The Cambridge companion to Tolstoy

Key dimensions of Tolstoy's writing and life are explored in this collection of specially commissioned essays.

Corporate Author: Cambridge collections online.
Other Authors: Orwin, Donna Tussing, 1947-
Format: Online Book
Language: English
Published: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Series: Cambridge companions to literature.
Subjects:
Online Access: Online version
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Review by Choice Review

Readers expecting to find among the contributors to this collection most of the "big names" in Tolstoyan criticism will be disappointed. Eikhenbaum, Steiner, Berlin, and Gustafson figure here only peripherally or not at all. Nonetheless, Orwin (Univ. of Toronto) keeps the promises implicit in the title, including a dozen compendious essays that ably cover the spectrum of Tolstoy's many-facetted oeuvre. Since even a cursory precis of each piece is impossible, it must suffice here to single out six contributions of especial interest, namely, Gary Morson's study of Pierre Bezukhov's philosophical delusions in War and Peace; Barbara Lonqvist's dissection of thematic linkages in Anna Karenina; Liza Knapp's discussion of the foreshadowing of the late, mature Tolstoy in his early works; Richard Freeborn's thoughtful treatment of the "long" Tolstoyan short story; Edwina Cruise's dispassionate grappling with the so-called "woman's question" in Tolstoy's fiction; and Caryl Emerson's deft apologia for Tolstoy's totalitarian ethics. Of the remaining essays--they cover such diverse topics as Tolstoy's "folkloric" fiction, non-Russian productions of his plays, and the Tolstoyan presence in 20th-century fiction--none is less than competent. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Libraries serving readers at all levels. R. Gregg emeritus, Vassar College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.