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A Morte de Ivan Ilitch

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Aclamada como uma das maiores obras-primas sobre a temática da morte, esta é a história de Ivan Iliitch, um juiz respeitado que, apercebendo-se da morte próxima, se interroga sobre as suas escolhas, percurso de vida e a mentira em que vive.

91 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1886

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About the author

Leo Tolstoy

6,430 books23.5k followers
Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Russian: Лев Николаевич Толстой; most appropriately used Liev Tolstoy; 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 Tolstoy to have been one of the world's greatest novelists. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.

His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him in later life to become a fervent Christian anarchist and anarcho-pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal twentieth-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Profile Image for Jenn(ifer).
159 reviews975 followers
June 29, 2015

"“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 different names and waaaaaaah the end.

THIS book! Not at all inaccessible. Masterful in its brevity. Concise and relevant and beautifully written. Pay close attention. Blink and you’ll miss it.

I don’t have the words. Tolstoy sets up the story expertly. Ivan Ilyich is a decent man. He has all of the trappings of a “successful life”: respectable family, respectable job, respectable home. He is by all intents and purposes content with his position in life.

But has he truly lived?

Tolstoy describes Ivan Ilyich’s failing health in such a way that the reader can almost FEEL what it was like for him. The gnawing ache in his side, the pain… unrelenting, demoralizing… every simple facet of existence plagued by torturous, insufferable, incurable pain. It’s agonizing. He cannot escape it.

And then there’s his wife! She becomes like the walking, breathing embodiment of this pain. He can’t stand the sight of her, the sound of her, the smell of her. We get the briefest of glimpses of what it must be like for a man on the brink of death. He feels he is a burden; he believes everyone is just waiting for him to die. He doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone to help alleviate his suffering. He struggles with existence, with god… “why me? why is this happening to me!”

But then in the end, he finds what we all hope to find. He finds peace. He finds that this is not the end of life, but the end of death.

Well, Leo, I think you've found yourself a new fan.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
434 reviews4,264 followers
August 16, 2023
Written in 1886 by Tolstoy, the novella begins at the funeral of Ivan Ilyich. His wife is trying to find out if she is entitled to even more money, and his co-workers are already relishing in their promotional opportunities now that his spot is open. The book covers the backstory of Ivan’s life: his marriage and professional life and his relationship with his children. It covers Ivan’s illness and his thoughts on his life.

This book was particularly interesting for me, because I was dying this last year and reflected on my life. After two heart surgeries, I am doing much better. However, it was interesting to compare notes with Ilyich. For me, the only portion of my life that I deeply regretted was working for jerks. Please note that my current employer is not a jerk. Giving years of my life to a place that didn’t value me was not where I should have spent years of my life.

Ivan Ilyich has the realization that many of the things that he experienced in life were not unique to him even though he thought that he was so unique at the time. He spends most of his time not investing in relationship. He spends time reading books that other people talk about. Why doesn’t he read books that he wants to read? There were deaths of other people mentioned in the book, but Ivan is completely flat, emotionless, when he mentions these deaths. Yet when contemplating his own death, he considers himself unique, special.

There was a great metaphor in this novella that I loved. Overall, a great read and well worth the two hours invested to read it. Plus, as an Audible member, I received the audiobook for free. Who doesn’t love free books?

This is one of James Mustich’s 1,000 Books to Read

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

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Profile Image for oyshik.
219 reviews692 followers
July 24, 2021
The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

Dealing with living might be difficult for many, but dealing with dying-how many of us think about that. This is a very compelling story about the point of life which represents, through an explanation of the life and death of the main character. A tear-jerking page-turner even though you already know how it ends.
Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more!

Wonderful story.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews37 followers
August 7, 2021
(Book 829 from 1001 books) - Смерть Ивана Ильича = ‎Smert Ivana Ilicha = The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870's.

Usually classed among the best examples of the novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of a high-court judge and his sufferings and death from a terminal illness in 19th-century Russia.

Ivan Ilyich
(Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin) is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man." As the story progresses, he becomes more and more introspective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death.

Praskovya Fëdorovna Golovin is Ivan's unsympathetic wife. She is characterized as self-absorbed and uninterested in her husband's struggles, unless they directly affect her.

Gerasim is the Golovins' young butler. He takes on the role of sole comforter and caretaker during Ivan's illness.

Peter Ivanovich is Ivan's longtime friend and colleague. He studied law with Ivan and is the first to recognize Ivan's impending death.

Lisa Golovin is Ivan's daughter.

Fëdor Petrishchev is Lisa's fiancé.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «مرگ ایوان ایلیچ»؛ «چند داستان و حکایت»؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ انتشاراتیها: (نیلوفر، دانا، رادوگا)؛ ادبیات روسیه - سده 19میلادی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2007میلادی

عنوان: چند داستان و حکایت؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: گامایون؛ مسکو، رادوگا، 1364، در 312ص؛عنوان داستانها: «دو افسر هوسار»؛ «هامون نورد»؛ «مرگ ایوان ایلیچ»؛ «پس از مجلس رقص»؛

عنوان: مرگ ایوان ایلیچ؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: لاله بهنام؛ تهران، دانا، 1370، در 99ص؛ شابک 9646242685؛

عنوان: مرگ ایوان ایلیچ؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1385، در 152ص؛ چاپ دوم: 1386؛ سوم 1390؛ شابک 9789644483073؛

مترجمهای این اثر خانمها و آقایان: «گامایون»، «صالح حسینی»؛ «هوشنگ اسماعیلیان»؛ «رضی خدادادی (هیرمندی)»؛ «لاله بهنام»؛ «سالومه مهوشان»؛ «یوسف قنبر»؛ «حسن زمانی»؛ «تیمور قادری»؛ «سروش حبیبی»؛ «حمیدرضا آتش بر آب»؛ «محمد دادگر»؛ «علی اصغر بهرامی»؛ «کاظم انصاری»؛ و ...؛ هستند

ایوان ایلیچ، شخصیت اصلی داستان «تولستوی»، شخصی توانا در زندگی روزمره و کاری، ولی در زندگی شخصی دچار مشکلات؛ و البته مشکلات به نوعی متأثر از موفقیت‌های کاری وی نیز هستند؛ او بنا به دلایلی که در کتاب ذکر شده، دچار بیماری سخت‌ درمان می‌شود؛ «تولستوی» در این کتاب از توانایی خود، برای به تصویر کشیدن روحیات، و احساسات یک بیمار کم علاج، سود می‌برند؛ «تولستوی» روحیات چنین بیمارانی را از لحظه ی آگاه شدنشان به بیماری خویش، تا لحظه ی خاموشی، یا همان مرگ را، به پنج مرحله تقسیم می‌کنند؛ این مراحل پنج‌گانه عبارتند از: یک: «عدم پذیرش یا انکار»، دوم: «خشم»، سوم: «معامله»، چهارم: «افسردگی»، و پنجم: «پذیرش»؛

ایشان این مراحل را به طور دقیق، مورد بررسی قرار می‌دهند، از جمله توضیحات کوتاهی که در این پنج مرحله نگاشته شده، می‌توان به موارد زیر اشاره نمود

مرحله انکار: «تنها به مراحل اولیه یا رویارویی با بیماری محدود نمی‌شود، این مرحله با حرف‌های پزشک معالج آغاز می‌شود؛ او از انکار، یا عدم پذیرش، به عنوان نوعی تسکین، یا درمان، استفاده می‌کند»؛

مرحله خشم: «در این مرحله بیمار، دیگران را مقصر بیماری خود می‌داند، در داستان، ایوان ایلیچ، ناراحتی خود را با آزار همسر، و دیگر اطرافیان، تسکین می‌دهد؛ او چنین می‌اندیشد که گویی او بیمار شده‌ است، تا دیگران سالم بمانند

