Tuesday, January 13, 2009

L. Tolstoy 1828-1910

Would like to introduce my new picture, Leo Tolstoy, aka, Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy, in memoriam. In memory of... In honor of just having finished reading a book about him by Henri Troyat.

I picked the college I went to when I saw that there was a freshman seminar called "War and Peace," and that was it: just read war and peace. I took the class when I was a freshman. Only now do I realize the impact that T. has had on my entire life and mind and that he formed and shaped myself throughout the past years in ways that I wasn't aware of and of just how much he means, to me and to everybody.

James Joyce on T. "He is never dull, never stupid, never tired, never pedantic, never theatrical. He is head and shoulders over the others. "

Troyat on A.K. "...even the bliss of family life proves to be only a snare and delusion."

T. "there are two types of men: hunters and non-hunters. Non-hunters love babies and can pick them up and hold them in their arms; hunters are terrified, sickened and filled with pity at the sight of a baby. I know of no exception to that rule."

T. on writing A.k. "I have found that a story leaves a deeper impression when it is impossible to tell which side the author is on."

T: "I was expecting some people I was fond of...They arrived and were exactly as I had hoped they would be. I was happy. That evening I went to bed. I was in that half-waking state in which superficial agitation dies away and the soul begins to speak clearly. My soul was striving toward something, wanting something. "What can I want?" I asked myself in surprise. [...] And the desire persisted, it still persists and indeed it is the most important and strongest thing in my soul. I desire what does not exist in this world."

"One day, out of the blue, he asked Chekhov:
'Were you very profligate in your youth?'
Chekhov, embarassed, did not answer. The author of Resurrection glared out to the far-off sea and added:
"I was insatiable!"

Last words (a series) (on deathbed in small stationmaster's cottage near trainstation where he fell ill with pneumonia 1910 after abandoning all possessions and fleeing family with doctor and youngest daughter Sasha for the Caucasus)

"Seek, keep seeking"

"I cannot seem to get to sleep. I am still composing. I am writing. Each thing moves on smoothly to the next."

"The truth...I care a great deal...How they..."

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