|When Tolstoy's final novel
Resurrection was published in
1899, it created a sensation and
outsold War and Peace and Anna
Karenina. It was as if “an angel
were to take to novel-writing,”
announced one critic in praise
of the book. Today the novel
is all but forgotten. What
happened to Resurrection?
|Tolstoy’s theory of history,
often derided as a distraction
or even a farce, has received
tragic confirmation again and
again from the follies and disasters
that have marked the 150 years
since the publication of his
magnum opus War and Peace.
Can it help us grapple with the
issues of our own times?
The author of War and Peace
was one of the great visionaries,
social thinkers and activists in
human history. His reclassification
as a novelist was a calculated
strategy to sanitize his image and
marginalize his supporters in the
aftermath of the Russian
Revolution. It’s time to bring
Tolstoy outside the literary canon
and deal with his legacy as a seer
and radical reformer.
After centuries as the most
popular theme for fiction, the
marriage plot is now in disrepute
and gradually disappearing from
all forms of storytelling. Did Leo
Tolstoy's sharp critique of
romance narratives serve as the
tipping point in the decline of
this once cherished genre?
|Four Essays on Leo Tolstoy
by Ted Gioia
a website devoted to radical,
unconventional and experimental
fiction with a particular focus on the
rise of modernism and its aftermath.
Publication date: April 16, 2019