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War and Peace
and Anna Karenina
are widely recognized as two of the greatest novels ever written. Their author Leo Tolstoy has been honored as the father of the modern war story, as an innovator in psychological prose, and as a genius at using fiction to reveal the mysteries of love and death. At the time of his death in 1910, Tolstoy was known the world over as both a great writer and as a merciless critic of institutions that perpetrated, bred, or tolerated injustice and violence in any form.
Yet among literary critics and rival writers, it has become a commonplace to disparage Tolstoy's "thought" while praising his "art." In this Very Short Introduction
Liza Knapp explores the heart of Tolstoy's work. Focusing on his works of fiction that have stood the test of time, she analyses his works of non-fiction alongside them, and sketches out the core themes in Tolstoy's art and thought, and the interplay between them. Tracing the continuing influence of Tolstoy's work on modern literature, Knapp highlights those aspects of his writings that remain relevant today. ABOUT THE SERIES:
The Very Short Introductions
series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.