The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories

The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories With An Introduction And Notes By Dr TCBCook Count Leo Tolstoy Is Best Known For War And Peace And Anna Karenina, Commonly Regarded As Amongst The Greatest Novels Ever Written He Also, However, Wrote Many Masterly Short Stories, And This Volume Contains Four Of The Longest And Best In Distinguished Translations That Have Stood The Test Of Time In The Early Story Family Happiness , Tolstoy Explores Courtship And Marriage From The Point Of View Of A Young Wife In The Kreutzer Sonata He Gives Us A Terrifying Study Of Marital Breakdown, In The Devil A Powerful Depiction Of The Power Of Sexual Temptation, And, In Perhaps The Finest Of All, The Death Of Ivan Ilyich , He Portrays The Long Agony Of A Man Gradually Coming To Terms With His Own Mortality Librarian S Note See Alternate Cover Edition Of ISBNHere

commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction Many consider Tolstoy to have been one of the world s greatest novelists Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho pacifist His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories
  • Leo Tolstoy
  • English
  • 03 August 2018
  • 9780451528803

10 thoughts on “The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories

  1. says:

    you re all excited about someone new only to discover that the beatles are their all time favorite band the most popular pop rock band of all time, wildly innovative, probably wrote great songs than any other band but your all time favorite band dullsville.which is why i m hesitant to call out tolstoy as my favorite writer but he just might be at the very least he s sitting at the head of the table with genet borges orwell and the other usual suspects i know it because when i popped into the store and saw this gorgeous new hardback of short stories by badass translators pevear volokhonsky, well, it took all i had not to rub up against it in the store waited till i got in the car and dry humped the shit outta this beautiful bitch greatest hits of stories in here ivan ilyich love me do terrific if slightly overrated the kreutzer sonata happiness is a warm gun fucking great master and man blackbird i cry the devil i m a loser amazing hadji murat a day in the life fucking genius trust me, booknerds.

  2. says:

    The story of Ivan Ilyich was like wine it goes down smoothly, but leaves a biting, succulent and lasting impression The book is a deep and moving scrutiny of loss and absolution, in which the writer explores the dichotomy between the artificial and the authentic life This book is probably the best account of the physiological and psychological panic, a man feels when so close to his own death Ivan Ilych s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible Ivan Ilyich is the story of a respected, gregarious and a healthy middle aged court justice who suddenly sickens and dies He leaves behind a wife a woman Ivan disliked , two grown up children, and a few startled friends acquaintances whose reaction to his death range from better him than me to how will this affect my career prospects The novella examines the reactions of the wife, children and friends at Ivan s funeral, but the bulk of the story summarizes Ivan s life and his battle with death I ll probably get Shtabel s or Vinnikov s job now, thought Fyodor Vasilyevich also I ll have to request a transfer from Kaluga for my brother in law now, thought Pyotr Ivanovich the wife will be delighted And now she won t be able to say I ve never done anything for my relatives At the beginning of the book, Ivan s death is announced,the effects of which are clearly seen amongst the colleagues Who are Fyodor Vasilyevich and Pyotr Ivanovich Well, they are you and I Individuals who react to death in selfish, materialistic, and fearful ways Can it be that I have not lived as one ought suddenly came into his head But how not so, when I ve done everything as it should be done In the eyes of the world, Ivan Ilyich was the epitome of success but in his own eyes he was a failure Ilyich realizes that his entire hunt to befit himself into the shades of the society left him with absolutely no knowledge for coming to terms with death Ultimately, the values of society left Ilyich with nothing of any true worth, with no idea of what his life should be The modern society compels us to gloss over the reality of death Society s illusory and ludicrous norms force us to become strangers from life and death as well The very fact of the death of someone close to them aroused in all who heard about it, as always, a feeling of delight that he had died and they hadn t The brilliance of the book reflects when it brings light upon the dehumanizing aspects of our society The doctor s indifference towards the dying Ivan is nothing different than the insensitivity with which Ilyich treated the many that passed through his court during his career as a judge Here, Tolstoy reminds us about the inability to recognize that other people s lives are as significant as our own, is society s greatest ill And suddenly, it became clear to me that all this should not exist Not only that it should not exist, but that it does not exist, and if this does not exist, then there is no death or fear, and the former rending in me is no , and I am no longer afraid of anything Here the light shown fully upon me, and I became what I am At the very end Ilyich glimpses the joy of an authentic life and warns the reader of the dangers of living an unawakened life Ivan s last breath hopes that we can experience than just a brief minute of this joy Therefore, live fully Life is itself a memento mori and death is the proof reminding us that only by accepting our death can we hope to live an authentic life According to Tolstoy, we must go against the grain and contemplate what the value of our lives can be when they will eventually end in death, if we are to find any meaning in a society that has taken so much of it away from us.

