Thursday, 14 June 2018

How Much Land Does A Man Need? by Leo Tolstoy

Paperback:  Written by Leo Tolstoy in 1836 (How Much Land Does A Man Need?) and 1835 (What Men Live By) respectively, this is the engaging story of a greedy peasant named Pakhom.

Although Pakhom enjoys health and family happiness, he feels dissatisfied when he learns of the grand fortunes of his relatives.

He decides to go on a quest for more land, only to find that with each new acquisition new problems develop.

How Much Land Does A Man Need? gives a delightful insight into old Russian values many of which, you will not be surprised to hear, are paralleled today.  James Joyce considered it to be the world's greatest story.

How Much Land Does A Man Need? is translated from the Russian by Ronald Wilks.

About the author:  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 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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