Tolstoy's Art and Thought, 1847-1880 [NOOK Book]

Overview

"My aim is to present Tolstoy's work as he may have understood it himself," writes Donna Orwin. Reconstructing the intellectual and psychic struggles behind the masterpieces of his early and middle age, this major study covers the period during which he wrote The Cossacks, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina. Orwin uses the tools of biography, intellectual and literary history, and textual analysis to explain how Tolstoy's tormented search for moral certainty unfolded, creating fundamental differences among the ...

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Tolstoy's Art and Thought, 1847-1880

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Overview

"My aim is to present Tolstoy's work as he may have understood it himself," writes Donna Orwin. Reconstructing the intellectual and psychic struggles behind the masterpieces of his early and middle age, this major study covers the period during which he wrote The Cossacks, War and Peace, and Anna Karenina. Orwin uses the tools of biography, intellectual and literary history, and textual analysis to explain how Tolstoy's tormented search for moral certainty unfolded, creating fundamental differences among the great novels of the "pre-crisis" period.

Distinguished by its historical emphasis, this book demonstrates that the great novelist, who had once seen a fundamental harmony between human conscience and nature's vitality, began eventually to believe in a dangerous rift between the two: during the years discussed here, Tolstoy moved gradually from a celebration of life to instruction about its moral dimensions. Paying special attention to Tolstoy's reading of Rousseau, Goethe, Schopenhauer, and the Russian thinker N. N. Strakhov, Orwin also explores numerous other influences on his thought. In so doing, she shows how his philosophical and emotional conflicts changed form but continued unabated--until, with his religious conversion of 1880, he surrendered his long attempt to make sense of life through art alone.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400820887
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 5/16/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Core Textbook
  • Pages: 292
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Donna Tussing Orwin is Research Associate at the Centre for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Toronto.
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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsNote on DocumentationIntroduction3Pt. 1The 1850s1Analysis and Synthesis15The Hegelian Atmosphere of the 1850s15Chernyshevsky16The Contemporary Reception of Tolstoy's Work18Tolstoy and Chernyshevshy19Subjective Reality for the Early Tolstoy22Tolstoy's Goethean Realism262The Young Tolstoy's Understanding of the Human Soul31Tolstoy, the Psychological Analyst31Synthesis and the Influence of Rousseau363The First Synthesis: Nature and the Young Tolstoy50Tolstoy's Understanding of Nature in the Early 1850s52A Maturing Philosophy of Nature (Tolstoy and Fet)53Botkin and the Exploration of the Feelings58Sterne62N. V. Stankevich64Nature, Reason, and the Feelings ("Lucerne")68Objective and Subjective Poetry73The Metaphysics of Opposites and Goethe Again76Pt. 2The 1860s4Nature and Civilization in The Cossacks85Natural Necessity in The Cossacks85The Morality of Self-Sacrifice in the Stag's Lair86The Cossack as Savage Man935The Unity of Man and Nature in War and Peace99Nature and History in War and Peace100Circular versus Faustian Reason in War and Peace107The Morality of Nature in War and Peace109The Importance of Spirit in Wartime117Reason, Morality, and Nature in the Human Soul121The Rostovs and "Living Life"123The Bolkonskys126Pierre129"Lyrical Daring" in War and Peace132Pt. 3The 1870s6From Nature to Culture in the 1870s143Schopenhauer150Schopenhauer and Arzamas154Nature after Schopenhauer157Linking Happiness and Morality in Anna Karenina1647Drama in Anna Karenina171The Symposium in the Restaurant171Anna as Heroine of a Novel179Anna's Radical Individualism180To Judge or Not Judge Anna1838Science, Philosophy and Synthesis in the 1870s188The Enduring Importance of Unity for Tolstoy188Atomism189Kantian Epistemology192The Attack on the Individual195The Denigration of the "Personality"196The Morally Free Individual in Anna Karenina200Synthesis and Lyrical Daring Once Again204Conclusion208Notes219Works Cited253Index263
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