Leo Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger by Richard F. Gustafson

By Richard F. Gustafson

Much of what used to be vital to Tolstoy turns out embarrassing to Western and Soviet critics, issues out Richard Gustafson in his soaking up argument for the predominance of Tolstoy's spiritual point of view in all his writings. got opinion says that there are Tolstoys, the pre-conversion artist and the post-conversion non secular philosopher and prophet, yet Professor Gustafson argues convincingly that the fellow isn't really , yet one.

Originally released in 1986.

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Additional info for Leo Tolstoy: Resident and Stranger

Example text

But he carinot remember her except in one ideal form: her eyes that express "kindness" [dobiota) and love and her hand that "so often used to caress him" and that he "so often used to kiss" (ii). In reverie Irtenev recalls and restores a world of reciprocal love. The central chapter of the work, entitled "Childhood," focuses on Irtenev's memories of this "happy, happy, irretrievable time" when his mother's "tender hand" would stroke his hair or tickle him, when he would nuzzle up to his mother's bosom and whisper that he loved her, when she would kiss him most tenderly and tell him never to forget her (xv).

Youth reverses Childhood's attitude to the past and repents of Boyhood. " The despair of boyhood led to a wasteland; only repentance shows the way to the garden where he will find his youthful "daydreams": love for "her," love of being loved, and hope for fame and success. The paradigmatic action of Youth is repentance: it recalls and rejects a discordant past in an effort to create a harmonious future. This paradigmatic action of Youth takes the form of examination. Nikolenka examines himself in order to confess before his Easter communion.

Tolstoy is filled with self-love. The negative image is calculated to struggle with Tolstoy's central flaw, that "vanity" which he understands as "self-love transfered to the opinion of others," a person's "love for himself not as he is but as he shows himself to others" (46,95; 1852). At the same time, however, this negative self-portrait cultivates an obsession with self. Thus filled with such vain self-love, Tolstoy himself not only does not love others, but he neither truly loves himself nor does he feel himself loved by others.

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