Saturday, November 20, 2010

100 years since Leo Tolstoy

 Remembering the greatest novelist of all time

On this day, exactly a 100 years ago, one of the greatest novelists and thinkers of all time breathed his last.

I came to know Tolstoy, like almost everyone else, through War and Peace. I've always believed that that masterpiece - which is too great to be called a mere 'novel' - should be made compulsory reading for everyone, and I still vividly recall the thrill of the Battle of Burodino or Bagration with his arched and concentrated eyebrows - or the fateful, warm, dark autumn night when Dokhturov dispatched Bolkhovitinov to Kutozov.

I think that can safely say that when one reads War and Peace, one's life gets divided into two distinct parts, before and after reading it.

If I may be so bold to take a leaf out of Voltaire's book (not Tolstoy's favourite by the way) -  If Leo Tolstoy didn't exist, it would have been necessary to invent him!

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