The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories  -     By: Leo Tolstoy
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The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Stories

Penguin Classics / 2008 / Paperback

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Product Description

In these four stories, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) depicts desire in its different manifestations--from idealistic romance to sexual jealousy, from desperate lust to relentless longing. Family Happiness, an early work, portrays the struggles of a couple as they move from courtship and passion through disillusionment to the quieter stage of married love. A passenger tells a bitter tale of sex, suspicion and murder when strangers on a train discuss the nature of love in The Kruetzer Sonata, a novellabanned for its scandelous content in 1890. In The Devil, a young man finds it impossible to resist a beautiful peasant woman with whom he had an affair before his marriage, while Father Sergius shows a man going to increasingly desperate ends--from soldier to monk, to hermit to beggar--in order to avoid the temptations of the flesh.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2008
Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.06 (inches)
ISBN: 0140449604
ISBN-13: 9780140449600
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Publisher's Description

Our ambitious program of new Tolstoy editions continues with two collections of 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.

Author Bio

Count Leo Tolstoy was born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. Orphaned at nine, he was brought up by an elderly aunt and educated by French tutors until he matriculated at Kazan University in 1844. In 1847, he gave up his studies and, after several aimless years, volunteered for military duty in the army, serving as a junior officer in the Crimean War before retiring in 1857. In 1862, Tolstoy married Sophie Behrs, a marriage that was to become, for him, bitterly unhappy. His diary, started in 1847, was used for self-study and self-criticism; it served as the source from which he drew much of the material that appeared not only in his great novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), but also in his shorter works. Seeking religious justification for his life, Tolstoy evolved a new Christianity based upon his own interpretation of the Gospels. Yasnaya Polyana became a mecca for his many converts At the age of eighty-two, while away from home, the writer suffered a break down in his health in Astapovo, Riazan, and he died there on November 20, 1910.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.


David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.


Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a university lecturer in Russian and fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.


Paul Foote was, until his retirement, a university lecturer in Russian and fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford.

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