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Lev Tolstoy-class steamship

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Last Updated: 15 December 2020

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Leo Tolstoy, Tolstoy also spelt Tolstoi, Russian in full Lev Nikolayevich, Graf Tolstoy, Russian author, master of realistic fiction and one of the world's greatest novelists. Tolstoy is best known for his two longest works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which are commonly regarded as among the finest novels ever write. War and Peace in particular seem virtually to define this form for many readers and critics. Among Tolstoys shorter works, Death of Ivan Ilyich is usually class among the best examples of novella. Especially during his last three decades, Tolstoy also achieved world renown as a moral and religious teacher. His doctrine of nonresistance to evil had an important influence on Gandhi. Although Tolstoys religious ideas no longer command the respect they once do, interest in his life and personality has, if anything, increased over years. Most readers will agree with the assessment of 19-century British poet and critic Matthew Arnold that a novel by Tolstoy is not a work of art but a piece of life; Russian author Isaak Babel commented that, if the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy. Critics of diverse schools have agreed that somehow Tolstoys seem to elude all artifice. Most have stressed his ability to observe the smallest changes of consciousness and to record the slightest movements of the body. What another novelist would describe as a single act of consciousness, Tolstoy convincingly breaks down into a series of infinitesimally small steps. According to English writer Virginia Woolf, who takes for grant that Tolstoy was the greatest of all novelists, these observational powers elicit a kind of fear in readers, who wish to escape from the gaze which Tolstoy fixes on us. Those who visit Tolstoy as an old man also report feelings of great discomfort when he appears to understand their unspoken thoughts. It was commonplace to describe him as godlike in his powers and titanic in his struggles to escape the limitations of the human condition. Some view Tolstoy as an embodiment of nature and pure vitality, others saw him as the incarnation of world conscience, but for almost all who knew him or read his works, he was not just one of the greatest writers who ever lived, but a living symbol of the search for life meaning.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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