The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man by Leo Tolstoy

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Synopsis

This new edition combines Tolstoy’s most famous short tale, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, with a less well known but equally brilliant gem, Master and Man, both newly translated by Ann Pasternak Slater. Both stories confront death and the process of dying: In Ivan Ilyich, a bureaucrat looks back over his life, which suddenly seems meaningless and wasteful, while in Master and Man, a landowner and servant must each confront the value of the other as they brave a devastating snowstorm. The quintessential Tolstoyan themes of mortality, spiritual redemption, and life’s meaning are nowhere more movingly and deftly explored than in these two tales.

This unique edition also includes a critical Introduction and extensive notes by Ann Pasternak Slater, a Fellow at St. Anne’s College, Oxford.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Leo Tolstoy

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Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.
 
Published September 30, 2003 by Modern Library. 160 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Fiction

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