Work While Ye Have the Light

( 3 )

Overview

THE prologue, with its guest-table and shadowy modern personages, is, on the whole, unnecessary, though no doubt it does serve the useful, if obvious, purpose of giving the keynote of what is to follow. The guests are not individual personages, but conventional modern types. Apart from the main text, this prologue is interesting as an admirable example of Tolstoy's almost unique faculty for condensation-a faculty genuinely natural to him, though it may seem to some strange to affirm this of the author of the most...
See more details below
Work While Ye Have the Light

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$6.99
BN.com price
Marketplace
BN.com

All Available Formats & Editions

Overview

THE prologue, with its guest-table and shadowy modern personages, is, on the whole, unnecessary, though no doubt it does serve the useful, if obvious, purpose of giving the keynote of what is to follow. The guests are not individual personages, but conventional modern types. Apart from the main text, this prologue is interesting as an admirable example of Tolstoy's almost unique faculty for condensation-a faculty genuinely natural to him, though it may seem to some strange to affirm this of the author of the most diffuse works of fiction of our time. With a few keen rapid touches he sways the reader's mind this way and that, till he suddenly brings it up short, as a bewildered person traversing the dark after a swift guide abruptly comes upon a dead wall, with these concluding words:-" It appears, therefore, that no one should lead a good, upright, spiritual life; the utmost people may do is to discourse about it." Then, without further preamble, the story opens, one hundred years after the birth of Christ, in the reign of the Emperor Trajan, and at the house of one Juvenal, a wealthy merchant of Tarsus in the province of Cilicia. This Juvenal has a son Julius, who is the chief personage in the story. He and his friend, Pamphilius, respectively represent Worldly Wisdom and Christianity à la Leo Tolstoy, and the whole narrative turns upon the intellectual ebb and flow set in motion by the mental and other differences of the two friends. The old physician, who plays so important a part in restraining Julius from accepting Christianity, is clearly meant to typify the scientific mind.

No one can deny the singular fairness and frankness of Count Tolstoy in this remarkable book. So frank, so fair is he, indeed, that again and again he, as Pamphilius, distinctly emerges the worse from the intellectual encounter. A Christian of his own sect might read Work While Ye Have the Light, and despairingly exclaim, '' Almost thou persuadest me to be a Pagan." When, in the end, Julius does join the serene company wherein his friend Pamphilius moves like some beneficent being altogether above the frailties of common humanity, one is apt to think-at any rate, many readers will think-that his case is but another instance of "when the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be." It is only fair to add that iu the sayings of Pamphilius, who is unmistakably no other than Count Tolstoy himself, there is little or nothing of that barren ethical rigour, of that almost savage abnegation of what are commonly called the just claims of the body, which characterizes the Kreutzer Sonata and various essays and sketches of a similar nature. At the same time, it is the Asiatic fanatic rather than the Western enthusiast who speaks to us even in the soft low words, even in the serene thoughts, of Pamphilius. Tolstoy may be forgiven his belief in the nobility and beauty of the ethics of the Thebaid if he give us, in his old age, work so good, even if of a polemical nature.

After perusal of the predecessor of this book, one was tempted to apply to Tolstoy Senex what Horace wrote of one whom he knew well, and recognized as a familiar type,

"Difficilis, querulus, laudator temporis acti

Se puero, castigator censorquc minorum."

Now that temptation is removed. Difficult and hard to accept is the ethical teaching of this Slav prophet; uninviting, the way of salvation he indicates; he has a bitter tongue for the comfortable hypocrisies of the day; an unsparing censor he of all moralities but that which he believes to be the only morality, indivisible and incorruptible, and not to be mistaken. But he has removed, now and conclusively, that reproach of barren fantasy which lay like a shade against the light of his genius.

-The Academy, Volume 39

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907355264
  • Publisher: White Crow Productions Ltd
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.27 (d)

Meet the Author

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, better known as Leo Tolstoy, is rightly regarded as one of the greatest writers in the history of literature and his masterpieces, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are considered by many to be two of the most important novels ever written. He was born in 1828 in Yasnaya, Polyana, in what was then the Russian Empire, into a noble family with old and established links to the highest echelons of the Russian aristocracy.

War and Peace, published in 1869, and Anna Karenina, published in 1878, were universally recognised as great works, but not long after the publication of the latter Tolstoy suffered an Existential crisis and dismissed them.
Later, the culmination of his 30 years of religious and philosophical thinking was “The Kingdom of God is Within You”, which was published in 1894. In the book he outlined the abuses of those in power in both the church and the government and this would eventually lead to his excommunication from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1901. Tolstoy’s main point derived from Jesus’ teachings to ‘turn the other cheek’ and Tolstoy believed that this was the key to Christ’s message which can be found in the Gospels and the Sermon on the Mount in particular. This theory of ‘non-violence’ that dominated the book would make a profound impact on Mahatma Gandhi who read it as a young man while living in South Africa.

In 1908, Tolstoy wrote A Letter to a Hindu, in which he told the Indian people that only through non-violent reaction and love could they overcome their British colonial masters. The letter was published in an Indian paper and Gandhi not only read it but also wrote to Tolstoy to ask permission to translate it into his own native Gujarati. “The Kingdom of God is Within You” and A Letter to a Hindu solidified Gandhi’s non-violent idea of rebellion which he implemented and which came to fruition in 1947 when British rule came to an end and India became independent. Gandhi and Tolstoy would continue their correspondence up until Tolstoy’s death in 1910.

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.

Read More Show Less
    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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Storm

    Ok....um move to result 35

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Sunwing

    Unfortunatly, no. But i can teach you both of those, and you could be a warrior OR a med, and if, say, we need an extra med or warrior, you will know how to do both. I would only recommend that to experienced cats. It's a lot to keep up with.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Rosepaw

    Ya!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)