مرحله ی معامله: از بین مراحل پنج‌گانه، این مرحله کوتاه‌ترین مرحله‌ است؛ بیمار با خود صحبت‌هایی مانند: ای خدا اگر فقط یک سال به من مهلت بدهی، قول می‌دهم که مسیحی بشوم و...؛ سعی در به تأخیر انداختن زمان مرگ خویش دارد

مرحله افسردگی: در این مرحله، بیمار به عزای فرصت‌های از دست رفته، می‌نشیند، در این مرحله بیمار نیاز به تاریکی تنهایی دارد، و در تاریکی و تنهایی، خیال همه چیز را در سر می‌پروراند

مرحله پذیرش: مرحله پذیرش، آخرین مرحله ی یک بیمار است، که تهی از احساسات می‌شود؛ در این مرحله گویی درد از میان رفته‌ است؛ در این مرحله، سکوت، پرمعناترین شکل ارتباط است؛ در این مرحله، فشار دادن دست دوست، نگاهی سنگین و...؛ پرمعناترین معانی را از ژرفای یک بیمار در حال مرگ، به خوانشگر می‌رساند

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Gypsy.
407 reviews527 followers
January 3, 2018

درحقیقت مرگ ایوان ایلیچ، اولین تجربه من از تولستوی بود. جای تأسفه، بیست سالمه و خیلی از شاهکارها رو نخوندم. چپ و راست بم می‌گن فلان چیزو خوندی؟ نه. ویرجینیا وولف؟ نه. ایشی‌گورو؟ نه. یوسا؟ نه. مارکز؟ آو، دو سه تایی خوندم. دیکنز؟ اینم آو و اینا. همینگوی؟ چندتا کوتاه و پیرمرد و دریا فقط. داستایوفسکی؟ کوتاهاشو. و تولستوی؟ مرگ ایوان ایلیچ. بیست سال زندگی کردم و انگشت‌شمار شاهکار خوندم.

تولستوی مثل یه مهندس داستانشو طراحی می‌کنه. همه‌‌چیز دقیق و محکم و ساختارمند و فکرشده. هیچ خدشه‌ای نمی‌تونی بهش وارد کنی. من طول کشید بخونمش، چون از رو فیدیبو می‌خونم و کتاب الکترونیک چشمم رو خسته می‌کنه. خود داستان هم چیزی نبود که راحت بخونی بگذری. دردِ وجود و زندگی و مرگ رو باید مزه مزه کنی باهاش. شخصیت‌پردازی اطرافیان ایوان عالی بود. هرکدوم‌شون نماد شده بودن و پوچی زندگی‌شونو می‌دیدی. اینکه همه‌شون در ظاهر عزادارِ مرگ ایوان بودن ولی ازش نفع می‌بردن. مرگ ایوان ایلیچ چیزی نبود که دلخواهم باشه، صرفاً از نظر سلیقه‌ای می‌گم. همون‌طور که هرچی از شرمن الکسی بخونم خوشم می‌آد، درحالی‌که شاید برای خیلی‌ها عالی نباشه. سلیقه یه چیزه، قوی و ضعیف بودنِ داستان یه چیز دیگه. حالا اینکه چقد ذوقت پیشرفت کرده باشه که از داستان قوی هم خوشت بیاد، زمان می‌بره.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,218 reviews9,915 followers
September 2, 2020
The Russians have got me by the throat this pandemical year, Dostoyevsky, Goncharev, Gogol, and now Tolstoy.

This is short, sharp, straightforward and unforgettable. Ivan Ilyich is a modern man with a career, a wife, a family and a house and not quite enough money. Looks like he’s going to lose his job but then in 19th century Russia it’s not what you know it’s who you know so he wangles an even better job and although his wife has for no particular reason he can see become an unreasonable harridan who yells at him a lot everything is still rattling along tickety-boo when he gets ill. Then iller. Then even iller. Then illest.

This unsentimental unreligious guy has his face shoved into the hardest of hard questions – you are going to die quite soon. Oh, also, it is going to be drawn-out and dreadfully painful. And you are going to notice all your family will become sick and tired of the time you are taking to die. And your friends will fade away. And the morphine will stop working. And you will be on your own, with no one sitting by your bed. This short novel is unflinching.

Readers might come away shaken and with a revived fear of the fate that awaits us all. But I have a brief personal anecdote that shows things can turn out differently. My own father, in his late 70s, had a whole list of things wrong with him, he was in and out of hospitals, but this one evening he was back home watching tv with my mother, and the particular detective show they were watching ended, and he said “I didn’t really understand the story” and she said “I’ll make a cup of tea and explain it to you,” so she went in the kitchen, and when she came back he had died. No pain, no horror, just switched off, like a light.
Profile Image for Petra on hiatus, really unwell.
2,457 reviews34.4k followers
June 17, 2018
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 in less with his fairweather friends and family and their preoccupations with their social lives, they leave him be, they cannot stand his sickness, they cannot stand him. All Ivan Ilyich has is the simple, unschooled manservant with the good heart who doesn't want his master to die alone and afraid. He is almost the Angel of Mercy, all good, his role is just to be there to help his master pass from this life with a good companion.

Ivan Ilych progresses through the endless scream of 'Why me?" to where he is almost at the end. And then he sees his rather petty life of moderate success and a little excess as it really was He stops hating his selfish wife and self-centred daughter and ceasing to be afraid of death hopes his demise will bring them peace. And by this examination of his life and the letting go of his more shabby and trivial emotions, he elevates himself. And dies.

Finished end of Dec. 2014.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,947 reviews611 followers
February 14, 2023
The Death of Ivan Ilych, written in 1886, was Tolstoy's first major fictional work during his post-conversion. Tolstoy's religious philosophy, which illustrates the values of brotherly love, Christian charity, and mutual support, is the framework for writing this novel. Just as Tolstoy's discovery of the true meaning of life led him to fulfill and accept death, Ivan Ilyich's awakening comes through the realization of death, which ignites fear, anger, contemplation, and eventually acceptance.
Death is the story's central theme; through it, one can discern the artificial from the authentic characters and the dichotomy between the inner and outer man.
The character Ivan Illych belonged to an elite social circle. He was intrigued by the idea of being a member of the elite aristocratic society, and individuals who did not conform to the social sphere looked on with disgust. However, he was unaware that his life was an illusion brought by a need to imitate a specific social class rather than find real individuality. That's the true meaning of life concealing behind the blindfolds of his naïve perceptions. His marriage to Praskovya Fedorovna is also an act of illusion. It isn't out of genuine love, but as is standard practice by the bourgeoisie society, it is out of a sense of obligation. She was a good-looking woman from a well-to-do family was the essential characteristic he required her to have.
Illych's rude awakening into how he was conforming to social expectations came about when he faced death. Realizing he was dying, he contemplated his life and tried to find out if there was any meaning. Paradoxically, death is responsible for allowing Illych to examine his life. He begins to contemplate those people in his life whom he considers friends. He discovers that they, too, were false because, upon his deathbed, there were no friends to comfort him.
Tolstoy incorporates several patterns of reversal into the structure of the novel. First, Tolstoy reverses the concepts of life and death. The remainder of the story deals with the living, as opposed to the title of Ivan Ilych's death. The chronological end of the story, the actual death of Ivan Ilych, occurs in the first chapter. Early in his life, when Ivan seems to be increasing in power, free will, and societal status, he is being reduced to limitation, repression, and isolation brought on by the grappling force of death. After the seventh chapter, Ivan goes through spiritual rebirth when confined to his study and suffers physical deterioration and loneliness.
Profile Image for فرشاد.
150 reviews298 followers
February 26, 2019
مرگ ایوان ایلیچ، کتابی‌ست در باره‌ی سهمگین‌ترین لحظه در زندگی انسان، یعنی مرگ. تجربه‌ای شگرف از آن رو که هر انسان در مواجهه با مرگ خویش تنهاست و جز او هیچ‌کس قادر به درک عظمت و شکوه این تجربه نخواهد بود. از تعابیر استعاری داستان، همچون نظریه مرگ بورژوازی که بگذریم، مرگ ایوان ایلیچ، آشکار کننده‌ی این واقعیتِ دردناک است که، هر ایدئولوژی و رویکردِ انسان نسبت به زندگی، چه اخلاقی و چه ضد اخلاقی، در لحظه‌ی مواجهه با مرگ، از معنی رنگ می‌بازد. موفقیت‌های گذشته در کار و زندگی شخصی، روابط، فرزندان و موقعیت اجتماعی، هنگامی که فرد با شکوه و جلال مرگ خود رودررو می‌شود، قادر نخواهد بود که خلاء معنایی را در بینشِ فلسفی انسان بپوشاند.
Profile Image for Adina .
891 reviews3,546 followers
January 28, 2022
Romana: Traducere: Luana Schidu
Narator: Victor Rebengiuc

