Read The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy Isai Kamen Doris Lessing Online


When Marshal of the Nobility Pozdnyshev suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner, his jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder. Controversial upon publication in 1890, The Kreutzer Sonata illuminates Tolstoy’s then-feverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenth-century marriage, and his thinking on the role ofWhen Marshal of the Nobility Pozdnyshev suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner, his jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder. Controversial upon publication in 1890, The Kreutzer Sonata illuminates Tolstoy’s then-feverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenth-century marriage, and his thinking on the role of art and music in society.In her Introduction, Doris Lessing shows how relevant The Kreutzer Sonata is to our understanding of Tolstoy the artist, as well as to feminism and literature. This Modern Library Paperback Classic also contains Tolstoy’s Sequel to the Kruetzer Sonata....

Title : The Kreutzer Sonata
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ISBN : 9780812968231
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Kreutzer Sonata Reviews

  • Paquita Maria Sanchez
    2019-05-02 21:32

    Lookie here, folks, this is me giving a 4-star rating to a massively sexist, pro-Christian, anti-sex, anti-birth-control novella about a guy who murders his wife for maybe cheating on him, feels justified in doing so, and gets away with it! (All of that plot-reveal is in the book's description, spoiler-markers. This story isn't about that basic series of events, but about a man's rationalization process concerning that quickly-summarized back-story, so keep your dirty mouse-clicks off of my review!) Have I forgotten myself, or is this book incredibly well-written? Can I love the arrangement of the words, but detest their meaning? Apparently, I am capable of divorcing myself from emotional readings of "novels" (lectures) which take the polar-opposite position from mine concerning matters that are of the utmost importance to me, notably that 1) Sex is a complex and often splendidly vile thing which manifests itself in broad shapes and forms and twists and turns and varying shades between gentleness and violence, assuming all involved are consenting adults just workin' their way through the various urges springing from their beastly cranial-stuffings. I'm not here to judge, man. 2) That women and men are equal as human beings, and that not everything a woman does in her daily life, from getting an education to picking up a new hobby, is directed specifically toward the goal of making as many men as possible swoon over her because she's an insecure, manipulative, cold-hearted Child of Babylon. I can't believe I even have to say that, but there it is. 3) That viewing something as sinful because the invisible pink unicorn says so, and what's worse, trying to force others to live their lives according to that set of fabricated principles, is an ire-inspiring, sad state of affairs indeed.Know what Tolstoy thinks? Women are oppressed and instantly objectified by the very existence of sexuality, so they lash out by flocking men around them via literally EVERYTHING they do. Sex is evil if engaged in for pleasure, even in marriage, but women don't have to worry about that because they don't want sex anyway. They just use those things in their front and that other thing in between their stilts to make up for being wronged by society. Point of fact, they hate sex! Men love it because they are cursed with a love for it, and many of the terrible things they do, all the way down to murder, can be explained by it alone: sex. The closest thing to un-evil that a lady can do for herself that is sex-related is have children within the bounds of marriage (this is their sole reason for existing anyways, right? AMIRIGHTFELLAS?!), then move on to raise them. Anything else is double, double toil and trouble. The best a man can do is avoid that temptation as much as possible, admit that all of his supposed "love" for a woman is purely the product of icky biological needs and perverse social conditioning, and try to live an abstinent life. Makes sense, right? No, it doesn't.Now, I know it's dangerous to assume that an author actually believes what he says through a story's protagonist, which is why I was benefit-of-the-doubting the hell out of this novel, and just allowing myself to be swept up in the insane ramblings of this awful specimen of human which Tolstoy constructed so remarkably well. To illustrate, any time someone makes a comment about how Nabokov must have been a pedophile to write Humbert and Quilty so well, I can feel my esophagus beginning to constrict, my nails digging into my palms, and a strong urge to have a drink or twenty. However, I suggest you read Tolstoy's follow-up clarification of the meaning behind The Kreutzer Sonata. "Vague" is the least appropriate word you could possibly use. This is not just a character sketch of a damaged man, this is a road-map concerning how to live virtuously, Tolstoy-style, and all the terrible things that will happen if you don't. This is like Pat Roberts roid-raging, still all in love with god, but hateful of the church itself. It's nauseating, really, but the fact remains that there really are people out their who think this way. That alone makes it worth writing about, especially this beautifully.Regardless of the fact that I officially think the man was kind of a prick with some seriously fucking warped views, this story still breezes along, exhaustively detailing the inner-workings of exactly that: a seriously fucking warped prick's mind. There are also some beautiful musings on the infinite importance and changing powers of music to the mind of the listener; a gentle soul, that Tolstoy. Almost everything else that the narrator Pozdnyshev has to say has this intense, guttural quality that hits in these never-ending blasts of shrapnel. My meaning: this book is powerful. It made me angry, it fascinated me, I couldn't stop reading it. I mean, try and imagine riding on a train (seemingly the longest train-ride ever), and having Robert Blake suddenly sit next to you and in that creepy voice of his, say "Hello, I'm Robert Blake, and I'm here today to admit to all of you how I actually did commit the murder of my wife for which I was acquitted, precisely how I did it, and exactly why the bitch deserved it. Gather round, kids, it's story-time!" You would listen, and not just because you're starstruck. I definitely made it to the finish line, and I'm stubbornly opinionated to the contrary of almost everything this book stands for.All that said, if you really do get majorly upset by these topics and aren't prepared to just fall in with Tolstoy's maddening prose while suspending the realization that he pretty much means every word, then reading this book could leave you with more than a few blown fuses. May I recommend Valium with a cup of warm tea beforehand, or that you avoid this book like the plague? Gentle suggestions, is all.Please keep in mind that this is my first experience with Tolstoy, and that I fully intend to read other works by him. I can see that he was an extremely gifted writer, and mean no disrespect to his ardent fans. All I'm saying is that I'm not real sure how well he and I would have gotten along discussing certain political and spiritual topics over drinks.

