Tolstoy's Diaries Volume 1: 1847-1894 (Leo Tolstoy, diaries and letters Book 3)
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'An important and long-overdue contribution to our knowledge of Tolstoy.' D. M. Thomas, Sunday Times
Volume 1 of Tolstoy's Diaries covers the years 1847-1894 and was meticulously edited by R.F. Christian so as to reflect Tolstoy's preoccupations as a writer (his views on his own work and that of others), his development as a person and as a thinker, and his attitudes to contemporary social problems, rural life, industrialisation, education, and later, to religious and spiritual questions.
Christian introduces each period with a brief and informative summary of the main biographical details of Tolstoy's life. The result is a unique portrait of a great writer in the variegation of his everyday existence.
'As a picture of the turbulent Russian world which Tolstoy inhabited these diaries are incomparable - the raw stuff not yet processed into art.' Anthony Burgess
'A model of scholarship, one of the most important books to be published in recent years.' A. N. Wilson, Spectator
I are powerless. On the journey it occurred to me that the discovery of laws in science is only the discovery of a new method of looking at things whereby what was previously wrong seems right and logical, as a result of which (this new view of things) other aspects become more obscure. I understand that iron is cold and a fur coat warm, that the sun rises and sets, the body dies and the soul is immortal. From the new point of view I must forget about fur coats and iron and not understand what a
strangers. Don’t continually change the conversation from French to Russian or from Russian to French. Remember that when you find yourself in company where you feel embarrassed you must put pressure on yourself, especially at first. At a ball, ask the most important ladies to dance. If you feel shy, don’t become flustered, but carry on. Be as cold as possible and don’t betray any impressions. Occupations for to-day, 114 Stay at home, read, in the evening write out rules for society and a
new phenomenon all round them, but only see corpses of the past. Had a rest, walked through Masha’s room. Sonya had read in her diary there about Posha’s letter and was beside herself. I couldn’t console her. She’s ill all the time and afraid of being pregnant. And I think of it with fear and am ashamed of myself. This is where I need to face God, not people. Yes, just as illness is necessary to kill sexual desire, so are humiliation and shame necessary to kill vanity. Harvested the hay. Then
I’ve been to see him and was well received, but there is no news of a transfer to the Staff, which I very much desire. I won’t ask, but I’ll wait for him to do it himself, or for my aunt to write a letter. Was weak enough to allow Stolypin to induce me to take part in a sortie,8 although I’m not only glad of it now, but regret not having gone with the assault column. In general this trip from the 9th to the 11th has been full of interesting events. Bronevsky is one of the nicest people I’ve ever
from the Diary of Staff-Captain A. of the L. L. Infantry Regiment). 27 It is not clear whether this refers to the unit’s money chest, or to a new type of ammunition chest which was being designed. 28 The Novel of a Russian Landowner. 29 A horse. 30 A report for his superior officer on the final bombardment of Sevastopol. 31 Sevastopol in May. 32 The gendarmes. 33 The place on the river Belbek where the left flank of the Russian army was temporarily stationed. 34 A village near