Americans in Conversation with Tolstoy

Selected Accounts, 1887–1923

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About the Book

Throughout his life, Leo Tolstoy demonstrated a fascination for Americans, a feeling that was avidly reciprocated in the United States. Although Tolstoy was never able to come to America, during his lifetime he was visited at his home in Russia by a number of Americans including writers, journalists, ambassadors, professors and tourists.
Many wrote about the conversations they had with the great Russian novelist. This volume gathers together 30 recollections of such conversations, all originally published in periodicals from 1887 through 1923. A brief introduction to each piece introduces the author of the narrative with concise biographical information, and a bibliographical note indicates the time and place of original publication.

About the Author(s)

Peter Sekirin received his Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of Toronto in 1999. He has been working as Research Associate at the Center for Russian Studies at the University of Toronto for eight years. He has translated three of Tolstoy’s works, A Calendar of Wisdom, Divine and Human and Wise Thoughts For Every Day as well as two collections of short stories by Anton Chekhov and the biography Memories of Chekhov. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Peter Sekirin
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2253-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8165-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

THE ACCOUNTS OF CONVERSATIONS*

1. A Visit to Count Tolstoy      9

2. Count Tolstoy at Home      34

3. With Count Tolstoy      36

4. A Visit to Tolstoy      51

5. How Count Tolstoy Writes      55

6. An Interview with Count Tolstoy      59

7. Home Life of Tolstoy      61

8. A Visit to Tolstoy      64

9. Russia of To-day (on Tolstoy)      71

10. Conversations with Ernest Crosby Embodying Personal Impressions of Count Leo Tolstoy      75

11. Walks and Talks with Tolstoy      84

12. A Recent Interview with Tolstoy      100

13. Tolstoy Today      106

14. My Last Memory of Tolstoy      112

15. My Last Visit to Tolstoy      115

16. Tolstoy in 1906      126

17. Tolstoy Prophesies the Fall of America      132

18. Tolstoy in the Twilight      139

19. Tolstoy at Home      145

20. The Last Days of Leo Tolstoy      151

21. Talks with Tolstoy      163

22. Three Evenings with Count Leo Tolstoy      174

23. A Vacation with Tolstoy      179

24. A Day in Tolstoy’s Life      193

25. How Tolstoy Died      200

26. What Tolstoy Means to America      210

Bibliography      215

Index      217

*Chronologically by date of publication

Book Reviews & Awards

“recommended”—Library Journal; “a rewarding read. The accounts are all elegantly written and instantly evoke the venerable spirit of Tolstoy…this volume should delight anyone interested in Tolstoy”—SEER.