  • Cheryl
    2019-05-21 01:20

    I read Doris Lessing's introduction to this and I was a bit stunned, angry almost. Why would a writer pen such a semi negative image of a book in her introduction, I wondered. A critique, yes, but why write an introduction for it at all? There is a moment when she even questions his lovemaking skills: "At some point one does have to ask if perhaps the trouble was really a simple one: Tolstoy was no good in bed." Whaaat? A bit personal, no? And then I read the book. Ehn-ehn. On a plane to Chicago, I read. At the Chicago Riverwalk, flanked by pigeons, I read. At a teashop, I read. While waiting for my husband to end his day at a conference for lawyers, I read. And then I started to be angry at myself for choosing it. I threw the book on the park bench, kept walking, turned around, and came back for it. It was small, fit snugly into a small backpack, seemed easy for travel, so I chose it from my home library. Ehn-ehn, silly mistake. There I was, in a different city, no paperback to read, a few books on Audible, yes, but it still wasn't the same. Alas, this is one I did not, could not complete. Tolstoy wrote this during the spiritual crisis that reshaped his life. He was a "rationalist" and "moralist" and his views on marriage had become skewed. He stopped writing, until friends like Turgenev, on his deathbed, convinced him to keep writing. Of course we're glad he did, because we have possibilities, like The Death of Ivan Ilych. However, putting aside the preposterous plot, the tone of this book was disconcertingly bitter and anguished, a bit psychotic and egotistical, and just plain ignorant as relates to female sexuality. Perhaps Tolstoy should have listened to his friend Chekhov when he told him he "talked nonsense about female sexuality." I just could not take another moment of Pozdnyshev's condescension, even if at some points he had great insight about man's hypocrisy. On to the next. (My next planned Tolstoy reread: The Death of Ivan Ilych).

  • Fernando
    2019-04-27 00:14

    Es evidente que Tolstoi atravesaba una crisis que abarcaba lo matrimonial, lo ético y lo religioso cuando escribió este libro, dado que todas las ideas que él tiene claramente ordenadas en la cabeza (repito: en ese momento de su vida) las plasma en la mente del verdadero narrador principal de la historia que es Pozdnishev y no el supuesto personaje que sube al tren y se mezcla en una acalorada discusión los pasajeros que se encuentran en ese vagón.Se nota también que la historia es demasiado fuerte para la época en la que fue publicada (1889) y por la violenta naturaleza de los hechos que se suceden hacia el final, además de la escabrosa forma que aborda ciertos temas como son el matrimonio, las relaciones sexuales dentro y fuera de este, la ética, la infidelidad y el asesinato. Demasiado fuertes tal vez para una sociedad rusa que, como otras tantas, sin ser ingenuas, no estaban tan preparadas como hoy para “digerir” una historia tan transgresora como esta.Creo que allí está el mérito de Tolstoi, quien intenta transformar este trágico hecho ficticio en una enseñanza para las generaciones posteriores, basándose en su propia experiencia, que abarcan el sermón de la montaña, los Evangelios y Jesucristo. He leído sólo dos libros de Tolstoi, éste y La muerte de Iván Illich y me maravillaron desde el punto de vista psicológico y existencial. Los trabaja de un modo distinto a Dostoievksi, tal vez más simple, pero sin dejar de ahondar en la psiquis del personaje que está siendo sometido a la presión de lo que está viviendo.En el caso de Pozdnishev, me encuentro con un personaje que relata su experiencia en forma maquinal y que más allá de lo que se apasiona por lo que cuenta, lo hace fríamente, como un raconto de sucesos a los que les agrega esa mezcla de sentimientos que lo embargaban en ese momento sumado a lo que siente hoy en el presente cuando todo pasó. Porque realmente, contar con lujo de detalles cómo fue pertrechando el asesinato nos da una idea de su sangre fría al momento del relato. Me recordó, por momentos, a Mersault, de "El Extranjero".Yo personalmente percibo eso. No logro detectar hasta qué punto está arrepentido, ya que no parece sufrir, con excepción de ciertos sollozos al final de lo que cuenta, lo que tuvo que vivir. Es como que aceptó el seguro destino que le tocaría, la prisión y la quita de sus hijos, quienes ya crecidos, le dan vuelta la cara.Siempre es difícil posicionarse uno en el lugar de Pozdnishev, sobre todo porque es muy complicado saber si uno llegaría a tales extremos ante la desconfianza, los celos y una posible infidelidad.Para finalizar vuelvo a reconocer la maestría de Tolstoi al escribir una novela corta pero efectiva, adelantada a su época por los temas que toca, narrada con fluidez, imposible de dejar de leer de principio al final (si la leí de un día para otro fue por causas de fuerza mayor), con el mínimo de personajes logra un máximo de efecto y nos da una novela contundente que dio mucha tela para cortar en 1889 y que sigue cautivando lectores aún hoy en el siglo XXI. Son este tipo de libros los que hacen que un grande como Leo Tolstoy tenga la vigencia que se merece: eterna.

