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What is art?

Author: Leo Tolstoy, graf; Richard Pevear; Larissa Volokhonsky
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1995.
Series: Penguin classics.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
During the decades of his world fame as sage and preacher as well as author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy wrote prolifically in a series of essays and polemics on issues of morality, social justice and religion. These culminated in What is Art?, published in 1898. Although Tolstoy perceived the question of art to be a religious one, he considered and rejected the idea that art reveals and reinvents  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Leo Tolstoy, graf; Richard Pevear; Larissa Volokhonsky
ISBN: 0140446427 9780140446425
OCLC Number: 35364981
Language Note: Translated from the Russian R. Pevear and L. Volokhonsky.
Description: [xxvi], 201 p. ; 20 cm.
Series Title: Penguin classics.
Other Titles: Chto takoe iskusstvo.
Responsibility: Leo Tolstoy ; translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.

Abstract:

During the decades of his world fame as sage and preacher as well as author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, Tolstoy wrote prolifically in a series of essays and polemics on issues of morality, social justice and religion. These culminated in What is Art?, published in 1898. Although Tolstoy perceived the question of art to be a religious one, he considered and rejected the idea that art reveals and reinvents through beauty. The works of Dante, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Baudelaire and even his own novels are condemned in the course of Tolstoy's impassioned and iconoclastic redefinition of art as a force for good, for the progress and improvement of mankind. In his illuminating preface Richard Pevear considers What is Art? in relation to the problems of faith and doubt, and the spiritual anguish and fear of death which preoccupied Tolstoy in the last decades of his life.

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