave.”

Tolstoy: A Russian Life by Rosemary Bartlett is a “travel book” I got at my local library. It has good blurbs from A. N. Wilson and Jay Parini. I have read up to page 241 in Volume XI of The Novels and Other Works of Lyof N. Tolstoi, or Chapter VII of “Sevastopol in May.”… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, June 13, 2017: “Vanity! vanity! and vanity everywhere, even on the brink of the grave.”

Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, March 22, 2017: “Great is good; not great is bad.”

Above is Volume II of Leo Tolstoy by Ernest J. Simmons, one of my Tolstoy “travel books.” I have not finished reading Volume I yet, but am trying to show previews of highlights to come, including quotes from the travel books. Last night I read up to page 66 of Volume VI of the Works,… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, March 22, 2017: “Great is good; not great is bad.”

Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, March 18, 2017: “It was necessary to wait and have patience.”

I finished reading Volume V of The Works of Lyof Tolstoi today; the above picture is the frontispiece of Volume VI, the last volume of War and Peace. The illustration is called “The Death of Petya.” Volume VI will begin with Part XIV of this great novel/epic. The last pages I read today described how… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, March 18, 2017: “It was necessary to wait and have patience.”

Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, March 7, 2017, “a chiel amang them”

The Selected Letters of James Joyce is not really one of my Tolstoy “travel books” but it is a source of that quote I was discussing yesterday in which Joyce praises Tolstoy. The original letter to his daughter, Lucia, was written in Italian but I will give the translation given in the book: “Dear Lucia:… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, March 7, 2017, “a chiel amang them”

Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, February 23, 2017, “like ants from a demolished ant-hill”

Last night I was feeling kind of depressed about writing in general, how it seems sometimes you are sending your words into a black hole, so on and so forth. So I read a chapter of Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write, which always makes me feel better (even though she’s a bit wacky,… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, February 23, 2017, “like ants from a demolished ant-hill”

Blog Post

Tolstoy Journal, February 16, 2017: The Green Stick

Although I took a little detour with Henry James, I have been reading Tolstoy, finished Volume III last night, and have started Volume IV, so I’m on schedule. And very very glad, the more I read Tolstoy, that I am reading Tolstoy this year. I have also been reading one of my “travel books,” the… Continue reading Tolstoy Journal, February 16, 2017: The Green Stick