Leo Tolstoy

LEO TOLSTOY Leo Tolstoy, or Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy[1] (Russian: ??? ??????? ???? ??????? ?) (September 9, 1828 – November 20, 1910[2]), was a Russian writer of realist fiction and philosophical essays. His works War and Peace and Anna Karenina represent, in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, a peak of realist fiction. [3] Tolstoy’s further talents as essayist, dramatist, and educational reformer made him the most influential member of the aristocratic Tolstoy family.
His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi[4] and Martin Luther King, Jr. [5] Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world’s greatest novelists. [6][7] Biography Tolstoy was born in Yasnaya Polyana, the family estate in the Tula region of Russia.
The Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility. He was the fourth of five children of Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the 1812 French invasion of Russia, and Countess Mariya Tolstaya (Volkonskaya). Tolstoy’s parents died when he was young, so he and his siblings were brought up by relatives. In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University. His teachers described him as “both unable and unwilling to learn. “[8] Tolstoy left university in the middle of his studies, returned to Yasnaya Polyana and then spent much of his time in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

In 1851, after running up heavy gambling debts, he went with his older brother to the Caucasus and joined the army. It was about this time that he started writing. His conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his latter days was brought about by his experience in the army as well as two trips around Europe in 1857 and 1860–61. Others who followed the same path were Alexander Herzen, Mikhail Bakunin, and Peter Kropotkin. During his 1857 visit, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life.
Writing in a letter to his friend V. P. Botkin: “The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere. ” His European trip in 1860–61 shaped both his political and literary transformation when he met Victor Hugo, whose literary talents Tolstoy praised after reading Hugo’s newly finished Les Miserables. A comparison of Hugo’s novel and Tolstoy’s War and Peace shows the influence of the evocation of its battle scenes.
Tolstoy’s political philosophy was also influenced by a March 1861 visit to French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, then living in exile under an assumed name in Brussels. Apart from reviewing Proudhon’s forthcoming publication, La Guerre et la Paix (War and Peace in French), whose title Tolstoy would borrow for his masterpiece, the two men discussed education, as Tolstoy wrote in his educational notebooks: “If I recount this conversation with Proudhon, it is to show that, in my personal experience, he was the only man who understood the significance of education and of the printing press in our time. Fired by enthusiasm, Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana and founded thirteen schools for his serfs’ children, based on the principles Tolstoy described in his 1862 essay “The School at Yasnaya Polyana”. [9] Tolstoy’s educational experiments were short-lived due to harassment by the Tsarist secret police. However, as a direct forerunner to A. S. Neill’s Summerhill School, the school at Yasnaya Polyana[10] can justifiably be claimed to be the first example of a coherent theory of democratic education. Personal life
On September 23, 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Bers, who was 16 years his junior and the daughter of a court physician. She was called Sonya, the Russian diminutive of Sofya, by her family and friends. [11] They had thirteen children, five of whom died during childhood. [12] The marriage was marked from the outset by sexual passion and emotional insensitivity when Tolstoy, on the eve of their marriage, gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual past and the fact that one of the serfs on his estate had borne him a son. [11] Even so, their early married life was ostensibly appy and allowed Tolstoy much freedom to compose War and Peace and Anna Karenina with Sonya acting as his secretary, proof-reader and financial manager. [11] However, their latter life together has been described by A. N. Wilson as one of the unhappiest in literary history. Tolstoy’s relationship with his wife deteriorated as his beliefs became increasingly radical. This saw him seeking to reject his inherited and earned wealth, including the renunciation of the copyrights on his earlier works. His fiction consistently attempts to convey realistically the Russian society in which he lived.
Anna Karenina (1877) tells parallel stories of an adulterous woman trapped by the conventions and falsities of society and of a philosophical landowner (much like Tolstoy), who works alongside the peasants in the fields and seeks to reform their lives. Tolstoy not only drew from his own life experiences but also created characters in his own image, such as Pierre Bezukhov and Prince Andrei inWar and Peace, Levin in Anna Karenina and to some extent, Prince Nekhlyudov in Resurrection Anna Karenina Great changes were taking place during the mid-1870s in Russia. The serfs had been liberated in 1861.
This was a long-overdue economic change in Russian society, but unfortunately it was not matched with land reform. As a result, most former serfs continued to work on the large farms as “free” peasants. The “land question,” also known as the “peasant question,” was a major political issue in Russia at the time of Anna Karenina. Tolstoy weighs in on this issue in many parts of the book, especially Part Three. At the same time, Russia was slowly and painfully undergoing a process of modernization. Western Europe had already completed many stages of industrialization, and Russia was far behind.
Many of the new changes that were happening within Russia were in response to the changes in Europe. Western thought about democracy, liberalism, and social change accompanied the technological innovations that were imported throughout the mid-1870s and later 19th century. While many intellectuals and members of society saw this phenomenon in a positive light, others, like Tolstoy, were horrified by the negative aspects of Western “progress”? the rise of the urban center, the emergence of capitalism, decadent living, and the disconnection of people from the land.
Some of Tolstoy’s horror was well-placed: not all Western innovations would work in Russia. For all of its backwardness, Russia was not Europe, and few ideas or technological innovations would change that fact. The scene in which Levin attempts to implement a new agricultural theory on his farm and meets with resistance from his peasants, for example, has a basis in reality. A great deal of the spiritual underpinnings of Anna Karenina, especially Levin’s struggle to find the Lord, are based on Tolstoy’s own life.
