Leo Tolstoy, a name synonymous with the greatness of Russian literature or literature for that argument. Leo Tolstoy is one of the world’s famous and admired writers till date, I do think he is one of the greatest novelists who ever lived. Tolstoy’s philosophy(“Tolstovstvo”) inspired great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Nelson Mandela and much more. Not only great leaders, his writing is the main reason that we talk about Russian Literature in such high prestige these days.Tolstoy was a layman’s writer, he used daily life mundane events and characters to forensics issues such as war, religion, feminism, cruelty, and many other topics. He was convinced that philosophical principles could only be understood in their concrete expression in history.
There is kind of strange physiological delight in reading Tolstoy’s work. It is like whole other world with characthers that transcends the fictional boundary. His words are simple but strangely magical that generate the world which is full of stimulas and fells. The candourness of his thoughts take us into the parallel world, which is quite similar to this world but, you view it more fully and with more clarity. Marcel Proust considered Tolstoy to be the almighty lord of his works, controlling all their actions and thoughts. If so it is a generous lord, who is great because he gives freedom to his heroes, and they, on entering our memory, become more alive than the living.
Sometimes it seems that Tolstoy was born to overturn the rules of literature and to laugh at its pretensions to be a textbook of life. The fundamental aim of Tolstoy’s nature was a search for truth, for the meaning of life, for the ultimate aims of art, for family happiness, for God.This was his main inspiration for writing, He did not regard himself as a professional writer. He was more of a man fighting his own contradicting thoughts. His mind and body raged with such unchecked passions that it was not possible to make ends meet.He hated “progress” and the age of progress and he hailed freedom for women in a world of stern social convention.
If you think that you should read Leo Tolstoy’s work only because he is classic writer or he is famous, it is really not that….Lets face it, we live in a society, where individualism is just a word, you are not entitled to have an opinion. It is considered rude to be opinionated. The unjust laws have sold the concept of “Free Speech” but they have caged our thougths. We are born as Tabula Rasa(blank canvas) and painted by tainted hands to be caged in our thoughts. Leo Tolstoy is escapism from this cage. Leo Tolstoy is Skepticism, Hedonidism, Orignality, Fearless thoughts, Individualism which in my opinion we all have lost in this centuary in the facade of perfect society and free speech. He is prickly face, the unkemp beard and the childlike search for a magical figure in the forest that held the key to universal happiness. Tolstoy work shows you what real goodness, simplicity and truth means.
So read Tolstoy and let him be the lamp to take your mind out of dark caged thoughts and to the light of the free thinking so that you can use minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs.