“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.
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In 2010 we mark the centenary of Tolstoys death with a number of Tolstoy recordings, starting with The Cossacks. Naxos AudioBooks has developed a strong association with Tolstoys writing, best represented by our landmark recording of the unabridged War and Peace.Dissatisfied with his life of frivolity among the aristocracy of Moscow, young Dmitri Andreyevitch Olénin sets out for the Caucasus region. Here, among the natural beauty of his surroundings and the honest and industrious peasant people, Olénin hopes to obtain a more meaningful existence. Yet Olénin is marked out as an outsider from the very beginning, and his ill-fated passion for Maryanka, who is betrothed to a local hero, does little to ingratiate himself with this society. This beautifully articulated novel of self-discovery, youthful idealism and romance is read with great sympathy by Jonathan Oliver.Product Description:
Olenin was a youth who had never completed his university course, never served anywhere (having only a nominal post in some government office or other), who had squandered half his fortune and had reached the age of twenty-four without having done anything or even chosen a career. He was what in Moscow society is termed un jeune homme. But he did find a career -- he took a post as a Cadet in the army, and ended up assigned to Transcaucasia. This is the place -- here among the Tatars, the Chechens, and the Old Believers -- this is the place where Olenin will find love in the arms of a beautiful Cossack girl -- a young woman who is promised to a Cossack warrior.
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Book Description Penguin Classics, 1961. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 140441093