  • peiman-mir5 rezakhani
    2019-04-27 00:27

    ‎دوستانِ گرانقدر، این داستان از 21 بخش تشکیل شده است... در ایران با عنوانِ "انتقام شوهر" ترجمه شده است‎داستان در کوپهٔ قطار روی میدهد... مسافرانی با یکدیگر به بحث و گفتگو در موردِ عشق و زن و مرد و زندگی زناشوئی، میپردازند... سپس راویِ داستان با مردی کوتوله قد که بنظرِ من کوتوله شعور و مذهبیِ بیخرد نیز میباشد، واردِ گفتگو میشود‎این موجودِ کوتوله و بیخرد <پوزونیشیوف> (پوتنسویچ) نام دارد که به دلیلِ شک داشتن به همسرش او را با چاقو کشته است و فرزندانش را بی مادر کرده است... چراکه از روی نادانی تصور کرده است که همسرش با یک نوازنده رابطهٔ پنهانی داشته است‎چندی از جملاتِ نابخردانه را که در این کتاب آمده و نشان از بیشعوری تمام و خطرناک بودنِ موجوداتِ پایبند به اصولِ دینی و مذهبی دارد را در زیر برایتان مینویسم... بدونِ تردید چنین موجوداتِ پست و نادان در سرزمینِ خودمان بسیار دیده میشوند که به دلیلِ باورهایِ مذهبی و اعتقاد به ادیانِ سامی و ابراهیمی، برایِ جنسِ با ارزشِ زن ارزش قائل نمی باشند... متأسفانه تا زمانی که باورهایِ دینی و مذهبی بر عده ای موجودِ بیخرد فرمانروایی میکند، له کردنِ جنسِ مهربان و باشعورِ زن، ادامه خواهد داشت‎جملاتی را که انتخاب کرده ام را بخوانید و در آن بیاندیشید و داوری کنید-------------------------------------------‎زن باید همیشه از شوهرِ خویش بترسد و به فرمانِ او گوش دهد، تمامِ قوانینِ آسمانی و کتبِ مقدس این امر را تأیید کرده اند***************‎اگر مرد با زنِ خود به خشونت رفتار کند، زن نمیتواند به راهِ بد و خیانت به شوهر کشیده شود .. مرد با خشونت باید از همان نخست جلویِ سرکشی ها و تمایلاتِ جنسِ زن را بگیرد... مثلی وجود دارد که میگوید: از اسبِ خود در میدانِ جنگ و از زنِ خود در خانه، غافل مباش***************‎طرزِ لباس پوشیدن و آرایش کردنِ زن، هزار بار خطرناکتر از قماربازی میباشد.. زیرا خطرِ آن متوجه روح و اخلاق میشود.. در حالیکه خطرِ قماربازی فقط متوجه مال و ثروت است***************‎زمانی که زنی آرایش کرده را میبینم، احساسِ وحشت میکنم و درنظرم میگذرد که پاسبان را صدا کنم و از او بخواهم مرا از این خطر حفظ کرده و هرچه زودتر مرا از شرِ آن نجات دهد***************‎تا هنگامی که انسان وجود دارد، پیوسته میخواهد مقصودِ بالاتری داشته باشد، این مقصود بالاتر و عالی، عملی نخواهد شد.. مگر آنکه انسان پرهیزگار و پاکدامن شود و به خویشتن علاقه نداشته باشد و خیرِ دیگران را بخواهد***************‎تمامِ ادیان گفته اند که دنیا دیر یا زود نابود خواهد شد... پس بشر باید فرزندی به وجود آورد که بتواند بر غریزهٔ جنسی اش چیره گردد و رابطهٔ جنسی با زنان نداشته باشد. بدینگونه شاید نسلِ بشر منقرض شود... ولی دیر یا زود طبقِ گفتهٔ ادیان، این اتفاق روی میدهد***************‎مقصودِ یک دختر، هر چقدر هم فهمیده و تحصیل کرده باشد، عبارت از این خواهد بود که او میتواند جلبِ نظرِ عدهٔ زیادی از مردان را بنماید و سرِ فرصت از میانِ آنها هرکدام را که مایل است انتخاب کند... بعضی از زنان پس از ازدواج نیز کماکان تلاش میکنند تا نظر مردان را به خود جلب کنند***************‎زنان تمامِ هوش و حواس و نیرنگ هایِ خود را بکار میبرند تا مگر پست ترین غرائز و احساسات را در مردان برانگیخته و آنها را در آن دامی که مردان گسترده اند، بیفکنند.... زن وجودِ خود را آلت و بازیچهٔ مرد قرار داده و با تأثیرِ مخوفی که در مرد دارد، مرد نمیتواند از رویِ اطمینان به او نزدیک شود ... از این رو وقتی به محیطی که زن در آن قرار دارد، وارد میشود، یکمرتبه حس میکند که مطیع و تسلیمِ زیبایی و دلفریبیِ او شده است... ارادهٔ وی در مقابلِ نیرویِ زن نابود میشود ... مرد بندهٔ حسی است که زن آن را در او برمی انگیزد***************‎زنانِ دلفریب و زیبا، اغلب گفتارشان پوچ و بی معنی و بعضی اوقات حرکات و رفتارشان زشت و زننده است.. ولی گفته ها و حرکاتِ آنها را خوب و به نوعی دیگر تلقی میکنیم***************‎مردان همیشه به دنبالِ شهوت میروند و دروغ میگویند که نجابت و عشقِ پاک را خواستارند ... مردان از زن، بدنِ نرمِ او را میخواهند نه درستی و پاکیِ افکار و اخلاقِ او را... به همین دلیل است که زنان به این موضوع پی برده و لباس هایِ تنگ به تن کرده و برآمدگی هایِ بدنشان را نمایش میدهند و سینه و بازوهایِ خود را آشکار میکنند***************‎زنانِ فقیر از طبقاتِ پایینِ جامعه، برایِ فریبِ مردان آرایش میکنند و زیورآلات به خودشان آویزان میکنند... زنانِ طبقاتِ عالیِ اجتماع نیز همینکار را دقیقاً انجام میدهند.... اصولاً زنان سر و ته، یک کرباسند***************‎جنسِ زن همواره سعی دارد تا مقاصدِ خود را پسِ پرده ای از دروغ و نیرنگ پنهان نماید--------------------------------------------‎امیدوارم روزی فرا رسد که چنین موجوداتِ بیخرد و زشت نهاد در رویِ این کرهٔ خاکی و همچنین بر رویِ سرزمینمان ایران، کمتر و کمتر شده و وجودِ کثیفشان همراه با افکارِ ضد انسانی و خطرناکشان نابود شود‎<پیروز باشید و ایرانی>