  3. says:

    What a great collection of Tolstoy s shorter fiction Here are my star ratings for each story novella The prisoner of the Caucasus 5The diary of a madman 3.5The death of Ivan Ilyich 5The Kreutzer sonata 5The devil 4 Master and man 4.5Father Sergius 5After the ball 3.5The forged coupon 3Alyosha the pot 3Hadji Murat 5I thought Father Sergius was the best, followed closely by Hadji Murat and Ivan Ilyich.

  4. says:

    My edition of The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories was the Vintage book, translated by Pevear and Volhokonsky It contains the following stories The Death of Ivan IlychThe Prisoner of the CaucasusThe Diary of a MadmanThe Kreutzer SonataThe DevilMaster and ManFather SergiusAfter the BallThe Forged CouponAlyosha the PotHadji Murat those that are underlined, I have reviewed separately follow the link for the review There are some definite repeated themes namely sex, death and religious redemption Mostly, the first leads to the second or the third As with any collection of stories, there are some I like than others I think my favourites would be Master and Man and The Forged Coupon I found Hadji Murat a bit of a slog.

  5. says:

    I have something to say, which, for lovers of literature, might be borderline blasphemous I read Tolstoy, and and He s okay Just okay He didn t rock my world He didn t change my life His prose is good, but not magnificent his characters are relatable, but not unforgettable his stories are interesting, but not quite compelling I didn t come away from these stories convinced, as so many are, that Tolstoy is the greatest writer who ever lived In fact, of the four great Russian writers I recall having read Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, and Lermontov I would put Tolstoy in third place, in front of Turgenev, with Lermontov marginally better than him and Dostoyevsky leagues ahead of anyone else Granted, I am a Dostoyevsky fanboy, and I haven t read Tolstoy s two great novels Anna Karenina and War and Peace Maybe if I read either of those works, my tune would change dramatically, and I d be embarrassed for having written this review Maybe I m just a Philistine But I m a Philistine who calls them like he sees them There s an interesting variety to the stories in my edition There are war stories, like The Prisoner of the Caucasus and Hadji Murat there are meditations on death the final frontier of the soul s journey and our struggle to find peace and redemption in the face of it, in The Diary of a Madman and The Death of Ivan Ilyich there s an extensive diatribe against erm sex masquerading as a novella in The Kreutzer Sonata and there s a little common man hagiography called Alyosha the Pot , which, despite being only a few pages long, I found to be the most evocative work in the collection I m sorry, Tolstoyists Coke is better than Pepsi, Tupac is better than Biggie, and Dostoyevsky is better than Tolstoy Westside

  6. says:

    Ivan Ilych s life revolved around his career as a high court judge he takes his job very seriously However after he falls off a ladder, he soon discovers that he is going to die The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a novella that deals with the meaning of life in the face of death A masterpiece for Leo Tolstoy written after his religious conversion in the late 1870s.Something that was fascinating about The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the drastic change in writing style when comparing it to Anna Karenina and War and Peace I am not just referring to the length, but that does play a big part I have read somewhere that Tolstoy intentionally made Anna Karenina and War and Peace so long because he wanted to replicate life and the journey the characters face Allowing the reader to experience every decision and moral dilemma that the character is facing, exploring the growth or evolution of each and every person within the novels.The Death of Ivan Ilyich takes a focused approach, dealing with major questions revolving around the meaning of life, death and spirituality Leo Tolstoy had a major conversion in the late 1870s and the questions in this novel were the questions he was asking himself Whether or not Ivan Ilyich found the answers he was looking for is up to the reader but it is believed that Leo Tolstoy was still looking for the same answers well after finishing this novella.There is a lot of pain and torment that appears in this book, which reflects the authors search for answers and that is what really stood out for me Not only was I reading a spiritual existential struggle of the protagonist but Tolstoy s own feeling really came out within the pages This is what makes this a masterpiece that explores the tortured artist in great detail I don t want to say much , this is the type of book people have to read and make their own mind up about the themes presented, but it is worth reading.This review originally appeared on my blog

  7. says:

    Fantastic collection of stories, including The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Kreutzer Sonata, and Hadji Murat among others Generally, I find it hard to rate a single author short story collection five stars because either the quality varies, or too many of the stories sound similar But with this collection, there are no duds, and there is also a wide variation in the types of stories Highly recommended.

