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Twenty-three Tales - Leo Tolstoy

Twenty-three Tales

Hardcover Published: 1st March 2010
ISBN: 9781907661211
Number Of Pages: 232

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In his book, 'Twenty Three tales,' we see Tolstoy's love of the short story, whether for children or adults; and witness the secret of simplicity and transparency of style, so evident in the great Russian writers. The children's stories remind us of Tolstoy's life-long passion for the schooling and education of peasant children. Of the adult stories, some draw on traditional Russian folk tales, breathe the air old peasant wisdom, and take us deep into the land of snow, bears, heartache and vodka. Other stories reflect Tolstoy's political and moral concerns, such as war, alcohol and greed. 'The artist of the future,' wrote Tolstoy, 'will understand that to compose a fairy tale; a little song which will touch; a lullaby or a riddle which will entertain; a jest which will amuse or draw a sketch such as will delight dozens of generations or millions of children and adults, is incomparably more important and more fruitful than to compose a novel, or a symphony, or paint a picture of the kind which diverts some members of the wealthy classes for a short time and is then for ever forgotten. The region of this art of the simplest feelings accessible to all is enormous, and it is as yet almost untouched.'

PREFACE CHAPTER I: TALES FOR CHILDREN. 1. GOD SEES THE TRUTH, BUT WAITS 2. A PRISONER IN THE CAUCASUS 3. THE BEAR HUNT. CHAPTER 2: POPULAR STORIES. 4. WHAT MEN LIVE BY. 5. A SPARK NEGLECTED BURNS THE HOUSE. 6. TWO OLD MEN. 7. WHERE LOVE IS, GOD IS. CHAPTER 3: A FAIRY TALE. 8. THE STORY OF IV N THE FOOL. CHAPTER 4: STORIES WRITTEN TO PICTURES. 9. EVIL ALLURES, BUT GOOD ENDURES. 10. LITTLE GIRLS WISER THAN MEN. 11. ELI S. CHAPTER 5: FOLK-TALES RETOLD. 12. THE THREE HERMITS. 13. THE IMP AND THE CRUST. 14. HOW MUCH LAND DOES A MAN NEED? 15. A GRAIN AS BIG AS A HEN'S EGG. 16. THE GODSON. 17. THE REPENTANT SINNER. 18. THE EMPTY DRUM. CHAPTER 6: ADAPTATIONS FROM THE FRENCH. 19. THE COFFEE HOUSE OF SURAT. 20. TOO DEAR. CHAPTER 7: STORIES GIVEN TO AID THE PERSECUTED JEWS. 21. ESARHADDON, KING OF ASSYRIA. 22. WORK, DEATH AND SICKNESS. 23. THREE QUESTIONS.

ISBN: 9781907661211
ISBN-10: 1907661212
Audience: Children
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 232
Published: 1st March 2010
Publisher: White Crow Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 14.0  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.43

Leo Tolstoy


About the Author


Russian author, a master of realistic fiction and one of the world's greatest novelists.

Tolstoy is best known for his two longest works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which are commonly regarded as among the finest novels ever written. War and Peace in particular seems virtually to define this form for many readers and critics. Among Tolstoy's shorter works, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is usually classed among the best examples of the novella. Especially during his last three decades Tolstoy also achieved world renown as a moral and religious teacher. His doctrine of nonresistance to evil had an important influence on Gandhi. Although Tolstoy's religious ideas no longer command the respect they once did, interest in his life and personality has, if anything, increased over the years.

Most readers will agree with the assessment of the 19th-century British poet and critic Matthew Arnold that a novel by Tolstoy is not a work of art but a piece of life; the 20th-century Russian author Isaak Babel commented that, if the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy. Critics of diverse schools have agreed that somehow Tolstoy's works seem to elude all artifice. Most have stressed his ability to observe the smallest changes of consciousness and to record the slightest movements of the body. What another novelist would describe as a single act of consciousness, Tolstoy convincingly breaks down into a series of infinitesimally small steps. According to the English writer Virginia Woolf, who took for granted that Tolstoy was “the greatest of all novelists,” these observational powers elicited a kind of fear in readers, who “wish to escape from the gaze which Tolstoy fixes on us.”

Those who visited Tolstoy as an old man also reported feelings of great discomfort when he appeared to understand their unspoken thoughts. It was commonplace to describe him as godlike in his powers and titanic in his struggles to escape the limitations of the human condition. Some viewed Tolstoy as the embodiment of nature and pure vitality, others saw him as the incarnation of the world's conscience, but for almost all who knew him or read his works, he was not just one of the greatest writers who ever lived but a living symbol of the search for life's meaning.

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