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Der Tod des Iwan Iljitsch

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  42,170 ratings  ·  1,816 reviews
Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his dying so much as a passing thought. But one day, death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise, he is brought face to face with his own mortality.

Paperback, 96 pages
Published 1986 by Reclam (first published 1886)
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Mishanya111 Tolstoy stood on the position of humanism, claiming that the inevitability of the death makes our circumvantes all useless. This book's plot's based…moreTolstoy stood on the position of humanism, claiming that the inevitability of the death makes our circumvantes all useless. This book's plot's based on the story of I.I.Mechnikov's death - the famous lawyer disappointed in all his life's achievements before death. Moreover this story concerns the universal moral laws, beeing in focus of T.'s attention that years.

The last question's answering is on our own opinion...(less)

Community Reviews

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May 18, 2012 Jenn(ifer) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Schopenhauer
Recommended to Jenn(ifer) by: Virginia Woolf
"“Death is over," he said to himself. "There is no more death.”

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
you're all excited about someone new only to discover that the beatles are their all-time favorite band. and it all starts to unravel, eh? the beatles are the most popular pop/rock band of all time, wildly innovative, probably wrote more great songs than any other band... but your all-time favorite band? dull dull dull. i think i'd even take someone who champions rush or the eagl- (no, not the eagles. any other band but the eagles, steve miller, or aerosmith) over the beatles just because it's m ...more
Petra X smokin' hot
Socrates said that an unexamined life was not worth living. In Kafka's The Metamorphosis poor Gregor Samsa is transformed into a being that cannot take part in the daily round of society and becomes more and more sidelined and ignored by those around him. This book, the Death of Ivan Ilych, has both of these notions contained within it's theme.

Ivan Ilyich is dying. As he grows sicker and fits less in with his fair weather friends and family and their preoccupation with their social life, they le
Each time I reread Tolstoy’s little novella, The Death of Ivan Ilych, I read it differently. As a college student I read it as a description of an experience for someone elderly, an experience distant, almost unreal, so far in the future as to be strange, almost surreal. Reading it again during my years as a practicing physician, I was impressed by Tolstoy’s perceptiveness of the stages of grieving, the writings of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross being then all the rage, and how my patients had similar ex ...more
Spend time with a timeless author and Ivan Ilych, a human being dealing with the discontinuity of life when all he's known is the sameness. If you are able to put aside resistances to the subject of death, you will find much to identify with and think about long after the last sentence.
You are transported to the world of Ivan and walk with him to his last moments at deaths door. A story of the terror of death and Ivan's fear of dying, his concern and sorrow for his families witnessing of his howling and decline. Suffering realizes joy of youth and memories of the best of days, while he is in this process of death the solitude brings him to doors of gone memories of happiness. How our daily trappings take us away from finer and truer happier moments of life, a time lost so valu ...more
Mike Puma

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

The more Tolstoy I read, the more I appreciate his literary genius and his philosophic thoughts. This was a relatively short book dealing with Ivan Ilyich's realization of his impending death. His life had been mediocre at best and he realizes he hadn't really been happy and had been trying to live an "ideal" life. What awful thoughts to realize when one is so close to death!

این داستان بلند را باید حتماً خواند. این را و داستان بلند دیگر "پدر سرگئی" را. مضمون کلی آن هم تقریباً مشابه این داستان و تقریباً مشابه سایر آثار بزرگ تولستوی، از جمله جنگ و صلح و آنا کارنیناست. حرفی که این داستان بلند می خواهد بزند، گم شدن "معنای انسان بودن" در میان روزمرگی هاست. شخصیت اصلی، یک کارمند موفق است و ترقی های زیادی در اداره اش کرده. اما وقتی با مرگ محتوم رو به رو می شود، تازه می فهمد که هرگز زندگی نکرده است و سراسر عمرش را به همین ترقی بی معنی و کار بی معنی تر سپری کرده است. آن گاه،
It is the epitome of a true classic. It is timeless. It is as immediately relevant now as it was when it was published 130 years ago.
Here is the unexamined Life, with its strivings, hypocrisies, bargains, illusions upon illusions, and its screens stopping thoughts of Death.
Then Life is introduced to Death. The screens are relentlessly stripped away, revealing…nothing? “There is no explanation! Agony, death… .What for?”
This is why I read.
"As soon as man lives, he is old enough to die."

I have now understood the reasons and significance behind the categorization of Count Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy as among one of the finest literary figures, in Russia and elsewhere. Leo Tolstoy penned this book in the year 1886--shortly before he began to pursue religion and teachings of the life after this one. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a short novella and it faces boldly the materialistic issues and philosophical meanderings tied to the concept
Carmo Santos

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
Jan 03, 2015 Florencia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any human being
Shelves: russian, favorites
I read this novella a couple of weeks ago and I didn't write a review right away; I had to put my thoughts in order (they rarely are but, oh well). That only happens after reading an amazing book, brilliantly written, that deals with the human condition like Dostoyevsky's keen eye can deal. This book is about life itself, life in its most virtuous and degrading glory. This masterpiece has no more than 120 pages, but it manages to show many perspectives on different issues concerning the human na ...more
Normally a book that looks this closely at death would, I'm afraid, terrify me. I have enough anxiety already, I don't need to think about the "dragging pain" in Ivan Ilyich's side, which -- being a doctor's daughter -- I could diagnose fairly easily as some kind of cancer, quite probably cancer of the gallbladder. That "dragging pain" is the giveaway to me, because it was in all the descriptions of the sort of pain cancer of the gallbladder causes. I know all about that because of the anxious p ...more
Elijah Spector
(I actually read this in Great Short Works.)
"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 i
Apesar de a seguinte frase ser empolada e um óbvio lugar-comum, acaba por ser conveniente e azada para a reflexão da obra A Morte de Ivan Ilitch : a única certeza que temos quando nascemos é que vamos morrer.
Este facto é o verdadeiro padecimento que definha, debilita e aniquila um ser humano; é a autêntica doença infeciosa que qualquer um, prendado de consciência e racionalidade, pode facilmente contrair.

