"Each phase of life has its own love"
In these four stories, Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) depicts desire in its different manifestations - from idealistic romance to sexual jealousy, from desperate lust to relentless longing. Family Happiness, an early work, portrays the struggles of a couple as they move from courtship and passion through disillusionment to the quieter stage of married love. A passenger tells a bitter tale of sex, suspicion and murder when strangers on a train discuss the nature of love in The Kruetzer Sonata, a novella banned for its scandalous content in 1890. In The Devil, a young man finds it impossible to resist a beautiful peasant woman with whom he had an affair before his marriage, while Father Sergius shows a man going to increasingly desperate ends - from a soldier to monk, to hermit to beggar - in order to avoid the temptations of the flesh.
The translations by David McDuff and Paul Foote faithfully convey Tolstoy's candid, vigorous prose. This edition also includes a new introduction by Donna Orwin discussing Tolstoy's depiction of love and sex in these works, as well as a chronology, further reading and notes.
About the Author
Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia in 1828. He studied Oriental languages and law (although failed to earn a degree in the latter) at the University of Kazan, and after a dissolute youth eventually joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean War, and the Sebastopol Sketches that emerged from it established his reputation. After living for some time in St Petersburg and abroad, he married Sophie Behrs in 1862 and they had thirteen children. The happiness this brought him gave him the creative impulse for his two greatest novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Later in life his views became increasingly radical as he gave up his possessions to live a simple peasant life. After a quarrel with his wife he fled home secretly one night to seek refuge in a monastery. He became ill during this dramatic flight and died at the small railway station of Astapovo in 1910.
|Family Happiness||p. 1|
|The Kreutzer Sonata||p. 93|
|The Devil||p. 191|
|Father Sergius||p. 249|
|Postface to The Kreutzer Sonata||p. 299|
|Alternative Conclusion to The Devil||p. 312|
|Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: April 2008
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 1