  • Fionnuala
    2019-05-12 23:15

    I read this after finishing Sofia Tolstoy's wonderful diaries because the theme of The Kreutzer Sonata so exactly mirrored an episode in her life when her husband became jealous of a musician friend of hers and of the hours they spent playing music together. That real life episode gave the novella an extra relevance for me but otherwise I found it difficult to understand. I think I prefer the Tolstoy of War and Peace and Anna Karenina to the more fundamentalist Tolstoy who wrote this novella. However, this work introduced me to Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata, a wonderful piece of music which has become a favourite. I have the Itzhak Perlman version but this one is fine too:

  • Duane
    2019-05-17 21:25

    Well that was disturbing. Not what I was expecting from Tolstoy. It was the ramblings of a psychopath, which Tolstoy portrayed with way to much energy. And I understand he used an actual event with his wife and a musician as the basis for this story. Scary. I don't know enough about Tolstoy to know his views on romance, marriage, sex, etc. to make judgement's, but the views expressed and acted out by the protagonist were, as I said at the beginning, very disturbing.

  • Jan-Maat
    2019-04-26 21:36

    Plainly the only reason for reading Tolstoy's Kretzer Sonate is to be able to begin the review with The Kreutzer Sonate and to end the review with The Kreutzer Sonate.As to the story I am disappointed, for which I blame Janacek.To go back to the beginning, lets imagine you are travelling on a train, it is going to be a fairly long journey, more than a day, I get on and sit opposite you and begin to tell you a boring story full of tiresome ideologies. I had settled on reading Ms Appletree's Iron Curtain:the crushing of eastern Europe, flicking through and reading a couple of pages of Ms Apfelbaum's book at more or less random convinced me that it was likely to be a deeply silly tome(view spoiler)[ in which case you may well ask - why not just cut to the quick and read Mme Wolstonecraft instead?(hide spoiler)] and that I would need some strengthening beforehand before embarking upon it, my stomach suggested Tolstoy's Kreuzer Sonata, which I had never read but I knew that Janacek's first violin sonata had been inspired by it and since that is a passionate, engaging and a powerful piece of music I led my myself to believe that the work that inspired it must be at least that good. After reading I'm at a loss what to do with my stomach - does it need some of those fancy yoghurt things with friendly bacteria, or a stiff glass of 80% spirits to kill off a billion or two microbes and enable a different floral consensus to emerge in my intestine(view spoiler)[ let me not forget that I am a federal being (hide spoiler)]?As short stories go it is a bit complicated in its structure. It was first published in 1889, the edition I read has an extra section from 1890 in response to the 'many letters received asking me "what's it all about Lev Nikolilich?"', this extra section is about 15% of the complete length and outlines that Tolstoy is (at least) more Christian than the Church, also implicitly that the only person qualified to interpret Tolstoy is his prophet Tolstoy.The main story has a narrator (who may or may not be Tolstoy (view spoiler)[ probably not since the man doesn't have a servant on hand to take care of his needs (hide spoiler)]) travelling on a long train journey, one of the other passengers is a somewhat nervous and agitated fellow eager to share his opinions on love and the relative positions of men and women in society, it emerges he has a special interest in these questions because he murdered his wife in a fit of jealousy, he was acquitted by a jury of his peers on the grounds of the supposed adultery of his wife. And eventually he tells the narrator the story of how he came to murder his wife with a dagger in a state of absolute clarity.I suppose my disappointment is twofold, since as a biased and limited person that I am I would have two (at least) expectations from the above, that the author through their literary skill puts me in a position in which I experience that state of passion and am myself a vicarious murderer (since through literature we can get to live the lives that to our own good fortune we never get to live and can with Dr Johnson say upon seeing the condemned man on the way to the gallows there but for the Grace of Godor historical materialism,fate, accumulated Karma, or luck go I) secondly that I believe the character in the story is capable of being a murderer.As to the first I was left feeling that the story teller was simply silly, perhaps in need of a thick ear, or having his head plunged repeatedly into a barrel of cold water. As to the second I could believe that he might drive his partner to suicide by jumping out of a moving train, or more likely that they'd get off at the next stop wherever the hell it was, station or no, rather than endure more of his babble, but a murderer?Anyhow, the good Count in 1890 decided to rescue all literate humanity and tell all of us fools that the entire point of everything is that one must be a vegetarian and be celibate. Otherwise you end up stabbing your wife repeatedly through her corset with a dagger obviously.Reading the details of the murderer's narration - largely drawn from Tolstoy's own life, pre-marital vigorous indulgence in prostitutes, marriage, frequent sex with the young peasant women of his estate, children, his wife's difficulty in breast feeding their first born, I wondered given his combination of disgust at sexual expression between men and women coupled with unrelenting intercourse with a volcanic sexual drive, if maybe homosexuality might have suited him better? Then again that would probably have simply given him a completely new set of complexities and problems. I recall that there was in the backwoods of Russia a sect that practised castration (view spoiler)[ the Skoptsy, seriously fiction has nothing on life (hide spoiler)], I don't know why, perhaps having observed that you can make a bull into an ox and a cockerel into a capon that by analogy perhaps they thought by the same means to make man into superman?Well Tolstoy is what he is, from the Janacek I had constructed a different story in my imagination, a narrator noticing exchanged glances, lingering touches, and his increasingly intense reactions to these, but that isn't the story he wants to tell, or maybe preach.The change from 1877 Anna Karenina to 1889 Kreutzer Sonata is remarkable, even regressive - less emotionally wide ranging, even weirder (despite common elements (view spoiler)[ adultery, opium, trains, and after doing some sawing in the garden I recalled the obvious one: the adulterous woman must die (hide spoiler)]), less sympathetic to the emotional integrity of all his characters.Anyway, having finished I'm all the more amused by the Janacek connection given his own irrepressible adultery, which in a manner of speaking led to his death(view spoiler)[ he had a fatal heart attack while in a position of considerable intimacy with a young lady who was not his wife (hide spoiler)].

