Item description for The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man (Modern Library Classics) by Leo Tolstoy & Ann Pasternak Slater...
Overview As an unusual illness plagues Russian public official Ivan Ilyich, his life is forever changed as he deals with doctors who cannot diagnose or treat him, as well as a certain death sentence.
Publishers Description This new edition combines Tolstoy's most famous short tale, "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," with a less well known but equally brilliant gem, "Master and Man," both newly translated by Ann Pasternak Slater. Both stories confront death and the process of dying: In "Ivan Ilyich," a bureaucrat looks back over his life, which suddenly seems meaningless and wasteful, while in Master and Man, a landowner and servant must each confront the value of the other as they brave a devastating snowstorm. The quintessential Tolstoyan themes of mortality, spiritual redemption, and life's meaning are nowhere more movingly and deftly explored than in these two tales. This unique edition also includes a critical Introduction and extensive notes by Ann Pasternak Slater, a Fellow at St. Anne's College, Oxford.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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Studio: Modern Library
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.02" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.39" Weight: 0.12 lbs.
Release Date Aug 10, 2004
Publisher Modern Library
ISBN 0375760997 ISBN13 9780375760990
Availability 5 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 26, 2017 09:15.
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More About Leo Tolstoy & Ann Pasternak Slater
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. Anthony Briggs has written, translated, or edited twenty books in the fields of Russian and English literature. 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. Ronald Wilks studied Russian language and literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later Russian literature at London University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1972. He has also translated 'The Little Demon' by Sologub and, for Penguin Classics, My Childhood, My Apprenticeship and My Universities by Gorky, The Golovlyov Family by Saltykov-Shchedrin and four volumes of stories by Chekhov: The Kiss and Other Stories, The Duel and Other Stories, The Party and Other Stories and The Fiancee and Other Stories.
Leo Tolstoy has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man (Modern Library Classics)?
Terrible translation Jun 13, 2008
I am currently reading "The Death of Ivan Ilych" by another translator and it is a remarkable and moving story. However, the translation that is offered in this edition was so awkward that I found it unreadable. The purchase of this edition was a waste of money and it's now sitting on my bookshelf unread. I recommend the translation by Constance Garnett. I hope that Pevar and Volokhonsky (transaltors of War and Peace and Anna Karenina) will release translations of Tolstoy's shorter works. Their translations are my favorites.
An Examination of a Soul. Apr 19, 2008
An excellent, soulful book in the vein of The Trial, and Crime and Punishment. Vladimir Nabokov sums my views of this Novella quite well.
In his lectures on Russian Literature Russian born Novelist and critic Vladimir Nabokov argues that, for Tolstoy, a sinful life is (such as Ivan's was), moral death. Therefore death, the return of the soul to God is, for Tolstoy, moral life . To quote Nabokov: "The Tolstoyan formula is: Ivan lived a bad life and since the bad life is nothing but the death of the soul, then Ivan lived a living death; and since beyond death is God's living light, then Ivan died into a new life- Life with a capital L."(Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich: Lectures On Russain Literature pg.237: Harcourt Edition)
Powerful and deep Jan 26, 2008
Tolstoy had a great understanding of the human condition, as it's shown in this complex and thought-provoking novella about the mortality of man. It's the kind of book that, thanks to it's many layers, has to be read over and over. It's amazing how Tolstoy was able to build such an powerful story in only 100 pages, I've seen books with more than 400 pages that didn't have half of the depth he managed to put into this one.
Uncomfortably Amazed. Jan 8, 2008
There is a point near the very end of this story that made me stop in my tracks. I almost couldn't continue, just from wanting to re-read it over and over. It was a sublime moment and I wanted to really savor it.
Prior to reading this very accessible short story by Tolstoy, my (mistaken) perception of Ivan Ilych was that he was somehow a "bad" character...I was prepared to NOT be sympathetic to him.
Turns out Ivan Ilych is, as someone else pointed out - your basic "everyman".
Moreover, every character appearing in this story has a "familiar" feeling to him/her, which transcends cultures and time periods. This is a testament to Tolstoy's amazing ability to turn humanity inside out - and we can't help but recognize aspects of ourselves which are disturbing, banal, inspirational, and sometimes absolutely incredible. Certainly one can't finish the story and sit in judgment of any of the characters.
There's a reason why people refer to Tolstoy as a Master Storyteller.
It's because he is.The Death of Ivan Ilych And Other Stories
Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich Dec 29, 2007
After Leo Tolstoy's religious conversion, his wife despaired that he would ever write anything of greatness again. He had become world famous for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina--both of which he rejected in his newfound spriritual awareness as promoting war and adultery. When she read her husband's completed manuscript The Death of Ivan Ilyich, she knew his gift had returned. Some might say it had returned with a vengeance, for Tolstoy seemed more evangelist than author, placing before his readers the ultimate question: What is the meaning of life? It is this question that is at the heart of Tolstoy's great novelle, the story of Ivan Ilyich, a prominent Russian judge in his forties who is dying of cancer. In moments of tormented introspection, Ivan cannot admit that he has missed the answer to this question, having lived the wrong kind of life, a life without spritual awareness or even deeply human meaning. Plagued by inner questions of the rightness of his life, the perceived coldness of his wife, and surrounded by the "great lie" that he is not dying, Ivan descends ever deeper into self-pity, denying his spiritual bankruptcy and railing against the "falsity" that surrounds him. As he lies dying, this Everyman (for Ivan Ilyich is a common Russian name), comes to know his own spiritual bankruptcy and the emptiness of those material things for which "he had given his life." Tolstoy doesn't shy away from the harsh reality of Ivan's physical pain and decline, allowing the reader to experience the horror of Ivan's cancer and the fear that consumes him. Toward the end, Ivan feels something like compassion for his young son and tries to say to his wife, "forgive me." But, in his weakened condition, he cannot speak coherently. This classic work is deeply rewarding to those readers who hunger for depth and meaning in fiction--and for those who are not afraid to answer Tolstoy's question.