HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

War And Peace: 3 vols (Everyman's…
Loading...

War And Peace: 3 vols (Everyman's Library classics) (original 1899; edition 1869)

by Leo Tolstoy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,580None4,603 (3.8)1 / 32
Member:rory1000
Title:War And Peace: 3 vols (Everyman's Library classics)
Authors:Leo Tolstoy
Info:Everyman (1992), Edition: New edition, Hardcover, 1744 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Resurrection by Leo Tolstoy (1899)

None.

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (10)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (14)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
The last major novel by Tolstoy. According to Wikipedia, Vladimir Nabakov heaped superlatives upon "Anna Karenina", but questioned the reputation of "War and Peace", and sharply criticized "Resurrection" and "The Kreutzer Sonata". My opinion is the exact opposite.

To me, this is a more mature and riveting work than "Anna Karenina", because it contains deeper spiritual and social insights, the upshot of the author's personal struggles and growth in the intervening years. In "Anna Karenina", we witness the despair and destruction of the main character, in "Resurrection", the tender hope and revival of two souls.

As Levin is a self-portrait of Tolstoy in "Anna Karenina", so is Prince Nekhlyudov, the hero of this book. Called to jury duty in the criminal court, Nekhlyudov recognized the defendant as the innocent Katusha whom he had loved but also seduced many years ago. He recalled his tender first love for Katusha, and his later betrayal and misuse of her. The reality of his subsequent life forced itself upon him, "a stupid, empty, valueless, frivolous life". He decided to redeem himself and save her or at least try his best to relieve her misery.

Tolstoy painted a condemning portrait of the Russian society, specifically the prison system and the government service, which he blamed for oppressing and depraving the human spirit. He changed my perceptions of the Holocaust, Abu Ghraib, and even happenings in our daily life. How otherwise normal, kind human beings can commit horrible crimes against others, and how insensitive and cruel we can be when "following orders" and "doing our job".

In sharp contrast, the relationship and interactions between Nekhlyudov and Katusha become the more lively and riveting, like plants growing in the desert. There is the whole gamut of emotion, joy, devotion, pity, contempt, anger, forgiveness and love. That is what I as a reader can relate to and it's also why I care about their fate to the very end.

Rationalization of a Sinful Life

"Everybody, in order to be able to act, has to consider his occupation important and good. ... People whom fate and their sin-mistakes have placed in a certain position, however false that position may be, form a view of life in general which makes their position seem good and admissible. In order to keep up their view of life, these people instinctively keep to the circle of those people who share their views of life and their own place in it. This surprises us, where the persons concerned are thieves, bragging about their dexterity, prostitutes vaunting their depravity, or murderers boasting of their cruelty. This surprises us only because the circle, the atmosphere in which these people live, is limited, and we are outside it. But can we not observe the same phenomenon when the rich boast of their wealth, i.e., robbery; the commanders in the army pride themselves on victories, i.e., murder; and those in high places vaunt their power, i.e., violence? We do not see the perversion in the views of life held by these people, only because the circle formed by them is more extensive, and we ourselves are moving inside of it."

Systematic Depravation of Men

"If a psychological problem were set to find means of making men of our time--Christian, humane, simple, kind people--perform the most horrible crimes without feeling guilty, ...It is only necessary that ... they should be fully convinced that there is a kind of business, called government service, which allows men to treat other men as things without having human brotherly relations with them; and that they should be so linked together by this government service that the responsibility for the results of their deeds should not fall on any one of them individually. Without these conditions, the terrible acts I witnessed today would be impossible in our times. It all lies in the fact that men think there are circumstances when one may deal with human beings without love. But there are no such circumstances."

Qualities of Men

"One of the most widespread superstitions is that every man has his own special, definite qualities; that a man is kind, cruel, wise, stupid, energetic, apathetic, etc. ... And this is untrue. Men are like rivers: the water is the same in each, and alike in all; but every river is narrow here, is more rapid there, here slower, there broader, now clear, now cold, now dull, now warm. It is the same with men. Every man carries in himself the germs of every human quality, and sometimes one manifests itself, sometimes another, and the man often becomes unlike himself, while still remaining the same man."
( )
  booksontrial | Jan 4, 2013 |
On trial for murder is a young prostitute, Maslova. She is innocent. Among the jury is Prince Nekhlyodov who discovers that Maslova is in fact Katusha - a young servant-girl he seduced and got pregnant years back. Now she's sentenced to ten years of penal servitude.

