The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other StorieseBook - 2004
The Death of Ivan Illych and Other Stories, by Elizabeth Gaskell, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Chief among Tolstoy's shorter works is The Death of Ivan Ilych, a masterful meditation on the act of dying. The first major fictional work published by Tolstoy after a mid-life psychological crisis, this novella reflects the author's struggle to find meaning in life, a challenge Tolstoy resolved by developing a religious philosophy based on brotherly love, mutual support, and charity. These guiding principles are the dominant moral themes in The Death of Ivan Ilych, an account of the spiritual conversion of a judge, an ordinary, unthinking, vulgar man, in the face of his terrible fear about death. Also included in this volume are Family Happiness, an early work that traces the arc of a marriage; The Kreutzer Sonata, a frank tale of sexual love that shocked readers when it first appeared; and Hadji Murád, Tolstoy's final masterpiece about power politics, intrigue, and colonial conquest. David Goldfarb teaches Polish, Russian, and Comparative Literature at Barnard College and Columbia University. He has written about Witold Gombrowicz, Bruno Schulz, Zbigniew Herbert, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz, Mikhail Lermontov, and Nikolai Gogol.