Sickness very much getting the better of me in the days following Thanksgiving, I spent three days indoors and very nearly all the time in bed. Having a great number of books at my disposal, being in the family house, for whatever inscrutable reason I read Christopher Hitchens’ Mortality on Friday, and Wallace Stegner’s Crossing [...]
Tag Archives: Tolstoy
Catholic Charities in Illinois has closed down all its foster-care operations rather than comply with new regulations allowing same-sex couples to adopt. The bishops’ lawyers are out, contesting that they have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion, and hence do not have to abide by state regulations; which sounds mildly plausible, until you [...]
“The railroad is to travel what the whore is to love. Just as comfortable, and just as horribly mechanical and fatally monotonous.” – Tolstoy, in a letter to Turgenev. ! This man’s capacity to shock and horrify me – while being ever-so-civilized – never seems to end. Calling whores “monotonous”!
“They played Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata,” he continued. “Do you know the first presto? You do?” he cried. “Ugh! Ugh! It is a terrible thing, that sonata. And especially that part. And in general music is a dreadful thing. What is it? I don’t understand it. What is music? What does it do? And why does [...]
“Go round the shops in any big town. There are goods worth millions and you cannot estimate the human labor expended on them, and look whether in nine-tenths of these shops there is anything for the use of men. All the luxuries of life are demanded and maintained by women. “Count all the factories. An [...]
Tolstoy is a figure I have always kept at arm’s length; beyond reading Anna Karenina (easily the greatest novel ever written; really no other deserves to be put in the same paragraph with it; I hated it) and the most famous short stories, I have mostly avoided him. That he was full of hatred and [...]