Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tolstoy is my Cat.

Almost by accident — I was looking up a favourite quote on scrambled eggs and the Russian revolution — I stumbled upon a literary blog called 'Tolstoy is my Cat'. Aptly, as the publisher, Lyndsay Wheble, has a cat grandly called Tolstoy.

As both names suggest, she has an interest in Russian literature and blogs about it. This is why I decided to recommend her blog to whoever studies Russia or shares the interest in things Russian.

I've only read a dozen posts by Lyndsay but I was impressed with here original and unpretentiously fresh take on what she reads. Don't expect academic depth or emotional width, which, to me, is a plus. Expect clean and appealing sincerety/

Here is a short excerpt from the Cat's review of  'Tolstoy: A Russian Life', by Rosamund Bartlett

It struck me some way through this book that Tolstoy's character and idiosyncrasies bear a  striking resemblance to Charles Dickens's; in particular, his huge energy, socialist reformist missions and sadly, his unkindness to his wife. Both also neglected their families in favour of looking after the fortunes of the country at large, worrying about other people's families and children rather than their own. They could also both be remarkably unfeeling: for instance, Tolstoy's wife Sonya gave birth to 7 children AFTER telling Tolstoy that she'd had enough (by that point I think she'd had 5) (!!) as he refused to allow her an opinion on the subject; Dickens's domestic flaws are well-known enough for me not to have to go into them here. Both, I think it would be fair to say, were essential men for their time, but people you wanted to admire from afar, rather than live close to.

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