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The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man (Modern Library Classics) [Paperback]

By Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Author), Ann Pasternak Slater (Translator) & Ann Pasternak Slater (Introduction by)
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Item description for The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man (Modern Library Classics) by Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy & Ann Pasternak Slater...

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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Item Specifications...

Studio: Modern Library
Pages   116
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.02" Width: 5.2" Height: 0.39"
Weight:   0.12 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 10, 2004
Publisher   Modern Library
ISBN  0375760997  
ISBN13  9780375760990  

Availability  6 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 10:45.
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More About Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy & Ann Pasternak Slater

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy Lev Nikolaevich (Leo) Tolstoy (1828–1910). Russian novelist, reformer, and moral thinker

Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy family estate a hundred miles south of Moscow, on August 28. He died on November 20 at a nearby railroad station, having fled in the night from an increasingly contentious marriage and a set of familial relationships that had been hardened in large part by Tolstoy's attempts to apply his radical moral beliefs to his own life. In the intervening eighty-two years Tolstoy became perhaps the most prominent novelist in an age and place of great authors as well as a vociferous critic of science and modernization.

Tolstoy's international fame rests primarily on two novels, War and Peace (1865–1869) and Anna Karenina (1875–1877). His fictional works also include short masterpieces such as "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (1886), "The Kreutzer Sonata" (1889), and "Master and Man" (1895). In addition he wrote autobiographical accounts of his childhood (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth[1852–1857]) and his experiences as a soldier in the Crimean War (Sevastopol Sketches [1855]). With regard to issues of science, technology, and ethics Tolstoy's most relevant writings include a variety of short, passionate non-fiction works, particularly "What I Believe" (1884), "What Then Must We Do?" (1887), "On the Significance of Science and Art" (1887), "What Is Art?" (1898), and "I Cannot Be Silent" (1908), all of which address a confluence of moral and intellectual errors he perceived in modern life and thought at the turn of the twentieth century.

Like his contemporary Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), whom he never met, Tolstoy was broadly concerned with the spiritual future of the human race. He attempted to confront the gradual movement away from traditional values with an almost Aristotelian emphasis on the permanent relationships of things, promoting the universality of natural and religious values of love and labor to which he believed the human heart responds. Although the West now knows him as the writer of large and perhaps infrequently read novels, his influence on writers and political dissidents such as Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918) has been enormous, and his thought provides resources for ethical assessments of science and technology that have not yet been explored fully.

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in 1828 and died in 1910.

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Bantam Classics
  2. Barnes & Noble Classics
  3. Dover Books on Western Philosophy
  4. Dover Giant Thrift Editions
  5. Dover Thrift Editions
  6. Everyman's Library Classics & Contemporary Classics
  7. Gospel in Great Writers
  8. Modern Library (Hardcover)
  9. Modern Library Classics (Mass Market)
  10. Modern Library Classics (Paperback)
  11. Oxford World's Classics
  12. Penguin Classics
  13. Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions
  14. Signet Classics
  15. Vintage Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics > Russian
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
6Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Eastern European
7Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Russian
8Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages > General
9Books > Subjects > Reference > Foreign Languages

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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.

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