Child of a Rich and Noble Family: Tolstoy

Child of a Rich and Noble Family: Tolstoy

We discussed the information about Tolstoy and her literary life, who wrote cult works of Russian Literature and inspired many movies at the same time.

“If you want to be happy, be.” Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy

Who is Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy?

Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828 in a wealthy and noble family, in the mansion named Yasnaya Polyana. The author, who lost his parents at a very young age, grew up with his relatives. Since childhood he had an interest in handling and examining reality. While he was improving his French, he read Voltaire and J. J. Rousseau and was influenced by these two writers.

In 1843, he entered Kazan University to study Eastern languages, but he left because he was not a good student. After a short while, the writer transferred to the Faculty of Law, so he dropped out of school because he could not be successful here, and decided to train himself by preparing a 12-item program. The writer, who joined the army in the following years, wrote his first realistic stories about the lives of the poor people in the Caucasus, and participated in the Crimean War as an officer in 1854. In order to get rid of that mood that he could not find what he was looking for, he took a long trip to Western European Countries, and the writer, who was bored with the titles of nobility and luxury, returned to his village and established a school there.

Tolstoy dealt with the problems of society, poverty, mental depressions and death in his works. In addition to cult novels, the author has also created works in the genre of stories, fairy tales, diaries and letters.

His first novel “Childhood” was published in the popular Russian literature magazine The Contemporary in November 1852 by L.N. Published in capital letters. On the page in the author’s diary, there is a note “Tomorrow I will start writing a great novel”. Of his autobiographical works: “My Childhood”, “First Youth”, “Youth” is the autobiographical trilogy.

During his three years in the Caucasus, he participated in the Sevastopol Defense. “War is not a feast with spears. He wrote his work titled “Sevastopol Series (1855)”, in which he included the expressions “The landscape is blood and death”. The novel “War and Peace”, published in 1869, is considered one of the most important achievements and works of world literature. It was tried to explain the facts of the period, and researches were made to describe the period in which historical events took place in the work. After reading the novel, which took its place among the world classics, Izak Babel said: “If the world could write about itself, it would write like Tolstoy.” used expressions. The novel has been edited and rewritten 12 times.

Anna Karenina, First Edition Cover

“Anna Karenina (1877)”, one of his other important novels, is considered the author’s pinnacle in literary creativity. The work, which was published in sections between 1873 and 1877, tells the events and love adventures of the upper strata of Russian society. “Anna Karenina” has been recognized as the best novel ever written on a list determined by many different authors. Subjects such as a happy marriage, a forbidden relationship and the resulting disappointments, loyalty, jealousy and passion are covered. Despite the success and fame of the novel, the author went into a mental depression and retreated to the Optima Monastery in an effort to understand the meaning of existence.

Saddened by the poor situation of the Russian peasant, the writer distributed all his wealth to the peasants and started to live like them in every way. His works such as “Kroyçer Sonata”, “Efendi and the Servant”, “Power of Darkness”, “Pearls”, “Church and State”, “My Confessions” were produced during these years. He wrote the novel The Death of Ivan Ilyich in 1886, dealing with the experiences of a man who struggled with death in the last days and then left himself helplessly. This novel, which was written, seeks answers to fundamental questions such as the nature of man, the meaning of life and the truth of death.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Russian Cover of the Book, 1895
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Russian Cover of the Book, 1895

A Biography Film: The Last Season of Love (The Last Station)
In the movie about the life of Russian writer Lev Tolstoy, it is explained that he tries to balance his life without giving importance to fame and money. The film is adapted from the book The Last Station by the French poet-author Jay Parini, and deals with the last period of Tolstoy’s life. The author discovered the diaries of Valentin Bulgakov, who had worked as a secretary for Tolstoy in the last days of his life in the second-hand booksellers’ shop, and wrote a historical novel by examining his memoirs and diaries. These sources were used in the film, and it was adapted for the big screen by dealing with the pains he went through during the creative writing process, his depressed mood and family relations. In the movie, which was released in 2009, Christopher Plummer took part in the role of Tolstoy. The artist was nominated for the 67th Golden Globe Awards in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance. Helen Miller, who played Tolstoy’s wife, received the Best Actress Award for her performance in this movie.

in a Nutshell

Lev Tolstoy analyzed the human soul in his works, analyzed the society he lived in, and mentioned it gracefully in his novels. He observed the social and political problems of the Russian people, the existential troubles and the depressions of the human spirit in the period when he was looking for the meaning of life, and benefited from these observations while describing his characters. The writer, who died at the age of 82, spent the last years of his life by hitting the roads as a result of resentment. Tolstoy, who tried to understand what life was like throughout his life, talked about it completely in his works and took his place in literature and world history as one of the most important and great Russian writers.

Source: Buket Kayar & 

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