The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

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9780140449600: The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)

A collection of some of Tolstoy's most powerful powerful stories

The violent spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life that inspired his last period of creativity produced the stories in this compelling and startling collection. They portray the multifaceted nature of desire, from idealistic romance to sexual jealousy, from desperate lust to relentless longing. "The K reutzer Sonata" caused a public sensation with its indictment of so-called Christian marriage, a theme echoed in "Family Happiness." In "The Devil," a young man finds it impossible to resist a beautiful peasant woman with whom he had an affair before his marriage. And "Father Sergius" shows a man going to increasingly desperate ends in order to avoid the temptations of the flesh.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.


Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a university lecturer in Russian and fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.

Language Notes:

Text: English, Russian (translation)

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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