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Resurrection (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – January 15, 2000
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`Tolstoy magisterially condemns society's social inequities by holding a mirror up to its flawed face; gripping and sombre.' The Observer
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Hence Resurrection, definitely a Tolstoy production, is a late work. The mastery of the form of the novel that we find in War and Peace and Anna Karenina is not present in this book. Yet despite this, Resurrection is a fascinating cluttered, confusing;novel; it is full of long ruminations on human nature, God, and government. So intense are these debates, that they are appealing. This dark vision of Russia this novel provides is unflinching. In its depictions of all social ills, corruption, crime, avarice, vice, economic injustice, indifference and inhumanity, the reader can see the roots of the Russian Revolution. The society of Resurrection could not continue as it was without a bloody upheaval. It was simply too hopeless and dark a place .
So I imagine an older, shaggy Tolstoy, brimming with rage over the conditions in Russia, more than slightly misanthropic as a result, pouring out his social and religious theories and ideas while composing this novel. If this is kept in mind, then reading this novel becomes less of a chore and more of a delight. Here was an author with nothing more to prove; he used this novel for his social propaganda, with rich results.
The hero here has a rather rapid conversion, perhaps a bit too dramatic by today's standards and subsequently turns his life upside down to the great frustration of those of his general current society. A strong point of Tolstoi is where he can have the reader sense the arguments of conflicting characters, such as Bolkonski and Bezukhov. Here few such points of Philosophical contest are seen or experienced with any equality. Perhaps the meeting of Prince Nekhyludov and his Brother-in-Law and Sister comes close and that of his former victim to a much lesser degree. The ability to have some give and take between points make the more famous works seem less preachy, this work having much more the inferiority of form for its general predictability. Some detours are a bit surprising, but even these are more of a detour of form than of some clear constructive purpose for plot progression. Many such episodes appear as digressions more than of clear purpose.
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