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Hadji Murat

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ISBN-10: 1843910330

ISBN-13: 9781843910336

Edition: 2003

Authors: Leo Tolstoy, Colm T�ib�n

List price: $13.95
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Description:

InHadji Murat,Tolstoy recounts the extraordinary meeting of two polarized cultures—the refined, Europeanized court of the Russian tsar and the fierce Muslim chieftains of the Chechnen hills. This brilliant, culturally resonant fiction was written towards the end of Tolstoy’s life, but the conflict it describes has obvious, ironic parallels with current affairs today. It is 1852, and Hadji Murat, one of the most feared mountain chiefs, is the scourge of the Russian army. When he comes to surrender, the Russians are delighted. Or have they naively welcomed a double-agent into their midst? With its sardonic portraits—from the inscrutable Hadji Murat to the fat and bumbling tsar—Tolstoy’s story is an astute and witty commentary on the nature of political relations and states at war. Leo Tolstoy is one of the world’s greatest writers. Best known for his brilliantly crafted epic novelsWar and PeaceandAnna Karenina,he used his works to address the problems of Russian society, politics, and traditions.
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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Hesperus Press
Publication date: 2/1/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 130
Size: 4.75" wide x 7.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.396

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.

Award-winning writer and literary critic Colm T�ib�n was born in Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1955. He studied history and English at University College Dublin, earning his B.A. in 1975. After graduating he moved to Barcelona for three years and taught at the Dublin School of English. In 1978 T�ib�n returned to Dublin and began working on an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature. He wrote for In Dublin, Hibernia, and The Sunday Tribune. T�ib�n became the Features Editor of In Dublin in 1981, and then a year later accepted the position of Editor for the Irish current affairs magazine Magill. His first book, "Walking Along the Border," was published in 1987, and his first novel, "The South," debuted in 1990. T�ib�n wrote for The Sunday Independent as a drama or television critic and political commentator. He has penned several more novels and a travel book, plus edited anthologies and a book of essays, created a play, and written regularly for The London Review of Books. T�ib�n's second novel, "The Heather Blazing," received the 1993 Encore Award, and "The Master" achieved the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. T�ib�n has been a visiting professor or lecturer at many American universities. In recognition of his contribution to contemporary Irish literature, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in 2008. He made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title Nora Webster.

Forewordp. vii
Introductionp. xi
Hadji Muratp. 1
Notesp. 127
Biographical notep. 129
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.