Towards the end of his life, Tolstoy, author of "War and Peace" and "Anna Karenina", said of the daily records that he had kept all his life: "the diaries are me". They open in 1847 with Tolstoy recovering from gonorrhoea, and, spanning the following 60 years, they paint a portrait of Tolstoy's political, moral and literary beliefs.
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'The diaries 'are' me', said the author of 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina', towards the end of his life, of the daily record he had kept, off and on, for sixty-three years. They open in 1847 with Tolstoy recovering from a bout of gonorrhoea and proceed to paint a full, unmitigated self-portrait of this giant of literature, whose political, moral and literary beliefs are laid out for us here in all their vivid, cussed splendour and singularity. The diaries contain the raw material from which Tolstoy carved his fiction and political writings; they teem with ideas; and they are marked by their frankness of expression, their raw candour and their ruthless self-examination. Anarchist, vegetarian, libertine, excommunicant, educationalist, soldier, self-taught cobbler, petitioner, difficult spouse, benign patriarch, and Grand Old Man of Russian letters: Tolstoy is a magnificently complex, even contradictory, figure. These enthralling, self-lacerating diaries confirm outright that he was not only a matchless writer but also positively heroic of stature.
'Meticulously rendered and admirably annotated, as a picture of the turbulent Russian world Tolstoy inhabited these diaries are incomparable.'
ANTHONY BURGESS, 'Observer'
'An important and long-overdue contribution to our knowledge of Tolstoy'
D.M. THOMAS, 'Sunday Times'
'Finely edited, both scholarly and easy to read… exceptionally rewarding'
RAYMOND WILLIAMS, 'Guardian'
'A monumental work of careful scholarship by the leading expert in the field…invaluable'
ERIK DE MAUNY, 'Financial Times'
'The deeper you read, the more fascinating they are'
ALLAN MASSIE, 'Scotsman'
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Abridged. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0006545130