  • Shovelmonkey1
    2019-05-17 21:28

    Well that was a short, sharp burst of Tolstoy all wrapped up in the pleasingly presented package that is the Great Loves series by Penguin. Constrained to the length of a train journey, two men sharing a carriage also share a secret. One explains to the other how you can be transformed from ardent lover to cold blooded killer within a few short years of marriage. So how does one make the smooth transition from Don Juan to homicidal maniac? There are some fairly sexist, misogynist and antiquated views relating to women and marriage expressed in this book but I suppose it has be taken within the context of the time in which it was written. I did laugh out loud when they described all women as "fragile vessels" though. I'm 6 foot tall and work in a construction led industry and spend most of my time up to my eye balls in mud and concrete while yelling at hapless builders... I think Tolstoy might have found it hard to pigeon hole me in this manner. The bottom line in this tale is that as a man you're forgiven your act of murder if you were driven to it by a) carnal lust cos then it's just nature and not your fault or b) a woman because it's a well known fact that all have secret powers to control men. Essentially the pitfalls generated by women which trapped poor easily led Pozdnyshev can be summed up thusly:1. Never marry a woman on the basis that you like how she looks in a tight dress2. Don't be taken in by flirting - its like female sorcery and will leave you powerless3. Don't let your wife play musical instruments with another man4. Don't even think about having sex, ever. You'll end up in all sorts of trouble!The whole books is an argument for abstinence and is somewhat autobiographical (Tolstoy also gave his young wife a copy of his diary to read so she could understand how debauched his life was prior to their marriage) and Tolstoy himself summed up his lusty tale of moral mayhem by saying;"Let us stop believing that carnal love is high and noble and understand that any end worth our pursuit -- in service of humanity, our homeland, science, art, let alone God -- any end, so long as we may count it worth our pursuit, is not attained by joining ourselves to the objects of our carnal love in marriage or outside it; that, in fact, infatuation and conjunction with the object of our carnal love (whatever the authors of romances and love poems claim to the contrary) will never help our worthwhile pursuits but only hinder them."Sounds like Leo was a real hoot to have around the place doesnt' it? Although his views on carnality do explain how he managed to father 13 kids and after reading this I now mostly just feel pretty sorry for poor old Mrs Tolstoy.

  • Stephen P
    2019-05-11 17:35

    The novella is a rant, defuse, spending its building rage in scattered directions, assaulting the numerous morbid absurdities in society, life. The aim alters under its own force returning to victims already slain or contradicting what has been said. A delirious but tepid Underground Man. But why? This is Tolstoy. It being Tolstoy is part of the problem. I found no way to read this story without being confined by the Master’s presence, his iconic reflection. The tension that this must be a strategy grew as passions rose from this fogged muddle. A passion which spoke to the seething pulse beneath the thin layer of our skin. The master guided the story into one of passion versus repression within the individual and society. Whether penance can ever be found even if forgiveness has been received from others. One man’s train ride telling his story to another.As in The Death of Ivan Ilych the story ends yet blisters and burns on within my chest leaving me to smolder. Love these Russian writers. They have fire for blood. I don’t know how they settle down to write.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-05-02 01:30

    During a train ride a conversation ensues between passengers concerning love and a woman's right to marry for love. Overhearing another man, joins in, full of bitterness and anguish, he recounts the events that led to his irreversible act. There is so much anger in this novel about the expectations between the sexes. Quite a dark story, but somehow fascinating as well. Common themes in Tolstoy's novels, marriages that end badly, differences between the sexes and what it can lead to. Not my favorite but worthy nonetheless.

  • Reckoner
    2019-05-20 20:35

    Διαχρονικός και διορατικός Τολστόυ που καταπιάνεται με τις σχέσεις των δύο φύλων, την φύση και την θέση της γυναίκας και με το τι είναι αυτό που θα μετατρέψει την θέση της σε ισότιμη με αυτή του άντρα. Και φυσικά μας παραδίδει το πορτραίτο ενός συζύγου που βρίσκεται σε σύγχυση, βασανίζεται και ομολογεί με διαύγεια και πάθος το έγκλημα του.Δεν με συνεπήρε οσο η Καρένινα σε καμία περίπτωση όμως είναι μια πολύ δυνατή νουβέλα απο τον μεγάλο Ρώσο συγγραφέα.