Nu stiu ce as mai putea scrie despre aceasta capodopera scurta dar extraordinar de puternica. Doar ca m-a impresionat. Daca la inceput tonul era destul de glumet, povestea a devenit din ce in ce mai serioasa si cutremuratoare. Un pic de umor s-a pastrat totusi, poate pentru a digera mai usor continutul. Nararea lui Victor Rebenciug a aduagat, evident, mai multa valoare cartii.

Nu mi-a placut Ana Karenina dar aceast nuvela a fost altceva. Planuiesc sa citesc Razboi si pace mai tarziu anul acesta. Sa vedem cum va fi.

I do not see what more I can write about this very well known masterpiece that it hasn't been already said. It is short but extremely powerful. If in the beginning the tone was light and I even chuckled a few times, the story soon became dramatic. A bit of humor still remain, maybe to make the story more digestible.
Profile Image for Maziyar Yf.
532 reviews280 followers
April 29, 2022
ماجرا اینه که انسان چه ازدواج کند و چه نکند ، چه بچه دار شود یا نشود ، چه عمری کار کند یا عمری عاطل باشد ، چه فقیر باشد و چه ثروتمند و بسیاری دیگر از این دو راهی های سرنوشت ساز زندگی ، آخر سر به این نتیجه می رسد که چه زندگی تکراری و بیهوده ای داشته . در حقیقت ترس بسیاری از آدمیان از زندگی و سرانجام آن همین ترس از بیهوده زیستن بوده و در بسیا��ی از فیلم ها و کتاب ها نیز تکرار شده . مثلا نجات سرباز رایان ، جایی که کاپیتان میلردر آخرین ساعات عمر خود به سرباز رایان که جان های بسیاری برای نجات او ریخته شده می گوید : لیاقتش (زندگی ) را داشته باش و حال سرباز رایان بر سر مزار کاپیتان میلر آخرین حرف کاپیتان را به یاد میارد و از همسر خود می پرسد که آیا لیاقت (زندگی و جان هایی که به خاطر او از دست رفته ) را داشته ؟
شاید هم رایان مثله ایوان ایلیچ مرحوم با خود فکر می کرده که در زندگی چه کار خاصی کرده ؟ یک عمر کار ، یک ازدواج و بچه داشتن ، کمی تفریح و البته غم و اندوه به مقدار فراوان . همانند میلیاردها انسان قبلی زندگی کرده و حالا هم مثله همه آن انسانهای معمولی زندگی را ترک می کند . یا مثلا فیلم پاپیون ، که با این که پاپیون زندگی بسیار جالبی داشته و در هر ثانیه از عمر خود به آزادی و رسیدن به آن فکر می کرده هنگامی که خود را در برابر آن دادگاه خیالی و اتهام تباه کردن عمر خود ( بزرگترین جرمی که انسان میتواند مرتکب شود ) می بیند بدون هیچ گونه شک و تردیدی اتهام خود را می پذیرد : گناهکار، گناهکار ، گناهکار
به همین ترتیب است که ایوان ایلیچ هم هنگامی که گام به گام به مرگ نزدیک می شود و زندگی از جلوی چشمش می گذرد و او را به فکر میبرد و زندگی
به نظراو پوچ و بیهوده می آید و در پایان همان می آید که از او گریزی نیست :

چو آهنگ رفتن کند جان پاک

چه بر تخت مردن چه بر روی خاک

تولستوی در این کتاب بسیار کوتاه با استادی و مهارت به تشویش و دل واپسی های اساسی انسان پرداخته ، که بدون شک اولین و مهمترین آنها مرگ یا یاد مرگ بوده ، آنچه رنج ایوان ایلیچ نگون بخت را بیشتر کرده این است که او از یاد مرگ غافل بوده ، مانند دوستانش و یا بیشتر انسانها او مرگ را فقط برای دیگران می دیده و نه برای خود ، فراموش کردن مرگ برای ایوان ایلیچ سبب میل او به جاودانگی ( مانند داشتن فرزند) و تلاش برای کسب ثروت بیشتر – که البته نویسنده هیچ کدام را نفی نکرده است شده .
مفهوم دیگر که نویسنده بیان کرده همان معنای زندگی و شاید هم ترس از فراموش شدن بوده ، این حقیقت که ایوان ایلیچ فراموش شده و از یاد خانواده و دوستان خواهد رفت او را آزار می دهد ، او هم در نهایت مانند انسان های قبل و بعد خود از یاد و خاطره ها چنان خواهد رفت که گویی هیچ زمان وجود نداشته ، ایوان ایلیچ یا به دلیل اجبارزندگی یا به خاطر آنچه خود انتخاب کرده بود به گونه ای خالی و تهی از هرگونه معنایی زیسته ، او راهی خالی از هرگونه معنی و مفهوم را پیموده و سرنوشتش هم فراموش شدن است .
دیگر دلهره اساسی ایوان ایلیچ تنهایی و یا ترس از تنهایی ایست ، او با وجود داشتن خانواده در راهی که به سوی مرگ می پیماید کاملا تنهاست ، در بیشتر داستان او در اتاق خود تنهاست ، او باید این مسیر را تنها طی کند و این تنهایی حتی از مرگ که در تمامی دقایق در خاطر او حضور دارد ترسناکتر است .
تولستوی در این کتاب کوتاه اما عمیق ، با خواننده بسیار صادق و رُک بوده ، او رنج جان دادن را با تمامی جزئیات با استادی ترسیم کرده ، او از لحظاتی سخن گفته که بیشتر نادیده گرفته شده و شاید از این روست که بیشتر ترسناک و جانکاه هستند ، تولستوی خواننده را به اندیشیدن به مرگ فرا خوانده ، که شاید این یاد مرگ از درد و رنج آن بکاهد .

Profile Image for فؤاد.
1,066 reviews1,762 followers
May 5, 2017

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، در این مدت اندکی که تا مرگ فاصله دارد، می خواهد به دنبال معنای زندگی بگردد.

کارگردان شهیر ژاپنی، "اکیرا کوروساوا" همین مضمون را دستمایه ی فیلم درخشان خود به نام "زیستن" یا "ایکیرو" کرده است.
Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,447 followers
September 9, 2023
Nu are rost să fac (încă) o recenzie. Există probabil cîteva sute, cîteva mii, cîteva sute de mii. Nuvela lui Tolstoi (publicată în 1886) este un text foarte comentat. Și de criticii literari, și de filosofi.

O singură observație. Întîlnim un personaj care duce o viață inautentică. Nu s-a analizat niciodată, nu a fost în stare să se privească din exterior, nu a avut îndoieli. Ivan Ilici Golovin face ce face toată lumea, gîndește ce (și cum) gîndește toată lumea, îl interesează să fie mereu „comme il faut”, să dea bine în ochii celorlalți (îndeosebi ai celor „sus-puși”), să le stîrnească bunăvoința, să-și facă „datoria”, să fie încuviințat, acceptat, validat. Nici nu știe că are un sine. Pînă cînd se îmbolnăvește. Și aici intervine paradoxul.

