Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories
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“The Kreutzer Sonata,” Leo Tolstoy’s 1889 novella, is at the heart of this collection of work from one of Russia’s literary masters. As the novella opens, love, sexuality, and relationships between men and women are the day’s topics of discussion for passengers on a train. Little do they know that within their midst is a man who has murdered his wife. This very man, Pozdnyshev, voices strong opinions on the topic of sexuality as the various travelers debate its merits. Pozdnyshev’s words make it clear that he is a tortured soul with violent emotions surrounding physical desire. To their amazement, Pozdnyshev begins to tell his fellow passengers the sad story of his marriage, during which his wife befriended a violinist with whom she would play Beethoven’s beautiful “Kreutzer Sonata.” Unable to bear the bond that seemed to develop between the two over their common love of music, Podzdnyshev hatched a sinister plot for revenge. A tale of psychological conflict and fierce emotions, “The Kreutzer Sonata” is an astonishingly powerful work that, along with stories like “Ivan the Fool” and “The Candle,” illuminates Tolstoy’s brilliance.
The Kreutzer Sonata
Ivan the Fool
A Lost Opportunity
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Born into an aristocratic Russian family, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) was able to enjoy a life of luxury from the very first. Throughout his life, however, and perhaps inspired by personal losses from which even his financial comfort could not protect him, he remained intrigued by philosophical questions about the nature of human existence. Through military service and well into his career as a writer, Tolstoy sought higher truths and found the materialistic lifestyle of many around him to be quite empty. Best known for his novels Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy was an extremely prolific writer, with a full catalog of short stories, plays, and non-fiction to his name.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
THE KREUTZER SONATA.
Travellers left and entered our car at every stopping of the train. Three persons, however, remained, bound, like myself, for the farthest station: a lady neither young nor pretty, smoking cigarettes, with a thin face, a cap on her head, and wearing a semi-masculine ...
Ratings for 'Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories' by Tolstoy, Leo