The Cossacks and Other Stories (Classics)

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9780140441093: The Cossacks and Other Stories (Classics)

Tolstoy?s powerful semiautobiographical stories based on his time spent in the Russian army?the latest in our series of fresh new Tolstoy translations

In 1851, at the age of twenty-two, Tolstoy joined the Russian army. The four years he spent as a soldier were among the most significant in his life and inspired the tales collected here. In ?The Cossacks,? Tolstoy tells the story of Olenin, a cultured Russian whose experiences among the Cossack warriors of Central Asia leave him searching for a more authentic life. ?The Sevastopol Sketches? bring into stark relief the realities of military life during the Crimean War. And ?Hadji Murat? paints a portrait of a great leader torn apart by divided loyalties. In writing about individuals and societies in conflict, Tolstoy has penned some of the most brilliant stories about the nature of war.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Tolstoy's lavish and always graphic use of detail," wrote John Bayley, "together of course with its romance and exotic setting . . . has made "The Cossacks the most popular of all his works." This vibrant new translation of Tolstoy's 1862 novel, by PEN Translation Award winner Peter Constantine, is the author's semiautobiographical depiction of young Olenin, a wealthy, disaffected Muscovite, who joins the Russian army and travels to the untamed frontier of the Caucasus in search of a more authentic life. Quartered with his regiment in a Cossack village, Olenin revels in the glories of nature and the rough strength of the Cossacks and Chechens. Smitten by his unrequited love for a local girl, Maryanka, Olenin has a profound but ultimately short-lived spiritual awakening. Try as he might to assimilate, he remains an awkward outsider and his long search for a more enlightened and purposeful existence comes to naught.
With the philosophical insight that would characterize Tolstoy's later masterpieces, this long overdue major new translation is a revelation.

"From the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover:

This novel of love, adventure, and male rivalry on the frontiers of nineteenth-century Russia -- completed in 1862, when Tolstoy was in his early thirties -- has always surprised readers who know Tolstoy best through the vast, panoramic fictions of his middle years. Unlike those works, The Cossacks is lean and supple, economical in design and execution.

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Tolstoy, Leo
Published by Penguin Classics (1961)
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