Tolstoy descendant takes in Ukrainian refugees

Marta Albertini, the great-granddaughter of Leo Tolstoy, has taken a Ukrainian mother and daughter into her home in Switzerland. Anastasia Sheludko and Marta Albertini Apparently Albertini and many others of Tolstoy's descendants have signed a letter to Putin saying that the family opposed the war and that Tolstoy himself, a renowned pacifist, would have been … Continue reading Tolstoy descendant takes in Ukrainian refugees

Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

My blog is new, so I've never picked out favorite books for a year, but here we go. My ten faves for 2021, fiction and nonfiction, out of the 66 books I read: 1. New Testament -- the recent translation by David Bentley Hart 2. Notre Dame de Paris Translated by Alban Krailsheimer 3. Lonesome … Continue reading Favorite books of 2021 (and 2020)

Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

It's a common trope in fiction: a final confrontation between the central hero of a story and its central villain. It's an important trope in Westerns, both on the page and screen -- Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven" is just one famous example. And we see it in works of fiction that are too many to count: … Continue reading Hero, meet your villain; or, never mind

Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides

"Anna Karenina" is not quite letting me go. Partly that's because it was just that good. I went back to re-read Part 8; and generally I don't re-read books until years later; but I had to drink in that last section of the novel again, and slowly. Partly the book is hanging on because I've … Continue reading Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary Discuss Their Suicides