American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- Tolstoy, Count Leo or Lev Nikolayevich 1828-1910. Russian writer whose great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877) offer extraordinary detail and profound psychological insights. His later theories of ethics and morality recommended nonparticipation in and passive resistance to evil.
- n. Russian author remembered for two great novels (1828-1910)
“Tolstoy is pretty much the opposite of whatever “crackpot” is supposed to mean.”
“Surely that is the intent and the effect in Tolstoy's description of Kitty caring for her dying brother-in-law in Anna Karenina (read Chapters 16 through 20 of Part V at the link.)”
“As this suggests, Brief Lives: Leo Tolstoy is not a hagiography as short biographies can tend to be.”
“ But my favorite work by Leo Tolstoy is the authors own favorite work, only just published in English, A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the Worlds Sacred Texts.”
“Great novelists of the past had the inestimable advantage of being able to read their wife's diary (in Tolstoy's case) or conduct an intimate correspondence with a mistress (as with Flaubert).”
“While Tolstoy is determined to see his fellow Russians "cast off centuries of oppression," he also becomes the puppet of his ruthless, ardent follower Vladimir Chertkov, played with finesse by Paul Giamatti.”
“He sees in Tolstoy a man with far more of an artist's sensibility than a movement organizer.”
“What if in taking up a Denis Johnson novel we just don't think Tolstoy is a particularly apt touchstone in beginning to evaluate it?”
“Well you're definitely right that to say any one thing about Tolstoy is nuts.”
“The author, Nikolai Tolstoy, is the stepson of Patrick O'Brian, so his knowledge is intimate and his attitude sympathetic, but.”
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