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By Leo Tolstoy

A variety of non secular writings through nineteenth-century Russian author Leo Tolstoy, together with the identify choice that files his 1879 religious predicament in which he made up our minds he had entire not anything of lasting worth in his lifetime; observed by way of an advent and explanatory notes.

summary: a variety of spiritual writings through nineteenth-century Russian author Leo Tolstoy, together with the name choice that files his 1879 non secular obstacle in which he made up our minds he had finished not anything of lasting worth in his lifetime; followed via an creation and explanatory notes

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Sample text

For a year I involved myself with arbitration work, with the schools and the journal, and soon exhausted myself. This was largely due to my confusion; the struggle as arbitrator became so burdensome, my school activities so complex and my journalistic prevarications so repulsive to me, since they always consisted of the same thing: the desire to teach everyone while concealing the fact that I did not know what I was teaching. I became ill, spiritually more than physically. I threw in everything and left for the steppes of the Bashkirs7 to breathe fresh air, drink koumiss8 and live a primitive life.

In order to reach the same state of despair that fills me, or in order to be dull-witted! If I love them I cannot conceal the truth from them. Each step taken in knowledge leads them to this truth. And the truth is death. ‘Art, poetry…’ For a long time, under the influence of success and praise from others, I had persuaded myself that this was a thing that could be done, despite the fact of approaching death which obliterates everything: myself, my works and the memory of both. But I quickly realized that this too was a delusion.

The authorities of both Church and State, viewed by Tolstoy as a corruptive union of two archaic, institutional evils, became increasingly irritated and fearful of his influence. With the exception of a few censored editions of works such as Resurrection and The Death of Ivan Ilyitch, nothing that Tolstoy wrote in the latter part of his life passed the censor. They were, however, widely read in manuscript and hectographed form, as well as in editions published abroad and circulated in Russia. Possession of his banned writings, or any other show of allegiance to what the government referred to as ‘Tolstoy’s abominations’, became a punishable offence for which a great many of his followers suffered.

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