  • Tatiana
    2019-04-28 17:43

    This must be the most disturbing view of love, sex and marriage I've come across in classical literature. I wish Tolstoy in his time had an opportunity to explore his feelings about his sexuality with a good psychotherapist. According to him, sex is vile and degrading, being sexually attracted to even one's spouse is disgusting, having sex for any reason other than procreation is disgusting, women are disgusting objects of men's disgusting desires. Every person's life goal should be chastity and abstinence. Good grief!What is chiefly vile about this is that in theory it is taken for granted that love is something ideal and elevated; whereas in practice love is something low and swinish, which it is shameful and disgusting to speak of or remember. You see it is not without reason that nature made it shameful and disgusting.The author of this piece might be onto something.

  • Sandra
    2019-05-10 17:29

    Inquietudine ed incanto sono le opposte sensazioni che lascia la lettura di questo romanzo breve di Tolstoj. Un’opera che va contestualizzata per capirne la portata quasi rivoluzionaria per l’epoca. Tolstoj la scrisse in un tardo periodo della sua produzione letteraria, dopo una intensa crisi spirituale che sfociò nella sua adesione esaltata ad un cristianesimo evangelico. Lui la definì la sua rigenerazione morale. Per la scabrosità degli argomenti , sorprendenti per l’epoca, lo scrittore ebbe molti problemi per la sua pubblicazione. Il libro è un aperto atto d’accusa contro l’ipocrisia dell’istituzione matrimoniale basata sull’inganno, dal momento che la tanto sbandierata felicità coniugale non è altro che un legame bestiale basato sul sesso, santificato dalla società fin dalla più giovane età di uomini e donne che vengono preparati gli uni ad essere conquistati come schiavi dei loro istinti e le altre ad essere oggetti del desiderio, vittime ma anche carnefici della schiavitù maschile. Tutto questo emerge dal racconto che un tale Pozdnysev, appartenente alla nobiltà russa, fa durante un viaggio in treno ad uno sconosciuto, esordendo con lui in modo sorprendente, con la confessione di essere un uxoricida. Si snoda così un racconto dal ritmo serrato, una storia di lucidissima follia la cui protagonista è la gelosia, con un continuo scavo psicologico dei moti più intimi dell’animo del protagonista, il quale, pur nella ossessione dei pensieri che lo animano, non perde la razionalità nei comportamenti (tanto che mi sono chiesta se un giudice dovesse giudicarlo oggi lo riterrebbe incapace di intendere e di volere o invece pienamente imputabile). Sotto il profilo letterario, dunque, nulla da dire, è un racconto notevole ed anche modernissimo, visti i casi di raptus di follia e omicidi passionali che riempiono le pagine dei giornali. Quando poi vai a leggere la postfazione scritta dallo stesso Tolstoy per “giustificare” ai lettori quella sua opera che tanto scandalo suscitò, nella quale Tolstoj si propone come un castigatore di costumi, predicando il valore morale dell’astinenza dal sesso quale altissimo ideale cristiano, allora si sente la lontananza dalla nostra concezione di vita. Nel 2015, in un’epoca in cui la Chiesa stessa è travolta da continui scandali sessuali, le parole di Tolstoj sull’ideale del cristiano, l’amore verso Dio e il prossimo, la rinunzia a sé stessi per servire Dio, e sul peccato, che è rappresentato dall’amore carnale, che è un ostacolo alla dedizione a Dio e agli altri, hanno un sapore di rancido come un cibo andato a male.

  • Carmo
    2019-05-02 01:28

    "Pergunte a uma mulher qual é preferível, passar por mentirosa ou parecer mal arranjada...Ela preferirá a primeira alternativa." pág21"Desde que um homem se aproxima de uma mulher, deixa-se influenciar pelos seus sortilégios e torna-se louco." pág.26"A paixão sexual, qualquer que seja o cenário que a envolva, é um mal horrível que é preciso combater e não encorajar...""No fundo de mim borbulhava continuamente um ódio hediondo. Odiava-a por tudo, porque levava a colher à boca, porque sorvia o chá, porque balançava a ponta do pé..." pág 49"...desencadeavam-se cenas horrorosas em que tive a tentação de me suicidar ou de a matar..."pág 57" nossas discussões eram aterradoras...seguidas de cenas de uma sensualidade animal exasperante." pág 56Esta é uma pequena amostra de citações bem elucidativas do teor deste livro.Numa narrativa de suster a respiração (trouxe-me à memória A Morte de Ivan Ilych) Tostoi apresenta-nos um casal, cuja capacidade de entendimento não vai além do quarto. No fundo tudo gira à volta do ciúme doentio do marido, dono de uma mente delirante capaz de levar a atos estapafúrdios e irreversíveis. Apesar da falta de provas concretas que sustenham uma traição, ele constrói um cenário tortuoso que o leva às últimas consequências. O pior disto tudo, é que nem se chega a saber se houve traição efetiva. A exigência da confissão ficou sem efeito, se a houve, ela carregou o segredo para o caixão. Até porque, as mulheres não admitem com facilidade os seus pecados, muito menos os confessam.O tema da infidelidade já é recorrente no autor, mas este, quase ódio, pelas mulheres é talvez o reflexo da própria experiência de vida do autor. Também ele teve um casamento conturbado e no final da vida tinha-se tornado um cristão exacerbado, chegando a defender o celibato. Lá diz o povo e com razão:" uma relação não vive sem sexo, nem sobrevive só de sexo."