În fond, Ivan Ilici trăieşte cu adevărat doar atîta vreme cît este bolnav. Boala îl face atent la sine, boala îi amintește că are un trup, un eu, boala îi arată în chipul cel mai crud și cel mai direct că a fost singur, că s-a înșelat, că viața lui nu a avut nici o noimă. Abia acum înțelege că va trebui „să trăiască astfel în pragul sfîrșitului, singur, fără nici un om care să-l înțeleagă, căruia să-i fie milă de el” (p.83). Din păcate, boala lui este o boală de moarte. „Lecția” suferinței va rămîne fără efect.

Sfîrșitul (care nu i-a plăcut lui Cioran):

„Își căută teama de moarte pe care o simțise mai înainte și n-o mai găsi. Unde e? Care moarte? Nu mai exista nici o teamă, pentru că nu mai exista moartea. În locul morții era lumină.
- Va să zică asta e! - exclamă deodată cu glas tare. Ce bucurie!
Toate acestea se petrecură pentru el într-o clipă, și înțelesul clipei rămase același pînă la sfîrșit” (p.135).


Recitind de curînd Pastorala americană de Philip Roth, am dat peste acest comentariu al naratorului:
„Suedezul avea ceva din semnificația pe care i-o atribuia, tendențios, Tolstoi lui Ivan Ilici, atît de minimalizat de autor în povestirea neîndurătoare în care acesta își propune să prezinte în termeni clinici și fără nici un pic de compasiune ce înseamnă să fii un om obișnuit. Ivan Ilici e un înalt funcționar de stat care duce «o viață cuviincioasă, aprobată de societate» și care pe patul de moarte, în spasmele profunde ale agoniei și spaimei sale neîntrerupte, își spune: «Poate că n-am dus viața pe care ar fi trebuit s-o duc». Viața lui Ivan Ilici, scrie Tolstoi, rezumîndu-și chiar de la început judecata lui asupra înaltului magistrat, ce avea o casă superbă în Sankt Petersburg, un salariu frumușel, de trei mii de ruble pe an, și prieteni cu poziții sociale bune, fusese cît se poate de simplă și cît se poate de obișnuită, deci, cît se poate de cumplită” (Pastorala americană, traducere de Alexandra Coliban, Iași: Polirom, 2014, p.51).
Profile Image for Leonard Gaya.
Author 1 book937 followers
June 22, 2022
“What is it for? What have I done to Thee? What is it for?... What do you want?... I am not guilty!... What is it for?... There is no explanation! Agony, death… What for?” Such are the distraught questions Ivan Ilyich asks in his last gasp after a gruelling struggle with a terminal illness caused by a stupid accident. Yet, his has been the average, harmless, unimportant life of a middle-class man with a slightly smug attitude, a mildly irritable character, a few frivolous habits, a moderately successful career and a tolerably loveless and frustrating family life. In short, an everyman with an unremarkable existence, like you and me, like most everyone.

In this relatively short novel (at least more concise than War and Peace and Anna Karenina), Tolstoy explores the existential and visceral terror we would all prefer to avoid: the reality of our essential limitation and the unavoidable fact that we will all, sooner or later, end up in that “awful black sack” that is death. The story is all the more poignant and riveting that we know it will end badly—Tolstoy starts the novella with the burial of his protagonist before returning to his youth. And so, reading Ivan Ilyich’s crescendo decline is a horrifying experience from start to finish. In part because his story is tragic, but also because Tolstoy holds a mirror to the reader (and to himself, probably): we can assume that Ivan Ilyich’s fate is like ours and that our end will, in all probability, resemble his.

Tolstoy’s story does provide a few moments of humour, even some relief with the presence of the young servant Gerasim, who assists the protagonist on his deathbed. But the ending offers hardly any glimpse of hope. Did Ivan Ilyich lead “a good life”—the eternal question philosophers have kept asking since Socrates? Was his life all wrong? Is life in general absurd and devoid of meaning? Is suffering arbitrary? Is there a God? Is there an eternal soul? For this story, Tolstoy drew inspiration from sources full of divine and human wisdom: the Bible (Ecclesiastes, Job), Schopenhauer, and possibly Montaigne. But as to these essential and haunting questions, he, like Life itself, doesn’t offer any clear answer.
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews926 followers
April 2, 2022
“Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?" suddenly came into his head. "But how not so, when I've done everything as it should be done?”

Death and 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' — The New Atlantis

In Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, awareness of his impending death compels Ilych to think about whether his life had meaning. He reviews his career, family and the passions which guided his life, all the decisions which led him to where he found himself. Even as he knows death is closing in on him, Ilych rejects the possibility that he will die, and only slowly comes to accept his fate. I remember reading this many years ago and it had stuck with me. The story Ilych tells himself was fuller than I had remembered. The topic and the structure of the narrative makes this memorable; however, it is the meditative quality which Tolstoy brings to Ilych's last days which makes this story especially powerful.
Profile Image for Fabian.
957 reviews1,623 followers
February 12, 2020
"Ivan Ilych's life had been most ordinary and therefore most terrible..."

This arresting line is a synopsis of what all of this boils down to. More than likely, in my pre-Emo high school years, had I read all 52 grueling pages of "The Death of Ivan Ilych", and truly understood its exquisite prolonged lingering around the very morbid notion of death, it would have been a brick in my fo(und/rm)ation. Sadly, nowadays I am way more bubbly and optimistic than ever, so I had a healthy distance between my idle thoughts and this powerful piece. No matter: this made me meditate on that occurrence that is shared by us all, the ultimate, final destination called death (doesn't matter where you lived, breathed, loved).

The novella is incredibly vivid, simple...just very understandable... relatable. Yes, it seems that an illness so long gives the titular man the right to sum up quickly his days of before, his heights, his passions... it is so realistic that I vouch for this to become an official horror selection in any given anthology!
Profile Image for Pakinam Mahmoud.
813 reviews3,499 followers
April 14, 2023
موت إيفان إيليتش..مجموعة قصصية للمبدع تولستوي مكونة من ٧ قصص قصيرة ..أكبرهم حجماً هي موت إيفان إيليتش وهي نوفيلا من حوالي ١٠٠ صفحة...

القصص كلها مستواها متوسط والصراحة المفروض نحط كل قصص المجموعة دي في كفة و قصة إيفان إيليتش في كفة لوحدها و حتكون هي الكفة الأرجع والأثقل من غير تفكير..

بإسلوب سرد أكتر من رائع إستطاع تولتسوي في هذه النوفيلا أن يرسم شخصية إيفان ،ذلك الرجل الذي كان يعيش حياة مستقرة ..عنده زوجة،أولاد و وظيفة مرموقة ثم فجأة اصيب بمرض غريب جعله يكتشف زيف علاقاته الأسرية والإجتماعية وبدأ ينظر لحياته وكل ما حققه فيها بنظرة مختلفة تماماً...

الكاتب قدر يتوغل داخل أعماق هذه الشخصية و يعبر عن كل ما يشعر به من خوف،ضعف وندم كما إنه إستطاع بعبقرية أن يجعلنا نعيش معه كل ألامه في أيامه الأخيرة و نحس بوجعه ووحدته لدرجة انه كان يتمني يلاقي حد قريب منه يطبطب عليه ويبكي علي حاله معاه بس للأسف ملقاش حد!

