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The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Annotated)
     

The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Annotated)

3.4 23
by Leo Tolstoy, Louise and Aylmer Maude (Translator)
 

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The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.

"Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of the sufferings and death of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia.

Overview

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.

"Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of the sufferings and death of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781530904549
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/07/2016
Pages:
50
Sales rank:
1,153,784
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.10(d)

Meet the Author

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 - 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian novelist. He is regarded as one of the greatest in the canon of world literature.
His best known works are War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). He first achieved literary acclaim in his 20s with the semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852-1856), and Sevastopol Sketches(1855), the latter based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, and Hadji Murad. He also wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays.
In the 1870s Tolstoy experienced a moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as a profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His new-found asceticism and determination to renounce his considerable wealth tipped his marriage into turmoil, which continued right up to his death at the age of 82, in the waiting room of an, until then, obscure Russian railway station.
Tolstoy's ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a significant impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Bevel.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
September 9, 1828
Date of Death:
November 20, 1910
Place of Birth:
Tula Province, Russia
Place of Death:
Astapovo, Russia
Education:
Privately educated by French and German tutors; attended the University of Kazan, 1844-47

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The Death of Ivan Ilyich 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
CHLukacs More than 1 year ago
This book came to me a year before an event that changed my life. It gave insight & a ringing truth to a cultural history I have inherited. I didn't expect it, but the experience of Ivan Ilyich's very personal journey prepared me with a deeper understanding. I love this book!
Anonymous 7 months ago
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Here?
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lauraatsea22 More than 1 year ago
Takes some doing, but it's worth the ride. I can see how it may be considered boring for a modern-day reader, but I found it interesting despite the sometimes long passages. It is a good portrait of life back then and there and the characters are truthful.
Mitton More than 1 year ago
After spending his young life vacillating between responsibility and whores Tolstoy found religion. (Found true religion more accurately. He was Russian Orthodox his entire life until renouncing it for his own version of true faith in Jesus.) The Death of Ivan Ilyich – a novella easily read in an afternoon – was his first published effort after his change in faith. It tells the story of a man who, with no real effort or drive, rises to a mid-level court position, learns to despise his once beloved wife, largely ignores his once adorable children, and spends his time showing his colleagues and neighbors that he is a man of culture and value just like they are. While hanging curtains in his new and ostentatious home, Ilyich falls. Over the next days he feels an ache in his side and develops a metallic taste in his mouth. He agrees to see a doctor, then doctors, and then specialists who fail to ever accurately diagnose his ailment. He knows but will not admit that he is in a downward spiral toward pain and death. Increasingly beset with anger and a feeling that death was never meant for him - not now! - he despises those around him. Doctors, friends, and family are all liars who feign concern but plot their escape to the card table. People avoid him, he thinks, because he reminds them of death, of wasting, of their own demise. His only comfort is his peasant servant, a theme seen through much of Tolstoy’s writing. The last three days of his life are excruciating. Not from pain only but from the nagging emotional ache that he has lived his life wrongly. He sees that he has lived a false life showcasing artifice and selfishness just as those he despises. An hour before dying he feels release realizing that a good life is an authentic life. The peasant life. A life of concern and compassion. His heart turns and he feels love and pity for his family and friends. He sees his death as their release from the burden of his care. But this revelation is largely implied and separates Ilych from pamphleteering. Maybe this is part of Tolstoy’s genius? To let each reader discern their own meaning? Can we live authentically as wealthy people? What good is it to ‘inherit the earth’ if you are poor, weak, and ill? Thirteen years later Tolstoy will publish Resurrection where the themes of Ilych are expanded. The Death of Ivan Ilyich rests comfortably on the same bookshelf with other great philosophical fiction (and isn’t all Russian lit philosophical?). Tolstoy presents the problem, hints at solutions, but raises as many questions as he answers. Modern readers can struggle with the prose and Tolstoy takes time to develop the story. But it is a wonderful and thought provoking read. Can be profitably read and re-read. Four stars.
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He stepped in and made his way to Alexis. "Hello, I couldn't help but notice your dicomfort. Tell me how to help."
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This isn't his best work.It id very boring.