Tolstoy Essay Shakespeare

Tolstoy Essay Shakespeare-53
Dear Ira please note the following mistake which slipped into your esteemed article : -Tolstoy read the plays in Russian translation- nah!" For a long time I could not believe in myself, and during fifty years, in order to test myself, I several times recommenced reading Shakespeare in every possible form, in Russian, in English, in German and in Schlegel's translation, as I was advised ...

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At the present time, before writing this preface, being desirous once more to test myself, I have, as an old man of seventy-five, again read the whole of Shakespeare, including the historical plays, the "Henrys," "Troilus and Cressida," the "Tempest," "Cymbeline," and I have felt, with even greater force, the same feelings,-this time, however, not of bewilderment, but of firm, indubitable conviction that the unquestionable glory of a great genius which Shakespeare enjoys, and which compels writers of our time to imitate him and readers and spectators to discover in him non-existent merits,-thereby distorting their esthetic and ethical understanding,-is a great evil, as is every untruth. Tolstoy seems a bit obsessed here-"I hate these plays, but I can't stop reading them!

Who can deny the right of arguably the greatest novelist to say what he likes about the greatest dramatist? "-which somehow reminds me of the restaurant joke: "The food's terrible, and the portions are so small."In his critique of Shakespeare, encapsulated in his essay, "King Lear," Tolstoy tosses around bombs that characterize Lear as filled with "incredible events," "mirthless jokes," "wild ravings," and that a dispassionate observer couldn't read it without "aversion and weariness."Letting us know how he really feels, Tolstoy summarizes Shakespeare as not even "an average author," and that his words "have nothing whatever in common with art and poetry."He concludes: "Shakespeare might have been whatever you like, but he was not an artist."George Orwell, as a writer, not chicken liver himself, took a look at this clash of the titans in "Lear, Tolstoy, and the Fool."Orwell agrees in part with Tolstoy's observation that, as drama, the plays are sometimes lacking." is not a very good play, as a play.

However, as a recent European Studies blog post reminded readers, Tolstoy was one notable exception.

Towards the end of his life Tolstoy wrote an extremely harsh essay on Shakespeare entitled , an essay by Ernest Howard Crosby, author, fellow Georgist and friend of Tolstoy, as well as a letter from George Bernard Shaw to Tolstoy’s translator, which is somewhat more subdued in its criticism of the Bard.

As he became the supposedly saintly personage, his wife was annoyed at his lay-about, freeloading, low-life friends and disciples tracking their peasant mud over the carpet. Pacifist Tolstoy did not hesitate to get into shouting matches with his wife, Sophia.

Finally, at age 82, realizing the hypocrisy of remaining on his noble estate, while espousing Christ-like ascetic principles, he hit the mendicant road with his Aleksandra, the daughter that he still loved.

But this Lear like move had the trappings of a safety net.

It was kind of like when your five-year-old runs away from home, but you follow him right behind.

It is too drawn-out and has too many characters and sub-plots.

One wicked daughter would have been quite enough, and Edgar is a superfluous character: indeed it would probably be a better play if Gloucester and both his sons were eliminated."But aside from possibly missing the poetry-Tolstoy read the plays in Russian translation-Orwell argues that in his later years as Tolstoy was evolving his ideas of Christian pacifism, which had an almost Buddhist sense of abnegation, he had little patience for art that did not have a moral outlook: "[Tolstoy's] main aim, in his later years, was to narrow the range of human consciousness.


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  • Tolstoy on Shakespeare - American Literature

    Tolstoy on Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy, a free text and ebook for easy online reading, study, and reference. Tolstoy on Shakespeare is a critical essay of Shakespeare's work, published in 1906. It was translated by V. Tchertkoffis, presented here as a novel due to its length and chapter format.…

  • Tolstoy on Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy - Free at Loyal Books

    By Leo Tolstoy 1828-1910 This book contains a critical essay on Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy. It is followed by another essay named "Shakespeare's attitude to the working classes" by Ernest Crosby and extracts of a letter by George Bernard Shaw.…

  • Tolstoy on Shakespeare; a critical essay on Shakespeare - Internet Archive

    Book digitized by Google from the library of Harvard University and uploaded to the Internet Archive by user tpb.…

  • A critical essay on Shakespeare – Leo Tolstoy

    PART I TOLSTOY ON SHAKESPEARE I 3 Mr. Crosby’s article1 on Shakespeare’s attitude toward the working classes suggested to me the idea of also expressing my own long-established opinion about the works of Shakespeare, in direct opposition, as it is, to that established in all the whole European world.…

  • Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy - AbeBooks

    Tolstoy on Shakespeare A Critical Essay on Shakespeare Dodo Press Paperback 1828-1910 Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy, Ernest Crosby, G Bernard Shaw Published by Dodo Press, United Kingdom 2009…

  • Tolstoy on Shakespeare - online literature

    Followed by "Shakespeare's Attitude to the Working Classes" By Ernest Crosby And a Letter From playwright George Bernard Shaw Vladimir Chertkov, also transliterated as Chertkoff, Tchertkoff or Tschertkow 3 November O. S. 22 October 1854 – November 9, 1936 was the editor of the works of Leo Tolstoy, and one of the most prominent Tolstoyans.…

  • Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool - Wikipedia

    Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool" is an essay by George Orwell. It was inspired by a critical essay on Shakespeare by Leo Tolstoy, and was first published in Polemic No. 7 March 1947. Orwell analyzes Tolstoy's criticism of Shakespeare's work in general and his attack on King Lear in particular. According to Orwell's detailed summary, Tolstoy.…

  • Battle of the Titans Tolstoy Disses Shakespeare Psychology Today

    Tolstoy hates Shakespeare. I just read The Death of Ivan Ilyich, and was thinking about posting on it. Ilyich is a slender volume at only 25,000 words-quite a drop from Anna Karenina's 350,000.…

  • Tolstoy on Shakespeare Quotes by Leo Tolstoy - Goodreads

    Tolstoy on Shakespeare Quotes Showing 1-3 of 3 “The fate of books depends on the understanding of those who read them.” ― Leo Tolstoy, Tolstoy on Shakespeare A Critical Essay on Shakespeare…

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