  • Andrei Tamaş
    2019-05-01 21:33

    "Sonata Kreutzer" îmi pare a fi scrierea-cheie din literatura universală care relatează cu lux de amănunte -într-un singur plan narativ, orientat pe o singură idee- metamorfozele geloziei masculine. În nuvelă, interesant mi s-a părut aspectul -des întâlnit de mine în toate genurile literare din literatură universală- conform căruia bărbatul, printr-un fals raţionament, caută mai întâi să impună o concluzie, iar apoi caută nebuneşte anumite premise care să o întărească, el fiind -în mod practic- de neclintit. E imposibil să combaţi pe cineva care pleacă de la o concluzie lipsită de temei. Şi cu atât mai mult: lupta se duce în lăuntrul protagonistului. De asemenea, nuvela are aspecte autobiografice, ea fiind scrisă de Tolstoi ca ţinând locul unei palme date soţiei sale, bănuită a avea o relaţie cu o figura ilustra a muzicii ruseşti din epoca respectivă. Dragostea înseamnă preferinţa exclusivă pentru un bărbat sau o femeie în defavoarea tuturor celorlalţi.Căci era odios faptul că-mi luăm dreptul deplin şi neîndoielnic de a mă socoti stăpân pe trupul ei, ca şi cum ar fi fost propriul meu trup, şi în acelaşi timp simţeam că nu pot domina acest trup, că el nu-mi aparţine şi că ea poate dispune de el după vrerea ei şi că vrea să dispună altfel decât voiam eu.

  • Roberto
    2019-05-05 19:43

    Amarsi per tutta la vita è come sostenere che una candela resterà accesa tutta la vitaNon mi soffermo sulle farneticazioni religiose e ascetiche quasi fondamentaliste di Tolstoj, che parlano da sole. Ai grandi si possono perdonare assurdità di questa fattezza.Come non apprezzare invece la descrizione meticolosa e veritiera dei sentimenti connessi alla fine dell'amore nel matrimonio, ai litigi, al senso di repulsione che può subentrare quando i due non si sopportano più e della gelosia, che si insinua nella mente come un tarlo e che porta a fare gesti senza senso? È Tolstoj ed è grande!Una gelosia senza pace che vede la colpa ovunque, in uno sguardo, in un gesto, in un sorriso, addirittura nella musica.A chi si sente debole, ha paura, è insicuro, basta poco per insospettirsi. Il dubbio si insinua una sera quando assiste la moglie pianista mentre affronta insieme a un giovane violinista la sonata a Kreutzer di Beethoven.Cos'ha di speciale tale sonata? Nel primo movimento, il pianoforte e il violino si rispondono l'un l'altro quasi a ricordare il rituale del corteggiamento. Dopo una prima introduzione in cui un tema ossequioso è esposto dal violino, c'è la timida risposta del pianoforte. Pian piano l'atmosfera si riscalda, con i fraseggi alternati di violino e pianoforte che si fanno sempre più temerari fino a trasformarsi in una tumultuosa alternanza di sequenze di note simili, sensuali e appassionate (ascoltare per credere!). Violinista e pianista, vicini, sono costretti a guardarsi mentre eseguono il brano, avvinghiati sempre più in un turbolento insieme simultaneo e armonico di note. Ma il marito guarda e immagina. E soffre.Le descrizioni dello stato d'animo provocato dalla gelosia mi hanno colpito moltissimo. Non impulso irrazionale causato dal dolore di vedere la propria amata preda di un altro, quanto istinto razionale causato dalla sensazione di essere stato beffato e imbrogliato. Non senso di perdita dell'amata, bensì della perdita dell'onore. Non attenzione a ciò che si sta per compiere, ma solo a come questo possa essere percepito dall'esterno.È bravo Tolstoj. Dannatamente bravo. Il tormento interiore che descrive è cosi veritiero e i sentimenti così angoscianti da lasciare per molto tempo amareggiati e sconfortati.

  • Jeanette
    2019-04-26 01:34

    I drew my conclusions about this novella prior to reading Tolstoy's Afterword. In the Afterword, he reveals his intended messages for the book---and also reveals himself to be a serious headcase! I waited until I'd finished the book before reading Doris Lessing's introduction about Tolstoy's life. He was a total hypocrite, making demands on his wife that were entirely at odds with the "ideal" he promotes in the Afterword. But no matter. My rating is based on my experience of the story. What I got from it had nothing to do with what he was trying to teach. Tolstoy masterfully portrays a possessive marital relationship based on externals---looks, sex, money, social standing. In a relationship of this kind, love and hate are so closely linked that they're really the same thing. If you fulfill my expectations and fantasies about you, then I will love you. But if you stray from my ideal, then I will hate you with an unquenchable rage. And if you pacify me, I'll love you again, but the rage will always be lurking. As the story builds to its conclusion, we see how unprovoked jealousy can consume a person entirely, and destroy a relationship that is based on proprietorship. I actually agree with some of Tolstoy's arguments put forth by the character of Pozdnyshev. However, my agreement is based on practicality and reality rather than Tolstoy's moral and religious purposes.

  • lorinbocol
    2019-04-24 21:37

    dove si appura che il bonus di upgrading creativo post conversione religiosa, se l'era giocato tutto alessandro manzoni una cinquantina d'anni prima, con la versione definitiva dei suoi questa storia russa di sposi non promessi ma navigati, per tutta la prima metà e oltre prevale invece la visione cupa e ossessiva che tolstoj arrivò ad avere dei rapporti umani. vieppiù col genere femminile, dopo che con sonja aveva ingaggiato quel ménage tipo guerra dei roses.pozdnyšev è un personaggio, certo, ma per 3/4 del libro il suo sfogo ha poco della narrazione e moltissimo del sermone plumbeo. e il problema non è tanto che il tormento carsico fosse lo stesso che corrodeva tolstoj, quanto che la sua insistenza diventa così pedante da impedirgli per almeno 90 pagine su 120 (postilla di rinforzo esclusa) di farsi altro che recriminazione. la magnificenza d'indagine di anna karenina è lontana millanta leghe, mentre in primo piano sale un'asfissia moralista, torva e misogina.(vecchio lev, stavolta la sventurata non l'hai fatta finire sotto un treno ma le tue soddisfazioni te le sei prese lo stesso. peccato che per condannare quanto la donna è mobile, tu abbia scritto una storia con la fissità di un trumeau).tre stelle arrotondate ...