الترجمة مكانتش أحسن حاجة ولكن تظل نوفيلا رائعة و من الكتب اللي صعب تتنسي ..
التقييم ليها ٥ نجوم و لباقي المجموعة ٣ نجوم ولذلك جاء التقييم للمجموعة كلها ب٤ نجوم...
بالتأكيد ينصح بها...
Profile Image for Fernando.
685 reviews1,127 followers
February 15, 2017
”El significado de la vida está en que se detiene.” - Franz Kafka

Pocos libros resultan ser tan contundentes como esta obra de arte que escribió Tolstói en 1886, puesto que no puede ser calificada de otra manera. Escritores, filósofos, artistas plásticos y músicos, entre otros, sólo tienen palabras de admiración ante esta pequeña pero gran novela. Yo siempre sostengo que una novela no necesita tener mil páginas para transformarse en una joya literaria y este es un caso que lo demuestra con creces. En poco más de cien páginas Tolstói nos deja un legado, una enseñanza y un modo de mirar o de intentar comprender a la muerte, si es que existe algún método para ello.
Este inmenso autor ruso venía elaborando la novela un año antes, inspirándose en el caso de un hombre real para terminarla y regalársela a su esposa el día en que ella cumplía años. En cierto modo, algunos aspectos de lo que le sucede a Iván Illich también concuerda con la vida personal de Tolstói que también tuvo cortocircuitos con su esposa durante su matrimonio (otro momento álgido el la relación fue durante la publicación de otra de sus famosas novelas, me refiero a "La sonata a Kreutzer") y también se relaciona con su propia muerte, dado que él también confesaba que la muerte lo atemorizaba. Tolstói fue encontrado muerto en el banco de espera de una estación de tren luego de una larga caminata.
"La muerte de Iván Illich" no es una novela exclusivamente sobre la muerte, sino casualmente sobre la vida de este funcionario, escrita en retrospectiva y poblada de anécdotas y reflexiones tanto del mismo Iván Illich como también de sus familiares, amigos y compañeros de trabajo.
En cierto modo, es también una crítica a la ambición (de sus colegas en el Juzgado), cuestiona las relaciones humanas (su esposa y su hija) y expone su punto de vista sobre la ciencia y la religión (sus doctores y el sacerdote).
Todo parece conspirar contra la débil salud de este hombre, pero es también su propia mente la que también contribuye al derrumbe y en ese proceso de enfermedad el personaje comienza a comprender algo que a veces nos confunde: el creer que la muerte está lejos, que uno es joven y que no hace falta preocuparse, si total, uno se encuentra bien de salud...
Es a partir de que se empeora cuando sabe cuán mortal es el ser humano. Se llama Iván, que en ruso es uno de los hombres más comunes (significa Juan) y el mismo Tolstói lo aclara con sus propias palabras: "Una descripción de la simple muerte de un hombre simple, realizada por él mismo".
Ese Iván es un hombre simple y en el fondo ese Iván somos todos los hombres simples que este planeta para un día emigrar hacia otro estado. Siendo redundante, la muerte es así de simple.
Durante la lectura de las últimas páginas, no pude dejar de conmoverme por el relato de los últimos días de Iván Illich.
Confieso que yo también le tuve siempre temor a la muerte y la forma en la que Tolstói relata los dolores y sufrimientos de los últimos días de Iván Illich me remite directamente a los de mis padres, a quienes perdí en poco más de cinco meses entre ambas muertes.
Leía, levantaba la cabeza y veía a mi padre sufriendo terriblemente por no poder respirar y a mi madre en su agonía de tres días. Uno quiere ayudar, quiere lograr que ese enfermo se sienta mejor, pero en el fondo sabe que todo es inútil y en vano.
Todos, como dice Tolstói se dan cuenta que el destino es inevitable y que Ella nos espera con su infinita paciencia y nos alcanza. Nos lleva.
En el caso de Iván Illich todo el proceso, desde la declarAción de los síntomas hasta el inevitable final, además de la retrospectiva que tanto autor como personaje llevan adelante, es ocupado por la muerte como tema dominante. Iván Illich, ante la lozanía de su esposa y la jovialidad y juventud de su hija reflexiona: "Sí. ¿Para qué engañarme? ¿Acaso no es evidente para todos, excepto para mí, que me estoy muriendo y que la cuestión pasa sólo por la cantidad de semanas, de días...? Puede ser ahora. Había luz, y ahora tinieblas. Yo estaba acá, y ahora estoy yendo hacia allá. ¿Hacia dónde?"
Dijo una vez Agatha Christie: "La muerte es el único asesino perfecto."
Funciona como el preciso mecanismo de un reloj.
Inexorablemente avanza y nos abraza.
Profile Image for فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi .
Author 2 books3,920 followers
April 30, 2023
"انه الموت وأنا افكر في الزائدة"....

- عندما حامت اطياف الموت فوق جسد إيفان، عصف الخوف والألم بين قلبه وعقله، فأظلمت الدنيا واسودت الماً وبغضاً وتعقيداً.. فإذما اشفق على الأحياء، انطفأ الخوف وماجت السكينة وتحول الثقب الأسود لمروج مزهرة وعمت السكينة.. يتصلب الجسد فتتحرر الروح وتمضي...

- اصدقاء المصالح سيظهرون حزناً مصطنعاً، وفرحاً داخلياً لشغور كرسي قد يملأوها.. وحده الانسان البسيط الفلاح سيبقى بجانبه مسنداً لقدميه بكل طيبة وصفاء. الزوجة والبنت ستتمنيان الموت السريع له لينتهوا من هذه المسرحية.. وحده من سيحس بالألم والروح تتطهر.

- شريط حياته سيمر امامه، الزيف والفرح المصطنع سيهوي.. وحدها لحظات البراءة في الصغر ستبقى، تلك البراءة الطاهرة التي لم تدنسها اكذوبة الحياة اللاحقة.

- لكل هذا كانت هذه القصة الصغيرة اسطورية الوصف والانتشار، غاص تولستوي الى كنه الروح الانسانية واظهر ضعفها وزيفها وهشاشتها، وصوّر ما يحيطها بدقة وإيجاز.. كما اظهر ان الإنسان وبدون سبب فانٍ فان...
Profile Image for Dolors.
541 reviews2,282 followers
June 29, 2015

Today I turned the last page of Banville’s Eclipse and was literally hit by the profundity of a book that surreptitiously echoes the mastery of the classic tragedies. My pupils dilated until they watered when I bumped into this paragraph:

“As a boy I knew the stars, and loved to speak their names over to myself, in celestial litany, Venus, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, the Bears, great and lesser. How I loved the coldness of those lights, their purity, their remoteness from us and all we do and all that befalls us. Where they are is where the dead live.”

And you might be wondering what on earth Banville and Tolstoy have in common. My unscholarly response is that they are both masters of exploring the most recondite crevices of the human mind and the existential angst that is inherent in its nature; they describe the undescribable, recreate death and grief unflinchingly and make the reader be racked in pain by both. And so following the thread of my pensive mood I remembered the unfinished review of Tolstoy’s novella that I have been meaning to revise for months on end unsuccessfully, not finding the appropriate words, not feeling satisfied with what I had written, which I enclose below:

Do we really know what death entails?
Is the life we lead worthy of being lived?
Do we appreciate the gift of existence?
Tolstoy stares back with blank countenance and pens a sobering story stripped of artifice in response to those unanswerable questions.

“The Death of Ivan Ilych” confronts the reader with his own mortality. A civil servant in the high ranks of the Czarist Administration in the nineteenth-century Russia ponders about the arbitrary system of rules that have dictated his life when the threat of death puts an unwanted emphasis on how he should have lived.
Dragged away by the currents of a set of conventions accepted without further enquiry and spurred by an eagerness to climb up the social ladder, Ivan’s soul has undergone the same process of bureaucratization than his professional career. A prominent citizen, he has married well, he has established contact with the influential members of his class and accumulated a vast list of superfluous achievements when death knocks on his door.

Either in nemesis or in randomness, fated or chanced, nature is unveiled as capricious, unbridled and inscrutable, and man’s pursuit of transcendence clashes with the finitude of his banal existence. At first, Ivan faces his impending death with disbelief, then denial settles in only to be swamped with an overpowering disconsolation at his own disintegration while the world keeps on turning without him being part of it. His family and closest friends regard him with superficial sympathy and remain indifferent and detached from his suffering.

As Ivan’s flesh withers with decay and stinks of sickness showing unmistakable signs of its transience, his mind is reignited and a reverse process takes place on his soul. Ivan looks death in the eye with more frustration than fear, dumbfounded that his life might be reduced to a trivial list of actions performed by an absurd sense of duty making of his time in this world even less than an anecdote.