  8. says:

    This is a clear case of It s not you, it s me I simply wasn t ready for this When I couldn t participate in the War and Peace readalong due to my busy schedule, I decided to compensate by reading a short story collection by Tolstoy instead I thought it would be quick and fun I couldn t have been wrong It turns out that Tolstoy is much philosophical and political than I expected, and since I have no knowledge whatsover on Russian history and culture, it was extremely hard for me to follow along On a very subjective note, I have to say that I found the stories except for The Forged Coupon extremely boring and drawn out The characters weren t memorable and I didn t connect to any of them I really had to force myself to keep on turning the pages But on a objective note, after having done research on each short story and the author himself turns out Tolstoy almost got murdered by a bear once like whuaat , I understand their core message a lot better, and thus appreciate the collection as a whole a lot Tolstoy in his later years was famously a man with a mission From the 1880s he sought directly to understand the turmoil of contemporary Russia which escalated after the assassination of Alexander II in 1881 and in his lifetime culminated in the Revolution of 1905 No solutions, Tolstoy felt, could be found either for the problems individuals or society faced without due consideration of issues about property and ownership, the meaning of spiritual enlightement, the formulation of ethical ideals, and identifying sources of goodness and evil Tolstoy s later works of fiction, such as the stories collected here, reflect sustained soul searching about the value of literature.The concern of how people live only intensified as his own spiritual crises in the late 1860s and 1870s brought a life changing sense of his own mortality Having lived as a young man for himself, and then been the family man on his country estate, Tolstoy had begun to lvie for others and for God He convinced himself that social activism and the promotion of what he called a good life were his true vocation.The first short story in this collection, The Two Old Men, deals with the ethics of character In Tolstoy s fiction man and woman are social animals, subject to the pressures of class, the village, the family unit, and peer group Through his virtually daily interaction with peasants at his school, on the estate, and in his restless rambling about the countryside, Tolstoy collected dozens of anectodes and tales that in his view distilled the moral essence of the Russian peasantry The Two Old Men emanates from that world, situating the timelessness of Christian pilgrimage within the modern world of steamships and itineraries At the centre of the story are two peasant heroes, one rich and one poor, whose pilgrimage provides the horizontal structure for the episodes they experience One of them, in his exemplary selflessness, acquires the reputation of a saint, while the other finely balances material and spiritual concerns Both are treated affectionately by Tolstoy and reflect his ideal of Christian humanism.The second story, How Much Land Does a Man Need , deals with capitalism and the evils of property Tolstoy repeatedly denounced money as an evil when coveted for itself Tolstoy s concern regarding the dangers of property ownership stem from his belief that once you own property you are obliged to defend it, and once the need arises for defence violence must follow Like other stories in this volume, this one pits individual determination against accident The story considers the paradox that the one strives after material security, the greater the risk that everything will be forfeited The story is attuned to the psychological stress of ownership when an individual negotiates between an old idea of sufficency and a seductive image of wealth Harmony both for the individual and society could be achieved if and only if individuals achieved an inner state of control over their wants Impulses to the good and bad might be temporarily held in check, but human nature put human beings at the mercy of combinations of personality and circumstance that could wreck nouble intentions.The next two stories, The Forged Coupon and Master and Workman, deal with questions of justice and how causality and motivation can determine one s actions In Tolstoy s later works, no heroes make any great claims for controlling events, and the focus of the narrator is on seeing events as they unfold, sometimes bewilderingly One key question for Tolstoy is whether randomness leads anywhere, whether the destination might be accidental and still have moral significance The Forged Coupon takes up the problem of unintended consequences and illustrates the shift in emphasis from agency to accident, and to seeing the whole picture in terms of the butterfly effect, where distant rather than proximate causes contribute to a sequence Part 1 is structured as a chain of seemingly unrelated events that all derive from a single mishap at the beginning Or do they The story could be driven by coincidence that is unfortunate but fatal In Master and Workman Tolstoy reveals the fluidity of identity as a set of impulses and responses that are fixed in the timelessness of the present as lived through A landowner and servant set out on a short jounrey by sled They lose their way briefly during a sudden snowstorm, and subsequently regain the right path only to be led fatally off course by recurring bad weather The blizzard has served Russian writers well to represent overwhelming force, whether elemental nature, fate, or an oppressive state At one level, this is a tale of two individuals whose class relations, socio economic status, and expectations determine their response to the storm and to their fate, controlled to some unknowable degree by luck And yet at the same time, in its use of an elemental setting the story also has the universal quality of a fable whose precise lesson can be suggested but not entirely fixed.In the last two stories, Alyosha Pot and The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Tolstoy processes his struggle to square the circle of life and death, of meaning and erasure Does death necessarily make life senseless Tolstoy, who often assumed extreme positions before arguing his way back to a nuanced view, clearly found the conclusion that there is nothing worse than life intuitively and intellectually unacceptable The need to go out and meet and make life, rather than allow life to come to one passively, defined his philosophy.In Alyosha Pot Tolstoy uses his art to capture the thoughts and feelings of the meekest of men, a hero who is only seemingly simple but incarnates an ideal of wise resignation and selfless love Alyosha s emotional intelligence, however, is beyond the reach of his masters who, coarse and unsympathetic, refuse him the right to marry The Death of Ivan Ilyich is an unflinching depiction of social hypocrisy Yet Tolstoy uses this tale also to raise the possibility that Ivan Ilyich s resignation to death also occasions a spiritual awakening The light he sees instead of death is limitless and indefinable This collection is packed with a lot of brilliant ideas and so much food for thought that I will take my time to properly digest them Whilst the stories were no particular joy to read and definitely too fastidious for me, I still had a lot of fun researching them and learning a bit about Tolstoy himself.