Nekhlyudov realizes that he have ruined Katusha - that he himself have lived a selfish, materialistic life - he embarks on an extreme mission to better himself. This path toward redemption is fascinating. How he tries to help Katusha now in prison - and helps other prisoners, how he denounces his life among the elitist, upperclass society, how he give away his fortune and land, how he travels to isolated parts of Russia and meets the poor, the outcast, the criminals - following in the footsteps of Katusha, whom he have promised to marry.

We also follow Katushas road toward redemption - a prostitute she has lost all self-worth and is brought back to life again in prison-life and through the kind hand of Nekhlyodov.

I liked the first two-thirds of this novel a lot. Then the novel descends into an exploration of many of Tolstoy's religious and political ideas - they are weaved into the story - but somehow the story is pushed aside to give way for Tolstoy's own views of the church, the poor, the establishment, the criminals etc.

Nonetheless I'm glad I read it. I found so much to ponder upon in Prince Nekhlyodov "self-improvement" mission - much rang very true and beautiful. ( )
4 vote ctpress | Apr 10, 2012 |
Big book. Big themes. but, a surprisingly easy read, sped on by the minutiae of well observed people. One of several key books for trying to understand the Russian pysche.
In essence a man of great privilege trying to undo social injustice but, perhaps not being apprecated by those he was helping and certainly not by those he was taking to task. ( )
1 vote TimForrest65 | Jan 7, 2011 |
The plot is worth stealing. ( )
  AlexAustin | Dec 22, 2009 |
I certainly admire Tolstoy's relentless pursuit of truth and his courage in standing up to both the Russian government and the Church over the latter part of his life.

He advocated for the poor and while I don't particularly agree with all of the fundamentalist views he increasingly took (e.g. chastity, refraining from alochol, socialism, non-resistance to evil by force), his aim was to improve himself and ultimately mankind through his writing.

Unfortunately I think the combination of essentially preaching through his works and his advancing age negatively impacted the quality and artistry of his writing; at 70 as he was authoring "Resurrection" (20+ years after Anna Karenina), I believe he was past his prime.

There are still flashes of brilliance here (including the very first paragraph of the first chapter), and it is still Tolstoy after all, but I think "Resurrection" is probably a book only a Tolstoy fanatic would love. ( )
  gbill | Oct 30, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (72 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Leo Tolstoyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Asemissen, HermannTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hopper, RikaForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leclee, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
P., E. v.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Traill, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Then came Peter, and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto three, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.- Matt. 18:21-2.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? - Matt. 7:3
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. - John 8:7
The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master. - Luke 6:40.
Dedication
First words
Though hundreds of thousands had done their very best to disfigure the small piece of land on which they were crowded together: paving the ground with stones, scraping away every vestige of vegetation, cutting down the trees, turning away birds and beasts, filling the air with the smoke of naptha and coal - still spring was spring, even in the town.
Es inútil que millares y millares de personas...
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140441840, Paperback)

Serving on a jury at the trial of a prostitute arrested for murder, Prince Nekhlyudov is horrified to discover that the accused is a woman he had once loved, seduced and then abandoned when she was a young servant girl. Racked with guilt at realizing he was the cause of her ruin, he determines to appeal for her release or give up his own way of life and follow her. Conceived on an epic scale, "Resurrection" portrays a vast panorama of Russian life, taking us from the underworld of prison cells and warders to the palaces of countesses. It is also an angry denunciation of government, the upper classes, the judicial system and the Church, and a highly personal statement of Tolstoy's belief in human redemption.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:51 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A psychological tale of guilt, anger, and forgiveness, 'Resurrection' provides a panoramic view of Russian social life at the end of the 19th century and expresses the author's contempt for the social injustices of the world in which he lived.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5 1
1 2
1.5 2
2 15
2.5
3 49
3.5 9
4 75
4.5 16
5 47

Audible.com

Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 89,487,316 books! | Top bar: Always visible