Tolstoy presents a magisterial reflection on mankind’s incapacity to plow a satisfactory path to a dignified death and throws back his own vulnerability at the reader in the form of an omniscient narrator that chronicles the mundane yet gruesome death of a man. The dilemma he contemplates goes beyond the realms of religion, philosophy or fiction, for the physical agony, the ruthless demise of body and mind is described in painful detail infusing the story with perturbing realism.
Despite the heartfelt compassion that Ivan perceives in his son’s glance, as the young, untainted boy takes his lifeless hand, Death places her cold, blindfolded kiss and presses her finger upon the man’s lips, sealing them forever, and I, uninvited outsider, shaken and teary, get a sour taste of what dying feels like.


I had meant to polish the review; retrieve some sentences, rephrase others, perhaps add some quotes... It's highly probable that I would have never published it, but Banville’s masterpiece made me realize that there are some things that mere words can’t convey, the touch of a virtuous pen is needed, the sparkle of geniality is required. I am not the possessor of such talents, but Banville has both. And so did Tolstoy.
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
232 reviews488 followers
February 25, 2023
It is a widespread stereotype that Russian classics are mostly long, tedious, boring, a burden to get through, but one only needs to read a short book like The Death of Ivan Ilych in order to be proven wrong. A philosophical, in its beautiful writing almost lyrical account of a dying man's life, Tolstoy will make you think about your own mortality, about happiness, sorrow and most likely your own life as well.

“They had supper and went away, and Ivan Ilych was left alone with the consciousness that his life was poisoned and was poisoning the lives of others, and that this poison did not weaken but penetrated more and more deeply into his whole being.
With this consciousness, and with physical pain besides the terror, he must go to bed, often to lie awake the greater part of the night. Next morning he had to get up again, dress, go to the law courts, speak, and write; or if he did not go out, spend at home those twenty-four hours a day each of which was a torture. And he had to live thus all alone on the brink of an abyss, with no one who understood or pitied him.”

During the course of the story, Tolstoy introduces us to the life of the unhappy Ivan Ilych, who might have expected too much from his life and had to discover the disappointing truth after his marriage failed to induce happiness and death tore its way through his soul way too early. Tolstoy uses his protagonist to help us realize how we all have to die one day, and there will surely be readers who, just like Ivan Ilych, always thought of death as something foreign they wouldn't have to worry about until a long time later. The author's prose is highly readable and might just as well have originated from someone who wrote the book five or ten years ago; besides, Tolstoy knows how to captivate his reader, thus The Death of Ivan Ilych can only be called a book which can't be recommended highly enough for readers interested in Russian literature or, on a more general note, classics.

“There remained only those rare periods of amorousness, which still came to them at times but did not last long. These were islets at which they anchored for a while and then again set out upon that ocean of veiled hostility which showed itself in their aloofness from one another.”

Tolstoy defines the marriage between Ivan Ilych and Praskovya Fedorovna as an engagement of mutual aversion, founded in their hopes to find concealment and secureness which were shattered only months after their wedding. The sadness behind the realizations of those two characters that their marriage has never been destined to bring happiness into their lives will cloud their sorrowful lives, until the slow, but torturous demise of Ivan Ilych turns into the ultimate factor driving them apart from each other.

If you are intimidated by the length of classics like Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment and the like, then I can almost assure you that reading some shorter novellas like The Death of Ivan Ilych or Dostoyevksy's White Nights will help you with finding a way into Russian literature, coming to terms with the rather uncommon names and growing an interest in the huge Russian classics which will surpass the simple feeling of pressure to read them just because others said those are books everyone has to read. And they probably are. But it's always easier to anticipate rather than dread them, so novellas like these will be extremely helpful.
Profile Image for Guille.
785 reviews1,749 followers
July 19, 2021
Tales eran las referencias que tenía de este Iván Ilich y tan grande mi admiración por el autor que las expectativas con las que me enfrenté al texto eran, además de cuantitativamente elevadas, cualitativamente muy alejadas del tono ligero que me encontré al iniciar su lectura y de lo excesivamente remarcados que me parecieron algunos comentarios definitorios de los personajes. La novela, con sabor de relato corto, tiene una estructura sencilla, una narrativa clara, sin artificios, directa, fácil y agradable de leer; todo parece simple, y quizás lo sea, como simple es quizás el tema de la novela o, mejor dicho, el enfoque que aquí se le da.

A pesar del título, esta novela no versa sobre la muerte de Iván Ilich. Su tema se nos comunica muy pronto, en la frase inicial del segundo capítulo y lo hace con una frase clara y brutal:
“La vida de Iván Ilich no podía haber sido más sencilla, más corriente ni más terrible”.
En efecto, Tolstoy nos quiere hablar de la vida. Bien es verdad que la muerte es la excusa y que hay temas secundarios que la tienen como protagonista: el trato a los enfermos terminales por parte de médicos, familiares y amigos, la hipocresía social que la rodea o la distancia que consciente o inconscientemente establecemos con la muerte ajena a poco que tengamos ocasión. Pero es el enfrentamiento con nuestra propia muerte lo que supone la excusa para hablarnos de la vida, de cómo encararla. Y la respuesta es, como decía, “sencilla”: el amor y la entrega a los demás.

El plan de la novela es muy claro: un protagonista encarnado en una persona corriente y vulgar, sin grandes ambiciones, sin grandes pasiones. Una persona que no se implica, que guarda las distancias, que no arriesga. Un hombre conforme con el mundo que le rodea y leal al lema que preside todos sus actos y toda su vida: "comme il faut". Tolstoy escoge a este ser y lo enfrenta al abismo que es una terrible y dolorosa enfermedad y una muerte inminente. A la vista de ese abismo, aparece el horror, un horror que se encuentra allá donde mire, un horror que es el pasado, una vida echada a perder.

Así de simple y así de terrible. En realidad, “La muerte de Ivan Ilich” no es sino otra forma de encarar el mismo tema del que ya Dickens nos habló 43 años antes en su célebre “Cuento de Navidad”, y llegando a la misma conclusión con la que se topó su excesivo y desalmado Ebenezer Scrooge: ¡¡¡Bah, paparruchas!!!
Profile Image for Brina.
933 reviews4 followers
February 6, 2017
Last year the group catching up on classics chose The Death of Ivan Ilyich as one of their monthly short story selections. At the time, I did not have the time to read it; however, a play I recently read had reading Anna Karenina as a major plot line. Wanting an introduction to Tolstoy prior to reading this epic, I decided upon Ivan Ilyich as my gateway to his more celebrated work.

Ivan Ilyich enjoyed an upper middle class life in pre revolutionary Russia. He graduated from a jurisprudence course and eventually became a lawyer in an out of the way province. He married Praskovya Fyodorovna and the two lived a married life that was neither happy nor sad for over twenty years. Each person became set in their own ways and the two lived as separate islands in their home, made possible by Ivan Ilyich's income.

I was not completely captivated by the story of Ivan Ilyich. He lived a relatively normal existence and experienced many things that an average upper middle class citizen might have experienced in Russia at the time of publication, hence the rating. I found Tolstoy's writing style accessible, which should ease the way for me to read his longer works. The part I found the most interesting was how Tolstoy through Ivan Ilyich discussed his views on death and dying, which is the premise of this story. Ivan Ilyich grappled with the alternatives of dying and being mired in a marriage where he was not appreciated or loved.

Even though I only gave this story three stars, I am glad I read it as an introduction to Tolstoy. The premise is an interesting one and I enjoy the time period, although, it is not a story that I am not drawn to. I would recommend this to those who might not read classics due to their long length and want to begin to read an author's works. I look forward to endeavoring through Tolstoy's epic novels after discovering that his writing style is easy to read for the masses.
Profile Image for Kenny.
507 reviews937 followers
September 4, 2022
“Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?"
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the greatest tales of redemption and forgiveness I have ever read. What Tolstoy accomplished in the last 10 pages of this novella was amazing.

