Leo Tolstoy interesting facts
August 30, 2010 | In: People facts
Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer widely regarded as the greatest of novelists. His masterpieces War and Peace and Anna Karenina represent in their scope, breadth and vivid depiction of 19th-century Russian life and attitudes, the peak of realist fiction.
His European trip in 1860–61 shaped both his political and literary transformation when he met Victor Hugo, whose literary talents Tolstoy praised after reading Hugo’s newly finished Les Miserables. A comparison of Hugo’s novel and Tolstoy’s War and Peace shows the influence of the evocation of its battle scenes.
Tolstoy was sent to law school but soon returned home. His teachers found him completely unwilling to learn.
Tolstoy served as a second lieutenant in an artillery regiment during the Crimean War, recounted in his Sevastapol Sketches. His experiences in battle helped stir his subsequent pacifism and gave him material for realistic depiction of war’s horrors in his later work.
Tolstoy loved to gamble and as a young man often found himself in debt due to his gambling habit.
Tolstoy rarely hung out with the writers of his time. He found them too liberal and too fascinated with Western (European and American) living styles.
During his life, Tolstoy came to the conclusion that William Shakespeare was a bad dramatist and not a true artist at all. Tolstoy explained his views in a critical essay on Shakespeare written in 1903:
” I remember the astonishment I felt when I first read Shakespeare. I expected to receive a powerful esthetic pleasure, but having read, one after the other, works regarded as his best: “King Lear”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Hamlet” and “Macbeth,” not only did I feel no delight, but I felt an irresistible repulsion and tedium… “