One critic has called Anna Karenina a “spiritual autobiography. ” Tolstoy went through many religious crises in his life and struggled to find a way of living religiously that fought against the hypocrises and greed of the Greek Orthodox Church. Though the Church is not addressed specifically in this novel? indeed, Tolstoy was excommunicated a few years after its publication and was probably being careful not to upset them with any commentary in Anna Karenina? it is vital to think about Tolstoy’s own spiritual questions when reading this book.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Latin-American journalist, novelist and short story writer, a central figure in the so-called Magic Realism movement. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca, in the “banana zone” of Colombia, the first child of Luisa Santiaga Marquez, the daughter of Colonel Nicolas Marquez, and Gabriel Eligio Garcia, an itinerant homeopath and pharmacist. Soon after his birth, his parents left him to be reared by his grandparents and three aunts. At the age of fifteen, he was sent to the Liceo de Zipaquira, a high school for the gifted.
He then studied law and journalism at the National University in Bogota and at the University of Cartagena. In 1982 Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Love in the time of cholera Love in the Time of Cholera, published in 1985, was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s first book after winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. Although it has often been compared negatively with Marquez’s greatest achievement, One Hundred Years of Solitude, many critics see Love in the Time of Cholera as a convincing and powerful love story that deftly accomplishes the goal Marquez et for himself: writing a story about love between two people of an age that no respected writer had managed before Gustave Flaubert French novelist of the realist school, best-known for MADAME BOVARY (1857), a story of adultery and unhappy love affair of the provincial wife Emma Bovary. As a writer Flaubert was a perfectionist, who did not make a distinction between a beautiful or ugly subject: all was in the style. The idea, he argued, only exists by virtue of its form – its elements included the perfect word, cunningly contrived and verified rhythms, and a genuine architectural structure.
Madame Bovary was first translated into English by Karl Marx’s daughter Eleanor Marx. Gustave Flaubert was born in Rouen into a family of doctors. His father, Achille-Cleophas Flaubert, a chief surgeon at the Rouen municipal hospital, made money investing in land. Flaubert’s mother, Anne-Justine-Caroline (nee Fleuriot), was the daughter of a physician; she became the most important person in the author’s life. Anne-Justine-Caroline died in 1872 Flaubert began to write during his school years. At the age of fifteen he won a prize for an essay on mushrooms.
Actually his work was a copy. A disappointment in his teens – Flaubert fell in love with Elisa Schlesinger, who was married and some 10 years his senior – inspired much of his early writing. His bourgeois background Flaubert found early burdensome, and eventually his rebel against it led to his expulsion from school. Flaubert completed his education privately in Paris. On his return Flaubert started Madame Bovary, which took five years to complete. The realistic depiction of adultery was condemned as offensive to morality and religion. nce Flaubert said: “Emma, c’est moi. ” Delphine Delamare, who died in 1848, is alleged to have been the original of Emma Bovary. Flaubert died of a cerebral hemorrhage on May 8, in 1880. Flaubert’s other, non-literary life was marked by his prodigious appetite for prostitutes, which occasionally led to venereal infections. Direct experiences of the author also were reworked into the novel. For instance, in creating Emma Bovary, the novel’s protagonist, Flaubert was inspired by his mistress Louise Colet, who gave him the insight to consider Emma’s discontented childhood.
Moreover, Doctor Lariviere was based on Flaubert’s father, and the maid Felicite was based on Flaubert’s nurse, Julie. Flaubert also used medical terminology with the help of his brother Achille and his friend Bouilhet. Initially the novel was considered highly controversial due to its depiction of adulterous affairs, and it was the subject of a trial in 1857. Flaubert delves into the sexual relations between Emma and her lovers and, more importantly, appears to glorify adultery and disgrace marriage. Since it was considered inappropriate for the public, precautions were taken to prohibit access to the book.
Setting The setting of Madame Bovary is crucial to the novel for several reasons. First, it is important as it applies to Flaubert’s realist style and social commentary. Secondly, the setting is important in how it relates to the protagonist Emma. It has been calculated that the novel begins in October 1827 and ends in August 1846 (Francis Steegmuller). This is around the era known as the “July Monarchy”, or the rule of King Louis-Philippe. This was a period in which there was a great up-surge in the power of the bourgeois middle class.
Flaubert detested the bourgeoisie. Much of the time and effort, therefore, that he spends detailing the customs of the rural French people can be interpreted as social criticism. Flaubert put much effort into making sure his depictions of common life were accurate. This was aided by the fact that he chose a subject that was very familiar to him. He chose to set the story in and around the city of Rouen in Normandy, the setting of his own birth and childhood. This care and detail that Flaubert gives to his setting is important in looking at the style of the novel.
It is this faithfulness to the mundane elements of country life that has garnered the book its reputation as the beginning of the literary movement known as “literary realism”. Flaubert also deliberately used his setting to contrast with his protagonist. Emma’s romantic fantasies are strikingly foiled by the practicalities of the common life around her. Flaubert uses this juxtaposition to reflect on both subjects. Emma becomes more capricious and ludicrous in the harsh light of everyday reality. By the same token, however, the self-important banality of the local people is magnified in omparison to Emma, who, though impractical, still reflects an appreciation of beauty and greatness that seems entirely absent in the bourgeois class. Flaubert’s novel is a landmark in that unlike the literature of his predecessors, it produces a story of gritty and perhaps even jarring reality. While even today the romanticism of the “Hollywood ending” is popular, the realism of “Madame Bovary” was quickly reflected in classic works such as Fyodor Dostoevsky’s “The Idiot” (1869) and Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” (1877).
This paper uses the author’s tones in “Anna Karenina” and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” to compare Leo Tolstoy’s and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s cynical tone towards society. Both authors use satire and irony to criticize the corruption of society and the institution of marriage. The paper shows that Tolstoy focuses on his disapproval of the upper-class aristocracy, while Garcia Marquez satirizes society in general. Tolstoy does not present the aristocracy with much honor or morals, unlike Garcia Marquez who uses a town that, although is corrupted, still has a strong moral back bone.

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