The Death of Ivan IlychPaperback
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- Publisher: Createspace
- Format: Paperback | 78 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 216mm x 5mm | 150g
- Publication date: 10 January 2013
- ISBN 10: 1481950614
- ISBN 13: 9781481950619
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 1,461,711
The Death of Ivan Ilych, by Leo Tolstoy, is both rewarding and unsettling reading. Few novels treat dying as boldly. In this story Ivan Ilyich's life and death are plainly represented in a fashion that remarkably resembles the experience of many who are near death or the dying. What the novel puts on display in so satisfying and disconcerting a fashion is the remarkable inability or reluctance of most people to take part in the life of a person who is inevitably and rather immediately dying. Only one character in the novel has the goodness, humility and patience to care for a dying man, the rest scurry about and take care of their anticipated needs in the face of losing a loved one. This is a good book to read more than once. It remains a fine portrait of a bureaucrat whose family life does not entirely satisfy him and whose pursuit of a more meaningful life fails to cease even in sickness, when he understands that his mortality is soon to be demonstrated. A thought-provoking, excellent read.
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Leo Tolstoy (1828 -1910) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer. His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.