Tolstoy is at his best writing about the social interactions of human beings. He has such an amazing feel for the things that go on between people; the hypocrisy, the pretending, the way people lie to each other on a daily basis. And he does it so subtly. Here, nobody knows what to say in the face of death. Everyone talks around death ~~ around Ivan.

This is another of Tolstoy’s amazingly insightful looks into the way people react to life and death, the way we lose control of our lives, and how we hide from our emotions rather than embracing them.

I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich with my friend, Ali. When we were discussing our takes on Ivan, Ali remarked that “I think maybe it would have been more spiritual if he added God and Afterlife.” I understand Ali’s point, but I disagree. Tolstoy was writing of Ivan Ilyich’s journey to enlightenment, not his journey to God. Becoming enlightened is a spiritual journey, not a religious journey. Also, Tolstoy was writing of Ivan Ilyich’s death, not his journey thru the tunnel to the light.

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a wonderful read. Tolstoy brilliantly demonstrates his understanding of humanity, and portrays that understanding brilliantly in his writing.

Profile Image for Rosa .
46 reviews26 followers
September 24, 2023
زندگی ایوان ایلیچ برای من، نمادی از  زندگی نصفه و هیاهو برای هیچه، دویدن بی نگاه کردن، بی تامل و ساده گذشتن، بدست آوردن و  رسیدن، اما واقعا به چی؟ به کجا؟!! اصلا خب بعدش چی؟
ایوان، زیر سایه ی مرگ، معنای زندگی رو پیدا کرد، حسرت روزایی که به غفلت گذشت رو توی لحظه هایی که روزهای زندگیش به شماره افتاد، شناخت...
ایوان در روزهای بیماری و زوالش، تنهایی تحمیلی و رنج فراموش شدن رو تجربه کرد، و دردناک تر اینکه، اطرافیانش درد اون رو کوچیک می دونستن و با واکنش ها و بیخیالیشون، سنگینی غمش رو مضاعف میکردن.
داستان زندگی و مرگ ایوان ایلیچ، فلسفه ی پیچیده ای نداره، دوران کوتاه کودکی، ازدواج به حکم وظیفه ای خیالی و تداوم نسل، کار و همرنگ شدن با جماعت برای گرفتن توجه و تایید دیگران، و..... بالاخره رسیدن به زمان پایانی که چقدر دور و محال می دونیم ...!!

رسیدن به واقعیت اینکه من هم ی تار از بین هزاران تار و پود این دنیام که بودن و نقشم توی این کل، گم میشه و از یاد میره، همیشه سخته، میشه گفت رسیدن به همون " آمدنم بهر چه بود خودمون" !
تولستوی لحظات اوج و فرود این زندگی رو به روونی و سادگی قابل درکی توصیف میکنه تا به یادمون بیاره که این قصه ی زندگی بیشتر آدم هاست، پس شاید بهتر باشه دوباره و از دور به این راه نگاه کنیم :

"حالا اگر زندگی من، زندگی آگاهانه ام، همه گمراهی بوده باشد چه؟"

" اگر من با یقین به تباه کردن نعمت هایی که به من داده شده بود از دنیا بروم و هیچ راهی برای اصلاح این حال نباشد، آن وقت چه؟"

" حالش مثل وقتی بود که گاهی در قطار راه آهن برایش پیش می آمد‌. نشسته ای و خیال می کنی که پیش می روی حال آن که قطار وا پس می‌رود و ناگهان راستای راستین حرکت را در می یابی."
"بله راه زندگی ام همه نادرست بود. اما عیبی ندارد. می توانم، هنوز ممکن است به راه درست رفت! ولی راه درست کدام است؟"
Profile Image for Issa Deerbany.
374 reviews434 followers
January 13, 2018
رغم كآبة القصة ولكن ابدع تولستوي فيما يشعر المريض.

كيف يشعر بتغير نظرة الناس له. كيف يشعر ان من حوله لا يهتمون به رغم معاناته. ويصبح يكره من حوله ويشعر انهم يتمنون موته.

يستعيد شريط حياته وكم كان سعيدا ولكنه بعد ذلك يتألم ويبعد تلك الذكريات عن تفكيره أإنها تزيده ألما.

يبدأ في معاملة عائلته بقسوة لانه يشك انهم يتمنون رحيله، فهو يكرههم لذلك.

يبدأ الشك في إيمانه ولما عاقبه الله بهذا الالم وهذا الموت وهل كان يستحق ذلك.

وعندما يبدأ بالاحتضار يصبح طيبا ويطلب ان يسامحو��.

مبدع تولستوي وهو ليس بحاجة لشهادتي في الكتابة عن النوازع النفسية وما يفكر فيه الانسان في كل موقف.
Profile Image for Maria Espadinha.
1,028 reviews374 followers
July 23, 2021
Balanço Final

Ivan Ilitch viveu afastado do amor! Carreirista ambicioso e egocêntrico, refugiou-se no trabalho e no jogo, preterindo os afectos ...
Até àquele dia em que sentiu a morte aproximar-se a passos rápidos — tal situação impunha reflexão!
Foi então invadido por uma incómoda sensação de falhanço radical — a sua vida fora marcadamente infeliz, com excepção de alguns momentos fugazes que vivera na infância!
E porquê? Que fizera ele de tão errado que justificasse tão execrável agonia?!...

Observando com compaixão a agonia de Ivan, procuro uma resposta capaz de abortar a inquietação que desponta em mim — Ivan fechou portas ao Amor, mantendo a Felicidade ausente.
Porém, mesmo que tal informação lhe seja eventualmente sussurrada, já não poderá salvar uma Vida cujo prazo se abeira do fim!...

A Felicidade nasce no Amor e é, através dele, o reconhecimento do Eu.
Quem nunca a conhecer morrerá sem sequer nascer!!!
Profile Image for İntellecta.
199 reviews1,558 followers
January 1, 2022
Tolstoy ölümün dünyevi gerçeğini net ve öz bir şekilde anlatmış. İlyiç bir yandan eski sağlığına kavuşma arayışı içinde doktorlarını değiştirip farklı tedaviler denerken bir yandan da tüm yaşamını ve hayat kavramını sorguluyor. Sonunda ise isyan ettiği ölüme teslim oluyor.
Çevresindekiler için İlyiç'in ölümü kendi çıkarları açısından doğuracağı sonuçlar nedeniyle önemli, kendi aralarındaki konuşmalarda da bu ölümün çıkarlarına olan etkisi üzerine spekülasyonlar yapılıyor (Bu durum bende Fallada'nın bir kitabının ismini anımsattı :"Herkes tek başına ölür").
Sonuç olarak: Yaşamın temel gerçeklerini muhteşem sadelikte yansıtan, sarsıcı bir öykü!
Profile Image for Ines.
321 reviews199 followers
November 20, 2019
This work is entirely focused on the meaning of life and death, on appearances and on the investment of love that we give in our lives.
The story begins with Ivan’s presentation, a man who has achieved everything he wanted in life, a high-level job, respect and power as a district "magistrate", a family of good standard and a house rearranged as he wished....
but here comes the pain, or just called by Ivan, "IT" ; it’s just so called initially a strange discomfort in the abdomen, and then it turns into a real chronic pain most likely caused by a tumor at a time impossible to diagnose.
From this moment a theatre "of the ignominy" is opened where the colleagues in front of the imminent death of Ivan, think to the snap of position in the Court, where the wife sees everything except the nuisance and worry of having her social and economic tenor lowered in the event of her husband’s death.
Everything is camouflaged and hidden without seeing reality as it unfolds... death , the illness, the impossibility of healing is never taken into account by the many doctors that Ivan and his wife will call, because nothing is called as it really appears.
The old and even the young children, who in front of the dying father, will never be able to have a word of love and tenderness towards him; the colleagues at work, only annoyed by its weakness and confusion often present during Court sessions and never happened in the past when health was in force. A world of fiction, of fictitious values, of lies, where people seek to draw only benefits and well-being.
Even his wife and children live miserably and ignorantly of love and tenderness towards him, because Ivan, too, has been in the past the architect and promoter of this dry life of goodness and freedom.
The only one who will succeed in opening a breach in Ivan’s heart will be the servant, Gerasim, who will not bother to hide the factors that create the real "reality"... the agony, so will be called, the death that approaches, the pain, the inability to heal... He is the only faithful witness of a truth of facts and events that are called and brought to Ivan’s eyes with their names. With Gerasim, Ivan, rediscovers a care that will open in his heart a whole series of questions, about what he had lived... life of wickedness and fiction....
During the agony and now close to death among excruciating pains, Ivan let himself go to a new conscience, to realize that he had lived a life of full happiness only and only during childhood, When the looks towards his parents and the looks he received from them were made of endless tenderness, this is the authenticity of life; unconditional love, without traps and lies.
Everything was a gift because only, he as child, existed ...
In these brief moments, close to death, IVAN LIVES, he lives what free life most responds to the good of the human heart. The present, this new consciousness , becomes the clear truth of a life that, although very short, for few minutes, will give to him a taste of complete and total freedom.

