Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Leo Tolstoy: The Master of Realistic Fiction

Today marks the 186th birthday of not just a great novelist from Russia but also a moral thinker and social reformer. Best known for two great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Lets look at the life of Leo Tolstoy.

The Colorful Life of Leo Tolstoy

Personal Life
Complete Name: Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Leo Tolstoy
Birth date: September 9, 1828
Death Date: November 20, 1910
Birthplace: Yasnaya, Tula Province, Russia
Father: Count Nikolay Tolstoy
Mother: Princess Volkonskaya
Wife: Sofya Andreyevna Bers

"In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you" - Leo Tolstoy

Primary Education: Home schooled by French and German tutors
College: Oriental Languages - University of Kazan (undergraduate)

"The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity" - Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tosltoy Trivia
* He has a habit of writing a journal that would inspire him much of his writings.
* Left University in 1847 without a degree and returned to his parents estate to become a farmer.
* He was convinced by his elder brother Nikolay to join the military and later on fought in the Crimean War in August of 1855.
* He declares himself as an anarchist and refused to ally himself in any particular intellectual school.
* In 1857 he gambled all his monewy in Paris and was forced to return to Russia.
* Leo Tolstoy suffered from depression due to spiritual crisis. He struggles to find the real meaning of life. He has developed his own belief because he has not found it in the Russian Orthodox Church.
* His new belief prompted him to give away his money but his wife strongly disagree. So he decided to grant his wife all copyrights and royalties to all his writings predating 1881.
* Moral Tales and Realistic Fiction was his genre.
* His ideas about nonviolent resistance to evil influenced the likes of social leader Mahatma Gandhi.
* In October 1910 Leo Tolstoy and his yoingest daughter Aleksandra went to a pilgrimage. They travelled incognito, valuing their privacy.
* Tolstoy died of pneumonia in a house of a station master of a train depot in Astapovo, Russia and was buried at his family estate in Yasnaya Polyana in Tula Province Russia.

"Boredom: the desire for desires." - Leo Tolstoy

* 1852 - While in the military as a junker, he started working on an auobiographical story entitled Childhood. It is about his fondest memories as a child. He submitted his work to the most popular journal of that time "The Contemporary", and that was his very first published work.
* 1854 - He has written a sequel to Childhood and now entitled "Boyhood" and that was to become his autobiographical trilogy. He also written "Sevastopol Tales" and "Sevastopol Tales book".
* 1857 - Publised "Youth" the third part of Leo Tolstoys autobiographical trilogy.
* 1862 - Produced the first of 12 issue-installment the journal "Yasnaya Polyana".
* 1883 - "The Mediator" is about Tolstoy's religious belief.
* 1886 - "Death of Ivan Llyich"
* 1898 - "Father Sergius" leo Tosltoy criticize the beliefs he developed.
* 1899 - "Resurrection"
* 1904 - "Hadji-Murad" Discovered and published after his death

"All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Introduction of Anna Karenina

Major Novels
* 1865 - Published the very first portion of his acclaimed work novel "War and Peace" in the Russian Messenger under the title "The Year 1805".
* 1868 - Released 3 more chapters of War and Peace.
* 1873 - 1877 - Anna Karenina was published in installments.

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself" - Leo Tolstoy

Film About Leo Tolstoy
2009 - The Last Station, based on the novel by Jay Parini. Directed by Michael Hoffman with Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy and Helen Mirren as Sofya. Both actors are nominated in Oscars.
1984 - Leo Tolstoy. Directed and starred by Sergie Gerasimov.
1913 - How Fine, How Fresh the Roses Were.
1912 - Departure of a Grand Old Man, made just 2 years after Tolstoy's death.

Share to us any literary work you have read from famous novelist Leo Tolstoy and what can say about it. Just hit comments below.

All images are not owned by Cebu Book Club and the list of Literary works are not complete.

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