The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories (Penguin Classics)
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A collection of some of Tolstoy's most powerful powerful stories
The violent spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life that inspired his last period of creativity produced the stories in this compelling and startling collection. They portray the multifaceted nature of desire, from idealistic romance to sexual jealousy, from desperate lust to relentless longing. "The K reutzer Sonata" caused a public sensation with its indictment of so-called Christian marriage, a theme echoed in "Family Happiness." In "The Devil," a young man finds it impossible to resist a beautiful peasant woman with whom he had an affair before his marriage. And "Father Sergius" shows a man going to increasingly desperate ends in order to avoid the temptations of the flesh.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
than something else would crop up. We had no stable, regular family life. All we had was, as I’ve told you, a constant running battle against dangers both real and imaginary. That’s the way it is for the majority of families nowadays, you know. In my own family it took a particularly nasty form. My wife was the maternal type, and she was easily gulled. ‘So it wasn’t just that our having children made our lives no better – it actually poisoned them. More than that: the children constantly gave us
course, should be locked up in prison, but we do it all in our own good time and without any mess. ‘We lived like that for another two years. The method the reptiles had prescribed was obviously beginning to be effective; she had rounded out physically and had grown as pretty as the last ray of summer. She was aware of it, and she started to take an interest in her appearance. A kind of provocative beauty radiated from her, and people found it disturbing. She was thirty years old, in the full
Danila again. And a second midday rendezvous in the woods was arranged. This time Yevgeny managed to get a better look at her, and everything about her seemed appealing to him. He tried to engage her in conversation a little, asked her about her husband. As he had thought, her husband was Mikhaila’s son, and lived in Moscow where he was employed as a coachman. ‘But look here, I mean, how is it you can…’ Yevgeny was about to ask how she could be unfaithful to him like this. ‘How is it I can
seemed to him beyond all doubt. His certainty had much to do with the fact that during the summer he was intensely preoccupied with various matters: the layout of the new farmhouse, the harvest, the building work and, above all, the payment of the debts and the sale of the vacant land. These were things that absorbed him to the exclusion of all else; they occupied his thoughts all day, from the time he got up in the morning till the time he went to bed at night. They represented the life that was
because he knew he was going to get married. At first he had merely taken a fancy towards Liza Annenskaya; but once he had made up his mind that she was to be his wife, he conceived a much stronger emotion towards her: he felt he was in love with her. Liza was tall, slender and long. Everything about her was long: her face, her nose, which pointed not outwards but downwards, her fingers and her feet. The colour of her face was very delicate, yellowy-white with a soft glow; her hair was long,