Opera incentrata tutta sul significato della vita e della morte, delle apparenze e dell' investimento dell' amore che diamo nella nostra vita.
La storia si apre con la presentazione di Ivan, un uomo che ha raggiunto tutto quello che piu' desiderava nella vita, un lavoro di alto livello, rispetto e potere come magistrato distrettuale, una famiglia di buon livello e una casa risistemata come piu' desiderava....
ma ecco che arriva LEI, si proprio così viene chiamato inizialmente uno strano fastidio all'addome, per poi tramutarsi in un vero dolore cronico molto probabilmente causato da un tumore ai tempi impossibile da diagnosticare.
Da questo momento si apre un teatro "dell'ignominia" dove i colleghi di fronte alla morte imminente di Ivan pensano allo scatto di posizione in Tribunale, dove la moglie tutto vede se non il fastidio e la preoccupazione di vedersi abbassare il suo tenore sociale ed economico in caso della morte del marito.
Ogni cosa viene camuffata e nascosta senza che si possa vedere la realtà così come si svela.... la morte , la malattia, l'impossibilità di guarigione non viene mai presa in considerazione dai tantissimi medici che Ivan e la moglie chiameranno, perchè niente viene chiamato come veramente appare.
I figli, che di fronte al padre morente, non riusciranno mai ad avere una parola di amore e tenerezza nei suoi confronti; i colleghi di lavoro, unicamente infastiditi dalla sua debolezza e confusione spesso presente durane i processi e mai accaduto in passato quando la salute era in vigore. Un mondo di finzione, di valori fittizi,di menzogne, dove al prossimo si cerca si spillare unicamente vantaggi e benessere.
Anche la moglie e i figli vivono avari e ignoranti di amore e tenerezza nei suoi confronti, perchè anche Ivan artefice e promotore di questa vita arida di bontà e libertà.
Unico che riuscirà ad aprire una breccia nel cuore di Ivan sarà il servo, Gerasim, che non si preoccuperà di nascondere i fattori che creano la realtà vera... quini l'agonia, così verrà chiamata, la morte che si avvicina, il dolore, l'impossibilità di guarire.... egli è l'unico testimone fedele di una verità di fatti e accadimenti che vengono chiamati e portati agli occhi di Ivan con i loro nomi. Con Gerasim, Ivan, riscopre un accudimento che aprirà nel suo cuore tutta una serie di domande, su ciò che aveva vissuto... vita di malvagità e finzione....
Durante l'agonia e ormai prossimo alla morte tra dolori lancinanti, Ivan si lascia andare a una coscienza nuova, a rendersi conto di aver vissuto una vita di piena felicità solo ed unicamente durante l'infanzia, quando gli sguardi verso i genitori e gli sguardi che lui riceveva da loro, erano fatti di tenerezza senza fine, questa è l'autenticità della vita... l'amore incondizionato, senza trappole e finzione.
Tutto era dono perchè unicamente lui, bambino, esisteva....
In questi brevi momenti, a ridosso della morte IVAN VIVE, vive ciò che la vita libera piu' risponde al bene al cuore dell'uomo. Il presente, questa nuova coscienza , diventa la limpida verità di una vita che se pur brevissima, di pochi minuti, donerà a Ivan un gusto di libert�� completa e totale.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews616 followers
December 26, 2020
Audiobook....read by Simon Prebble....
....a short 2 hour novella - Thanks to Audible, this was a freebie with my membership....and .... ‘wow’....I was left feeling very sad at the end....somewhat scared too.....

A little share:
Once in a book group discussion-around 20 of us —-sitting at our large table Saturday morning in Barnes and Noble-we were discussing another book ....
.....the topic about death and dying was quite heated. There were those who shared working in hospice...( many sad stories)...
One woman shared that she and her siblings were with her mother when she took her last breath....( this sounded the most peaceful death)...
....But the story I most remembered and haunts me - much as this story did to me .... was a woman in our book group sharing — “death is painful”
....”there is nothing easy and beautiful about death....it’s torture to watch the suffering of the one sick — in pain”.
This woman was adamant and animated in her conviction..... sharing the piercing truth of watching her mother die. I knew she was still angry — years later.

I went in blind reading “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. It was free—and the sample-listening was immediately interesting—so I continued. ( aware I’m green when it comes to reading classics- often, insecure if I’m up for the task)....
but I ‘think’ I did okay with my comprehension of this short introspective story—— I was left feeling very bleak.....sad....and even (I admit), am frightened of the reality of facing death - or of my husband’s.
It’s only as I age - after 42 years of marriage- a blessed marriage- do I begin to - only occasionally- wonder about mine or my husband’s death.
Coming face to face with one’s mortality has got to be one of the scariest things a person faces.

I’m still thinking about the characters in this book —
I hope it’s okay for me to add my thoughts - [greenie-classic-reader]-
to say....”damn this story was written well”!!!!
I’m not a scholastic on Leo Tolstoy....but it’s not the first time I’ve enjoyed him. Last year I read Anna Karenina and loved it.
Tolstoy WAS a brilliant writer —- wasn’t he?/!!!!
I’m inspired - to read more.....( thinking out loud here) > more short stories might be the way to go.

Ivan IIyich was born son #2....he was not as uptight as his older brother or as wild as his younger. We meet his sister also. But I enjoy reading about the placement of a middle child. He had a sister, too.....but Ivan was the middle child of three sons.

We learn about Ivan’s marriage and his career, ( an official Court of Justice). Ivan’s pragmatic theology about both marriage and work were fascinating enough to me — he seemed to know how to most effectively manage both without getting bogged downed by things he couldn’t control —anyway. I had mixed emotions about his aloofness.
It was sad to learn early on that a couple of kids died—
yet no details
This part of the story - alone - drove me to begin a discussion with my husband. Why did Tolstoy even mention the loss if he never planned to elaborate more?
I actually think it was a brilliant choice. Paul and I talked about intentional choices authors make in their storytelling.

Since Ivan and his wife, (Praskovya), lost a couple of children early in their marriage.....I never forgot this fact.
I felt sure the loss to some degree explained the reason for such crankiness Praskovya showed toward Ivan. Yet....it didn’t seem the only reason.

We will meet Ivan’s son, ( Vasia), and his daughter, ( Lisa)....
......who are an important part of Ivan’s last dying days -reckoning history?.....I think about this aspect of death myself, too.....( reckoning history)....
.....will I have forgiveness to make?....and will I be forgiven?
And don’t all of us wish we won’t be excruciating pain?

This is a very sad -realistic - a sort of meditation on life and death —a look into the thoughts of a very sick man dying.

Powerful ......
I now - seriously- would like to read more of his work — beginning with more of his short stories.

5 strong stars

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