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Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy’s Background and Early Life: – Tolstoys were a prominent family of old Russian nobility dating back to the 17th century. – Leo Tolstoy […]

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Leo Tolstoy’s Background and Early Life:
– Tolstoys were a prominent family of old Russian nobility dating back to the 17th century.
– Leo Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana and studied law and oriental languages at Kazan University.
– He began writing at a young age and served as an artillery officer during the Crimean War.
– Tolstoy’s family ancestry traced back to mythical nobleman Indris, who converted to Eastern Orthodoxy.
– Pyotr Tolstoy is considered the founder of the noble house.

Leo Tolstoy’s Literary Contributions:
– Notable works include “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” which gained acclaim in his twenties.
– He wrote numerous short stories and novellas exploring philosophical, moral, and religious themes.
– Tolstoy advocated for nonviolent resistance and Georgism in his literary works.
– His writing style included provocation, irony, and characters reflecting his life experiences.
– Themes in his later works focused on Christian ideals and anarcho-pacifist philosophy.

Leo Tolstoy’s Influence and Impact:
– Nominated for Nobel Prizes in Literature and Peace, influencing figures like Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
– Received praise from authors and critics for his ideas on nonviolent resistance and Georgism.
– Considered one of the greatest and most influential authors, with “War and Peace” being regarded as one of the greatest novels.
– Controversy surrounded his Nobel Prize nomination, but his influence on 20th-century figures was significant.
– Descendants of Tolstoy live in various countries, including Sweden, Germany, UK, France, and the US.

Leo Tolstoy’s Family Legacy:
– Tolstoy’s son settled in Sweden, with descendants residing there, including writers and cultural figures.
– The last surviving grandchild, Countess Tatiana Tolstoy-Paus, passed away in Sweden in 2007.
– Great-great-grandson Vladimir Tolstoy is a museum director and cultural adviser in Russia.
– Great-grandson Pyotr Tolstoy is a Russian journalist and State Duma deputy.
– Some Tolstoy family members left Russia after the 1905 and 1917 revolutions.

Leo Tolstoy’s Religious and Philosophical Views:
– Tolstoy’s later works developed a radical anarcho-pacifist Christian philosophy, leading to his excommunication from the Russian Orthodox Church.
– He rejected modern Western culture after his religious conversion and believed his earlier novels were elitist counterfeit art.
– Works like “Resurrection” reflect Tolstoy’s Christian ideals of universal brotherly love.
– His writing delved into themes of Christian morality and social critique, influencing his later philosophical views.
– Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical evolution shaped his literary output and personal beliefs.

Leo Tolstoy (Wikipedia)

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (/ˈtlstɔɪ, ˈtɒl-/; Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой, IPA: [ˈlʲef nʲɪkɐˈla(j)ɪvʲɪtɕ tɐlˈstoj] ; 9 September [O.S. 28 August] 1828 – 20 November [O.S. 7 November] 1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of all time. He received nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1909.

Leo Tolstoy
Лев Толстой
Man with long white, whispy beard wearing a blue button-down shirt
Tolstoy in 1908
Born(1828-09-09)9 September 1828
Yasnaya Polyana, Tula Governorate, Russian Empire
Died20 November 1910(1910-11-20) (aged 82)
Astapovo, Ryazan Governorate, Russian Empire
(now Lev Tolstoy, Lipetsk Oblast, Russia)
Resting placeYasnaya Polyana
Occupation
  • Writer
  • religious thinker
EducationImperial Kazan University (dropped out)
PeriodModern
Genres
Subjects
Literary movementRealism
Years active1847–1910
Notable worksList
Notable awardsGriboyedov Prize (1892)
Spouse
(m. 1862)
Children14
Signature

Born into an aristocratic family, Tolstoy's notable works include the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1878), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction, and two of the greatest books of all time. He first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth (1852–1856), and Sevastopol Sketches (1855), based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. His fiction includes dozens of short stories such as "After the Ball" (1911), and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859) and Hadji Murad (1912). He also wrote plays and essays concerning philosophical, moral and religious themes.

In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly in his novel Resurrection (1899).

Tolstoy received praise from countless authors and critics, both during his lifetime and after. Virginia Woolf called Tolstoy "the greatest of all novelists", while Gary Saul Morson referred to War and Peace as the greatest of all novels. Tolstoy never having won a Nobel Prize during his lifetime was a major Nobel Prize controversy, and continues to remain one.


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