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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $17.50
  • May 2008
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-93150-1
  • 512 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

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Tolstoy's Short Fiction

Norton Critical Editions

Second Edition


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Leo Tolstoy (Author), Michael R. Katz (Editor, Middlebury College)


Leo Tolstoy’s short works, like his novels, show readers his narrative genius, keen observation, and historical acumen—albeit on a smaller scale.

This Norton Critical Edition presents twelve of Tolstoy’s best-known stories, based on the Louise and Aylmer Maude translations (except “Alyosha Gorshok”), which have been revised by the editor for enhanced comprehension and annotated for student readers. The Second Edition newly includes “A Prisoner in the Caucasus,” “Father Sergius,” and “After the Ball,” in addition to Michael Katz’s new translation of “Alyosha Gorshok.” Together these stories represent the best of the author’s short fiction before War and Peace and after Anna Karenina.

“Backgrounds and Sources” includes two Tolstoy memoirs, A History of Yesterday (1851) and The Memoirs of a Madman (1884), as well as entries—expanded in the Second Edition—from Tolstoy’s “Diary for 1855” and selected letters (1858–95) that shed light on the author’s creative process.

“Criticism” collects twenty-three essays by Russian and western scholars, six of which are new to this Second Edition. Interpretations focus both on Tolstoy’s language and art and on specific themes and motifs in individual stories. Contributors include John M. Kopper, Gary Saul Morson, N. G. Chernyshevsky, Mikhail Bakhtin, Harsha Ram, John Bayley, Vladimir Nabokov, Ruth Rischin, Margaret Ziolkowski, and Donald Barthelme.

A Chronology of Tolstoy’s life and work and an updated Selected Bibliography are also included.


    Preface to the Second Edition

    Preface to the First Edition

    The Texts of Tolstoy’s Short Fiction

    1. Sevastopol in December
    2. Sevastopol in May
    3. Three Deaths
    4. A Prisoner in the Caucasus
    5. God Sees the Truth, but Waits
    6. The Death of Ivan Ilych
    7. The Three Hermits
    8. The Kreutzer Sonata
    9. Master and Man
    10. Father Sergius
    11. After the Ball
    12. Alyosha Gorshok

    Backgrounds and Sources

    1. Leo Tolstoy, A History of Yesterday, The Memoirs of a Madman, Diary for 1855, Selected Letters, 1858-95


    1. Henry Gifford, On Translating Tolstoy
    2. John M. Kopper, Less Matter, More Art: Tolstoy, Briefly
    3. Gary Sault Morson, Tolstoy’s Absolute Language
    4. N.G. Chernyshevsky, [Tolstoy’s Military Tales]
    5. Boris Eikhenbaum, [Sevastopol Stories]
    6. Gary Sault Morson, The Reader as Voyeur: Tolstoi and the Poetics of Didactic Fiction
    7. Mikhail Bakhtin, [Tolstoy’s Three Deaths]
    8. Michael Specter, Updating Tolstoy, a Russian Director Faces War’s Anguish
    9. Harsha Ram, Prisoners of the Caucasus
    10. Kathleen Parthé, Tolstoy and the Geometry of Fear
    11. John Bayley, [Ivan Ilych]
    12. Y.J. Dayanada, The Death of Ivan Ilych: A Psychological Study On Death and Dying
    13. Vladimir Nabokov, [Ivan Ilych’s Life]
    14. Olga Matich, Sexual Continence
    15. Ruth Rischin, Presto
    16. Stephen Baehr, Art and The Kreutzer Sonata: A Tolstoian Approach
    17. N. K. Mikhaylovsky, Master and Man and The Death of Ivan Ilych
    18. Richard Gustafson, [On Ivan Ilych and Master and Man]
    19. Elizabeth Tahan, L. N. Tolstoj’s Master and Man―A Symbolic Narrative
    20. Gary R. Jahn, A Note on Miracle Motifs in the Later Works of Lev Tolstoj
    21. Margaret Ziolkowski, Father Sergii and the Saintly Monk
    22. Alexander Zholkovsky, Before and After “After the Ball”: Variations on the Theme of Courtship, Corpses, and Culture
    23. Donald Barthelme, At the Tolstoy Museum

    A Chronology of Tolstoy’s Life and Work

    Selected Bibliography