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 – Parts 3 and 4 (of 8)

“Anna Karenina” is not a book you can read quickly. It just doesn’t move at a hungry pace. You can read a couple of chapters and feel like you’ve moved into a single character’s soul; and you’ve got more than enough to digest for one night, without thinking of moving out into some other character. … Continue reading Anna Karenina – Parts 3 and 4 (of 8)

Koheleth and Tolstoy

February 1, 2021 Reading “Koheleth” and Tolstoy's “Confession” back-to-back lifts both works for me.  Both works struggle with the fact that death is coming for everyone.  Both observe constantly how the good and the wicked have random rewards in this life; both hang on to the idea of knowledge/wisdom while questioning both its extent and … Continue reading Koheleth and Tolstoy