I am currently reading this work, translated by Cathy Porter, published in London by Alma Books. This paperback edition was published in 2010.
I am finding it more interesting than I expected. You can imagine the dynamics of the Tolstoy household. He is wonderfully creative both in fictional literature and in theology-philosophy-politics. He lives in a world of ideas. In the background, Russia is going through a tumultuous times with many assassination attempts against the Tsar and struggles for and against the social order. Meanwhile they have 13 children. The middle three die in infancy, so there is an older group and a younger group surviving. There is also an estate to run. Tolstoy had all kinds of ideas about holy poverty but was a rich man with many servants. All the practical matters fall to Sophia. She is madly in love with her husband but also despairing of him. His feelings for her fluctuate wildly. They have fierce arguments. Tolstoy becomes famous. Disciples arrive. Sophia finds most of them insufferable. I'm only on Part One. I'll keep you posted.
David, I have this book! It was a gift from a class I taught in the mid-90's and I have not yet read it, but what you say about it sounds so interesting...I'm currently reading Insomniac City by Bill Hayes who in his 50's met again and fell in love with noted author Oliver Sacks who was in his late 70's. The sparse tone Hayes uses to describe discreet moments of words between these two, their love, runs like a golden thread through the weave of Hayes' description of his love for New York, his adopted city, and New Yorkers. He loves the subways and taxis and spend time describing the people and outrageous moments he experiences there.
Ah, thanks, Charlene. Yes, I'm enjoying the book - and, i think, a great deal more than I would have done even a few years ago. I can identify with both the main protagonists in certain ways (not others) and can readily see how what each of them finds either sensible or compelling brings them into sharp conflict with the other. It is interesting psychologically, historically and spiritually. I still have a long way to go. It is my current book at bedtime and by the time I get to it I am close to dropping off :-)
always a comfort to read just before sleep, I find. Taking time with a book really honours the author and the characters or figures inside the pages...to say nothing of increasing the pleasure of reading
It would be nice to be able to rad it in Russian, of course. Such a fascinating country with such a tumultuous history. Turbulent people in a turbulent land.
My life partner, Harold's mother was born in Russia so I hear the language, especially when he talks to the cats!
It's consonants string together like stones but somehow the overall sound is one of deep passion...I have learned these people are not Western, in the way of North Americans or Western Europeans, but have a more distant, even exotic understanding of life.
Yes. A different world. I hope the cat appreciates it :-)