Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

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Overview

A brand-new translation of Tolstoy's autobiographical trilogy

 

Tolstoy’s first published work, completed in 1856,  recounts his early life up to his university days. These are not memoirs in the strict sense of the word, as the author’s Stendhalian take on the autobiographical genre confronts and blurs the notions of reality and imagination, combining nostalgic anecdote with frank personal assessment and philosophical extrapolation. An early display of Tolstoy’s ...

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Childhood, Boyhood, Youth (Barnes & Noble Digital Library)

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Overview

A brand-new translation of Tolstoy's autobiographical trilogy

 

Tolstoy’s first published work, completed in 1856,  recounts his early life up to his university days. These are not memoirs in the strict sense of the word, as the author’s Stendhalian take on the autobiographical genre confronts and blurs the notions of reality and imagination, combining nostalgic anecdote with frank personal assessment and philosophical extrapolation. An early display of Tolstoy’s storytelling genius, written in his classically simple yet colorful language, these chronicles provide the reader with invaluable insight into the personal and literary development of one of the greatest writers of all time. Additional materials include essays on Tolstoy's life and his works, a translator's note, and early reviews.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Someone who sees so much and so completely does not need to invent anything, someone who observes everything so poetically does not need to compose anything.”  —Stefan Zweig

"The greatest of all novelists."  —Virginia Woolf

"The pure narrative power of his work is unequalled."  —Thomas Mann

"The greatest Russian writer of prose fiction."  —Vladimir Nabokov

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847491428
  • Publisher: Oneworld Classics
  • Publication date: 7/9/2010
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Leo Tolstoy (1828–1910) is regarded as one of the greatest novelists of all time. With such masterpieces as Anna Karenina and War and Peace, he influenced generations of writers and changed the course of world literature. Dora O'Brien is the author of From Moscow.

Biography

Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 on the family estate of Yasnaya Polyana, in the Tula province, where he spent most of his early years, together with his several brothers. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851.

He took part in the Crimean war and after the defence of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Books LTD.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 9, 1828
    2. Place of Birth:
      Tula Province, Russia
    1. Date of Death:
      November 20, 1910
    2. Place of Death:
      Astapovo, Russia

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