  9. says:

    The stories in this collection are Family Happiness 1859 The Death of Ivan Ilyich 1886 The Kreutzer Sonata 1889 Master and Man 1895

  10. says:

    In writing Family Happiness, The Death of Ivan Ilych, The Kreutzer Sonata, and Hadji Murad, not to mention War and Peace, etc., Tolstoy deployed and displayed his tremendous intellect, aesthetic gifts, and his peculiarly dispassionate but hard hitting moral anger a definite attitude toward the failings of man and human institutions like marriage, war, and imperial rule Family Happiness revolves around an older family friend falling in love with an orphaned girl who has just attained marriageable age Against his better own better judgment, he proposes As she matures, she discovers the cosmopolitan appeal of St Petersburg, which her husband already has come to disdain The best scenes in this affecting descent into realistic accommodation as opposed to romantic love have to do with the two of them baiting one another, withdrawing from one another, and generally underperforming their personal values In the end, their love still glows but casts off neither flames nor light The Death of Ivan Ilych is a harsh judgment on an upwardly mobile, vaguely noble bureaucrat who learns that death, which is supposed to happen to someone else, is happening to him The way he is emotionally abandoned by his family before he expires is highly educational and not altogether unwarranted And then he tumbles into the tunnel of no return, a ghastly journey This is a masterpiece of narration and irony Tolstoy always has a grip on his subject here.The same cannot quite be said of The Kreutzer Sonata, which suffers from a gassy run up to the facts of the matter, i.e., our protagonist s transformation from a civilized human being into a murderer who gets away with itnot that he ends up pleased with what he s done.Hadji Murad is a tale of Russias endless assaults on the peoples of the Caucasus region Hadji is a chieftain at war with another chieftain He s decided to align himself with the Russians in the hopes of rescuing his kidnapped family and taking over as the principal lord of of the Muslim lands under Russia s control, however This is a majestic story of action, ethnographic insight, and cross cultural cynicism One really striking passage is the portrayal of the czar, brutally and blindly pulling strings from St Petersburg Tolstoy leaps back and forth between dramatically different settings with complete ease and authority, and here, I would say, his ghastly ending not only comports with historical realities but also reflects a naturalistic as opposed to moralistic perspective He cannot like but cannot dispute Hadji Murad s fate.I ve read these stories before and so have you, I imagine but found them worth rereading Tolstoy is so wonderfully merciless in sorting through our frailties.

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