Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Light Shines in Darkness by Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy's stories are always complex and intelligent; and I am saying that based on the short-stories I read by him, and now this play, I never got into the classics he is best known for - and recognised as one of the best writers of all times - such as War and Peace or Anna Karenina (I am working on changing that soon - stay tuned!)

So based on my little experience ...I can affirm that Tolstoy never failed to captivate me. First five lines and I am already intrigued and wanting more. He is never boring or prolix. It's as though he knew the recipe of how to write flawlessly - and with depth - and he followed it again and again, making every short or long writing in a small masterpiece. 

This play - The Light Shines in Darkness - for example he wrote in different stages of his life and though it's an unfinished work, it is, in my humble opinion, still perfect. This play made me think on  how we perceive things, on how we are influenced by our surroundings. Yes, we are social animals! On how we are affected by what is acceptable and how difficult it is to follow our own path in life and our beliefs. On what it takes to stand up from the crowd and to dare thinking by ourselves. Back them and now, has anything really changed?!

It's an easy reading and available online; free download here. I loved it and I highly recommend.  It's a lucid, complex, intelligent piece of writing - very Tolstoy indeed. Give it a go and let me know what you think. 

Here are some pieces of his beautiful craft...

(...) we have only one life, and can live it well, or waste it. Mary Ivanova

NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH. That's what is terrible! Each one of us has to save his own soul, and has to do God's work himself, but instead of that we busy ourselves saving other people and teaching them. And what do we teach them? We teach them now, at the end of the nineteenth century, that God created the world in six days, then caused a flood, and put all the animals in an ark, and all the rest of the horrors and nonsense of the Old Testament. And then that Christ ordered everyone to be baptized with water; and we make them believe in all the absurdity and meanness of an Atonement essential to salvation; and then that he rose up into the heavens which do not really exist, and there sat down at the right hand of the Father. We have got used to all this, but really it is dreadful! A child, fresh and ready to receive all that is good and true, asks us what the world is, and what its laws are; and we, instead of revealing to him the teaching of love and truth that has been given to us, carefully ram into his head all sorts of horrible absurdities and meannesses, ascribing them all to God. Is that not terrible? It is as great a crime as man can commit. And we—you and your Church—do this! Forgive me!
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"Music is precious because it seize us , takes possession of us, and carries us away from reality." Mary Ivanova

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NICHOLAS IVÁNOVICH "Scepticism is as much the result of knowledge, as knowledge is of Scepticism. To be content with what we at present know, is, for the most part, to shut our ears against conviction; since from the very gradual character of our education, we must continually forget, and emancipate ourselves from knowledge previously acquired; we must set aside old notions and embrace fresh ones; and as we learn, we must be daily unlearning something which it has cost us no small labour and anxiety to acquire."


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2 comments:

  1. :) Desculpa vou escrever em português... tenho o inglês meio com ferrugem no que toca à escrita! Nunca li, mas claro que sempre me chamou a atenção e tenho a dizer-te que depois de ter lido estes pequenos textos que colocaste... uiii.... fiquei cheia de vontade mesmo!! ;) ... Tentada a aceitar o teu desafio de clicar no link e ler online... :D ahahahah
    Bom fim de semana e boas leituras!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Vale a pena!! Ele é demais. Beijinhos

    ReplyDelete

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