War and Peace

ISBN-10: 039396647X

ISBN-13: 9780393966473

Edition: 2nd 1995 (Revised)

Authors: Leo Tolstoy, George Gibian

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The text of this revised Norton Critical Edition of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel is based on the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation. The editor has made revisions where appropriate; the annotations have also been revised and expanded. Three maps of Napoleon's campaigns and battles in Russia are included, making the military aspects of the novel easier to follow. Backgrounds and Sources includes the publication history of War and Peace, selections from Tolstoy's letters and diaries as well as three drafts of his introduction to the novel that elucidate the its evolution, and an 1868 article by Tolstoy in which he reacts to his critics. Criticism includes twenty essays, seven of them new, that provide diverse perspectives on the novel by Nikolai Strakhov, V. I. Lenin, Henry James, Isaiah Berlin, D. S. Mirsky, Kathryn Feuer, Lydia Ginzburg, Richard Gustafson, Gary Saul Morson, and Caryl Emerson, among others. A Chronology and Selected Bibliography are also included.
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Book details

List price: $16.00
Edition: 2nd
Copyright year: 1995
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 1/17/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 1200
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 2.266
Language: English

Tolstoy's life was defined by moral and artistic seeking and by conflict with himself and his surroundings. Of the old nobility, he began by living the usual, dissipated life of a man of his class; however, his inner compulsion for moral self-justification led him in a different direction. In 1851 he became a soldier in the Caucasus and began to publish even while stationed there (Childhood [1852] and other works). Even more significant were his experiences during the Crimean War: the siege of Sevastopol provided the background for his sketches of human behavior in battle in the Sevastopol Stories (1855--56). After the war, Tolstoy mixed for a time with St. Petersburg literary society, traveled extensively abroad, and married Sophia Bers. The couple were happy for a long time, with Countess Tolstoy participating actively in her husband's literary and other endeavors. The center of Tolstoy's life became family, which he celebrated in the final section of War and Peace (1869). In this great novel, he unfolded the stories of several families in Russia during the Napoleonic period and explored the nature of historical causation and of freedom and necessity. A different note emerged in Anna Karenina (1876). Here, too, Tolstoy focused on families but this time emphasized an individual's conflict with society's norms. A period of inner crisis, depression, and thoughts of suicide culminated in Tolstoy's 1879 conversion to a rationalistic form of Christianity in which moral behavior was supremely important. Confession (1882) describes this profound transition. Tolstoy now began to proselytize his new-found faith through fiction, essays, and personal contacts. Between 1880 and 1883, he wrote three major works on religion. A supreme polemicist, he participated in debates on a large number of political and social issues, generally at odds with the government. His advocacy of nonresistance to evil attracted many followers and later had a profound influence on Mahatma Gandhi and, through him, Martin Luther King, Jr. (see Vol. 4). Tolstoy's stature as a writer and public figure was enormous both within Russia and abroad, greater than that of any other Russian writer. When the Orthodox Church excommunicated him in 1901, a cartoon depicted him as disproportionately larger than his ecclesiastical judges. Tolstoy's final years were filled with inner torment: Living as he did on a luxurious estate, he felt himself to be a betrayer of his own teachings. He also suffered from disputes with his wife over the disposition of his property, which she wished to safeguard for their children. In 1910, desperately unhappy, the aged writer left his home at Yasnaya Polyana. He did not get far; he caught pneumonia and died of heart failure at a railway station, an event that was headline news throughout the world. In the course of Tolstoy's career, his art evolved significantly, but it possessed a certain underlying unity. From the beginning, he concentrated on the inner life of human beings, though the manner of his analysis changed. The body of his writing is enormous, encompassing both fiction and a vast amount of theoretical and polemical material. Besides his three great novels---War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and Resurrection (1899)---he wrote many superb shorter works. Among these, The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886) stands out as a literary masterpiece and fine philosophical text, while the short novel Hadji Murat (1904), set in the Caucasus and Russia during the reign of Nicholas I, is a gem of narration and plot construction. Tolstoy has been translated extensively. The Louise and Aylmer Maude and Constance Garnett translations are institutions (for many works, the only versions available) and are used by different publishers, sometimes in modernized versions. New translations by Rosemary Edmonds, David Magarshack, and Ann Dunigan are also justifiably popular.

The Text of War and Peace
Backgrounds and Sources
Map: The Campaign of 1812
Map: Borodino
Map: Napoleon in Russia--1812
The Publication History of War and Peace
The Author on the Novel
Extracts from Tolstoy's Letters and Diaries (1865-1868)
[Letter to A. A. Fet--January, 1865]
[Diary--March 2, 1865]
[Diary--March 19, 1865]
[Diary--March 23, 1865]
[Diary--March 28, 1865]
[Letter to L. I. Volkonskaya--May 3, 1865]
[Letter to P. D. Boborykin--July or August, 1865]
[Letter to A. E. Bers--November, 1865]
[Diary--November 12, 1865]
[Letters to M. S. Bashilov--April 4 and December 8, 1866; February 28, 1867]
[Letter to A. A. Fet--November 7, 1866]
[Entry in Tolstoy's Notebook--November 27, 1866]
[Letter to P. I. Bartenev--August 16-18, 1867]
[Letter to P. I. Bartenev--November 1, 1867]
[Letter to P. I. Bartenev--December 6, 1867]
[Letter to P. I. Bartenev--December 8, 1867]
[Letter to M. P. Pogodin--March 21 or 23, 1868]
Drafts for an Introduction to War and Peace
[Draft 1]
[Draft 2]
[Draft 3]
Some Words about War and Peace
The Old Gentry
[The Significance of the Last Part of War and Peace]
[The Russian Idea in War and Peace]
Comments on War and Peace
[The Greatness and Universality of War and Peace]
Leo Tolstoy as a Mirror of the Russian Revolution
[Loose Baggy Monsters]
[A Monster Harnessed]
[Details in War and Peace]
[The Genre of War and Peace in the Context of Russian Literary History]
[Tolstoy's Essays as an Element of Structure]
[Tolstoy's Attitude Towards History in War and Peace]
[Tolstoy's Worldview in War and Peace]
About Tolstoy
[On Tolstoy: Materialism, Spiritualism, and Russianness]
The Book That Became War and Peace
States of Human Awareness
[Narrative and Creative Potentials in War and Peace]
[Where Bakhtin Misses the Mark on Tolstoy]
Causal Conditionality
A Note on Russian Literary Criticism
Leo Tolstoy: A Chronology
Selected Bibliography
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