The Death of Ivan Ilyich
When I picked this book up at a library book sale, I did so without expectation that I would actually enjoy reading it. See, I had mistakenly given up on the masters of Russian literature due to the struggles I had reading a particular novel (I’m looking at you Brothers Karamazov!), assuming they were all inaccessible and there was no point in expending anymore energy trying to make sense of books with characters that go by 3 differe...more
A mini-review not intended for the easily offended (i.e., there’s a dirty part)
But first, Constance Garnett. Is it possible that this woman was the best and worst thing to happen to all Russian public domain titles? She seems to have translated everything Russian that was in print at the time of her demise. Given that her translations are, likely, the stuff much academic criticism is based on, one has to wonder what could have been. There is a vague sort of missed opportunity that hovers over t...more
É duro, é real e assusta! Uma pedrada no charco das nossas consciências que vem acordar os nossos medos perante a doença, a incapacidade e a morte.
O presságio da morte trás consigo uma solidão opressiva, uma impotência e uma revolta que ninguém à volta do doente poderá aliviar. Perante a fatalidade surgem as inevitáveis perguntas:
-Porquê eu? Porquê agora? A verdade é pode acontecer a cada um de nós em qualquer momento. Não queremos é pensar nisso, como se o simples facto de não pensar, seja suf...more
Porque se entera de que todo ha sido una mentira, qué puede ser más terrible que eso? Es de una tristeza profunda y cansada, llena de desilusión y de tiempo perdido.
Se enferma sin darse cuenta, pensando que estaba viviendo una vida ideal.
Cada paso que damos nos acerca a un acierto, o a un error.
Le cuesta aceptar que “no ha vivido su vida como debía”, porque es como decir que no tuvo ningún sentido, al encontrar...more
"What is this? Can it be that it is Death?" And the inner voice answered: "Yes, it is Death."
"Why these sufferings?" And the voice answered, "For no reason--they are just so."
p. 296 in Great Short Works
I fucking love Tolstoy so much. He's not just ahead of his time, he's usually ahead of his reader, too.
If I wanted to be kind, to myself, I'd say that The Death of Ivan Ilyich is about a boring man looking back on his life and wondering if he's wasted it...more
أنا معجب بقصص تولستوي و أثّرت بي كثيراً و أنا صغير السنّ , أكثر من رواياته دون أن ننفي ملحميّة رواياته و كونها أضحت جزءاً من الذاكرة البشرية , موت ايفان ايليتش تقع بين القصة و الرواية , و يصف فيها موت ايفان ايليتش ابن الطبقة الوسطى , ايفان الذي يدرك قبل موته بساعات فقط أنّه بسبب خضوعه لدوره المسبق في مسرحية المجتمع و توزيعه الطبقي و الوظيفي كان قد أمضى حياته كما لا يجب أن تكون , خاليةً من العواطف و الحميمية و الأخطاء حتى , ربما سلّم نفسه للموت مرتاحا...more
I typically like longer novels but, "The Death of Ivan Illych" took only what was necessary to tell the story.
The great, Western American writer, Wallace Stegner, on discussing the craft of writing fiction...more
"And suddenly it grew clear to him that what had been oppressing him and would not leave him...He was sorry for them, he must act so as not to hurt them: release them and free himself from these sufferings."
This short story was my introduction to Leo Tolstoy and it was interesting. I was just getting introduced to Russian literature through Fyodor Dostoevsky and had read his novella Notes from Underground while also getting ready to rea...more
Non è facile scrivere in modo approfondito della morte: trovare, attraverso giuste parole, l’equilibrio tra i sentimenti evocati, la misura tra il banale e il complesso; rendere chiaro ed efficace il proprio punto di vista o "credo". L’argomento, poi, può far paura al lettore che lo tiene spesso lontano perfino dai propri pensieri, come per allontanare la morte stessa.
Eppure, con mirabile maestria e opportuna naturalezza, riesce, Tolsto...more
At the funer...more
Some things that hinder this novella are the preachy tone that begins to slip in in the last section, the needless repetition of certain scenes, and the slight treatment of Ilych's early years.
The preachy tone doesn't batter the reader over the head but it does give only one "answer" to the Question of Life, and all but claims it to be the one and only answer. Going in, I knew some things about Tolstoy's later years, and his own philos...more
I've spent the past few months acutely aware of mortality. A close friend died suddenly a few months ago. Two ot...more
Well, this didn't deter me! For Pete's sake, this is T...more
(I read the Maude translation, freely available online.)
There's a deep earnestness about Tolstoy's words when his fiction is at its best which tends to excuse any other flaw if the resonance is right with the reader. But it's not all about the emotive connection, because Tolstoy imparts a genuine gra...more
Ivan Ilyich thinks that he may have done somethin...more
The story begins with the funeral service of Ivan Ilyich. Several of his colleagues are there out of necessity more than want. They think how better it was that he should die than them. Rather t...more
I read The Death of Ivan Illyich not only because it is the work of brilliant Leo Tolstoy, a genius whose every prose cuts through my heart, but also because Dr. Wayne Dyer once said that reading this book at 19 completely changed his thinking. As if that were not enough, I fondly remember how my mom read this book as part of an English class assignment in college; she went to college at the same time as...more
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