Estou siderado... Lev Tolstoi é um escritor brilhante que reproduz, com profundo conheci
teresa morreu…
os colegas animam-se com a oportunidade de promoção por sucessão…
o conjugue preocupa-se em aproveitar todas as oportunidades de receber subsídios, pensões,…
mas, primeiro, há que passar pela maçada da cerimónia dos pêsames, velório e funeral.

teresa nasceu, cresceu, estudou, trabalhou, casou, foi mãe…

teresa está a viver a sua morte…
um acidente, ao colocar cortinados na casa nova, causa-lhe um problema renal que a arrasta para uma morte lenta, dolorosa e solitária.
O sofrimento é atro
Daniel Pecheur
Wow is my first expression upon having finished my first Tolstoy- his novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, which the Russian master wrote after a religious conversion. Tolstoy is a master of fine details and resplendent subtlety. The work is a meditation on the human condition as Tolstoy saw it, tinged by Christian asceticism, in the case of the title character and all those around him who have succumbed to the spiritual decay of living in monochromatic conformity with the values and the superficia ...more
Pobre Ivan Ilich. Se le fué la vida en nada y se dió cuenta un momento antes de morir.
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
أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
موت ايفان ايليتش , إحدى قصص تولستوي الخالدة .
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
Ken Moten
"O death, where is thy sting?..." 1 Corinthians 15:55 (KJV)

"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."

I like to belatedly dedicate this review to my grandfather who recently died, I hope he realized his life had much meaning. (1944-2014)

This short story was my introduction to Leo Tolstoy and it was interesting. I was just getting int
There are about 10 works of literature that I think about almost on a daily basis. This novella is one of them. Tolstoy pens a story about the basics of life and does so with a satirical yet understated tone. We meet a man who is bogged down in the pettiness of day-to-day cares until the spectre of death hangs over him, causing him to question the meaning of life, the meaning of his life. In this novella, time and space constrict to leave the title character stripped of all the vanities that dis ...more
I'm a bit at a loss here trying to put into words what exactly it is that The Death of Ivan Ilych made me feel. Mostly, it put me in a dying man's shoes and left me in a frustrating and uncomfortable state, pressured to appreciate the value of said man’s life – which I would have no problem with, if it wasn’t for the direct, meditative and personal approach.

I found it hard to detach myself completely from Ivan’s tale. Most of the time, I was too focused on me, on whether I could empathize with h
Un enorme terribile inganno nascondeva la vita e la morte.
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, Tolst
This is a brilliant short piece. Ivan Ilyich is a man who lives spiritless existence. A successful bureaucrat trapped in security. Going through vain pursuits and other motions of life that add little meaning to his self.

The idea of his own death finally wakes his conscience. When facing death, he tries to grasp onto his life and material security with despair.One can see the sheer incapability of Ivan Ilyich in facing his own mortality when he grapples with and cannot understand the implication
I have seldom read literature where authors can get into a person's head quite the way Leo Tolstoy does. I read, "The Death of Ivan Illych" with the ever present sense of dread. Even so, I could not put it down. I am amazed at the kind of detail Tolstoy delivered - even with such a short story.

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
Ivan Ilych’s life revolved around his career; as a high court judge he takes his job very seriously. However after he falls off a ladder, he soon discovers that he is going to die. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a novella that deals with the meaning of life in the face of death. A masterpiece for Leo Tolstoy written after his religious conversion in the late 1870s.

Something that was fascinating about The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the drastic change in writing style when comparing it to Anna Karenina
Inês Beato
Tolstoi apresenta nesta pequena obra todo um mundo sensações e reflexões profundas sobre um assunto que nunca deixa de incomodar: a Morte. Esse grande 'elefante branco no meio da sala', que todos sabem que existe, que chegará para todos nós mais cedo ou mais tarde, mas que mesmo assim causa grande desconforto a quem se atreve a pensar e a falar nele.
Um livro que descreve magistralmente o martírio de Ivan Ilitch na sua luta interior final, enquanto espera a morte. A reflexão sobre a sua vida, as
Uno de los relatos más conocidos de León Tolstoi es ’La muerte de Ivan Ilich’, una trama desarrollada entre las clases burguesas de una Rusia crepuscular, donde el protagonista, Ivan Ilich, es un hombre del que desde el inicio sabemos de su muerte. Ivan Ilich es un alto funcionario, regido por la rectitud y acostumbrado a la comodidad, rodeado de la más alta burguesía, cuya vida familiar transcurre bajo el tedio y el hastío. Sin embargo, un día se da cuenta de que sufre un dolor en el costado, a ...more
This is the story of the life and - as the title indicates - the death of an ordinary man. Ivan Ilych is not a particularly likeable character, nor are his wife and children, nor the colleagues who also appear in the narrative. And yet, the story of Ivan's death is powerful and moving, simply but exquisitely told. Ivan's anger, his fear, his resentment are all unflinchingly described.

I've spent the past few months acutely aware of mortality. A close friend died suddenly a few months ago. Two ot
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Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; commonly Leo Tolstoy in Anglophone countries) was a Russian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories. Later in life, he also wrote plays and essays. His two most famous works, the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are acknowledged as two of the greatest novels of all time and a pinnacle of realist fiction. Many consider To ...more
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Anna Karenina War and Peace The Kreutzer Sonata Resurrection Childhood, Boyhood, Youth

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“Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.” 72 likes
“Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?” 34 likes
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