  • Deepthi
    2019-05-05 00:40

    Though I do not agree with all the arguments which Tolstoy's protagonist raises, I think this novella is very well written and has many controversial opinions on sex, marriage, love etc. I give this one 4.5/5 stars because it asks many important questions though it might not answer everything perfectly as some of the readers would prefer it to. Tolstoy might have been in great anguish and frustration when he wrote this one as it is filled with anger and cynicism. Read at your own risk. It might change your already well-built views/opinions or make you feel as a hypocrite or one might even end up hating Tolstoy for his approach on "What is wrong with our society?". Whatever the case be, it asks valid questions and some of them are true to this day. P.S.: I can see why this book was banned and is definitely not anti-feminist though it is preachy at some levels.

  • Sandy (CA)
    2019-05-12 19:20

    Disbelief. That is what I felt as I read this book. These are the ramblings of a twisted mind and a tortured soul. It is dripping with confusion and contradictions, oozing frustration and self-loathing, seething with anger and jealousy. It is no wonder that the relationship portrayed in this story ended in murder. How tragic. How horrifying. How realistic?

  • Viv JM
    2019-04-23 00:32

    This story is a bit bonkers. It's a somewhat feverish account of one man's jealousy culminating in the murder of his wife. It's not exactly a sex-positive tale, what with all evils being laid at the feet of sexual desire, but it is a surprisingly compelling read nonetheless!

  • Dagio_maya
    2019-05-22 00:35

    Un viaggio in treno, si sa, può dare l’occasione di scambiare qualche parola con sconosciuti e casuali compagni di viaggio. La monotonia del viaggio, accompagnata dall’incessante sferragliare del treno, si può rivelare l’adeguata cornice a conversazioni che, trasformandosi in vere e proprie discussioni, si animano sempre più,« (…)come si fa a vivere con una persona quando non c’è l’amore? »Amore e matrimonio sono oggetto di diverbio tra una donna ed un vecchio mercante e quando lei perentoria sentenzierà:«solo l’amore consacra il matrimonio e che un matrimonio è vero soltanto se consacra l’amore.» un agitato passeggero si opporrà dichiarando che la realtà è ben altra.Rimasto solo con un altro compagno di viaggio- e voce narrante- l’irrequieto signore si presenta e raccontando la sua storia esordisce dicendo:” Sono Pozdnyšev, uno a cui è successo l’episodio critico a cui alludevate, infatti ho ucciso mia moglie…”Inizia così il racconto che prende il ritmo della corsa accelerata del treno dove Pozdnyšev espone le opinioni frutto della sua esperienza. L’amore ne esce come artefatto: un costrutto sociale vero e proprio; null’altro che l’infimo tranello in cui l’uomo può cadere.Tolstoj dimostra in questo racconto quel grande talento che sa tradurre in parole le immagini di un profondo sconvolgimento psichico.L’evidente intento che strumentalizza la letteratura per sostenere un messaggio non è cosa né nuova né sbagliata. Qui, tuttavia, Tolstoj offre una dichiarazione di quel radicalismo ascetico a cui giunse dopo la sua famigerata crisi spirituale. Segue una postfazione che l’autore dovette pubblicare a seguito delle numerose proteste che seguirono la prima pubblicazione. In queste pagine argomenta cercando di dare logicità a un’interpretazione dei rapporti umani che, in realtà, soffre dell’irragionevolezza propria di ogni estremismo mistico. “La sonata a Kreutzer” di Beethoven è un’opera che va ascoltata e meritevole è anche l’uso metaforico che Tolstoj ne fa.Il racconto è stato per me doppiamente inquietante per l’evolversi di una psicosi che sfocia nel dramma e per il risvolto autobiografico che esprime una concezione del sesso, delle donne, dell’amore e dell’esistenza tutta con toni di puro delirio.

  • Rosenkavalier
    2019-05-18 19:19

    Scene ferroviarie da un matrimonio russo (e proprietari terrieri ossessionati, e monaci ascetici)Avvertenza: un po' come il racconto, anche il commento a un certo punto degeneraDurante un viaggio in treno (non l'Orient Express, più sul genere accelerato Kazan-Dnepropetrovsk), due persone iniziano a conversare. La conversazione diventa un monologo. Il passeggero racconta la sua storia di uxoricida per causa d'onore, assolto con formula piena ma piuttosto segnato dall'esperienza (la moglie, a occhio e croce, di più).I fatti non è che siano chiarissimi.La signora si diletta con il pianoforte. A un evento mondano conoscono un violinista, lo invitano a casa per eseguire in duetto la sonata del titolo. Galeotto (quantomeno nelle fantasie del marito) fu l'"andante" e chi lo scrisse.Accadde il fattaccio? Con certezza, non si sa.Per non sbagliare, il marito impugna una specie di kriss malese della sua personale collezione di lame da passeggio e amministra un divorzio unilaterale all'arma bianca (il violinista, non esattamente un Lancillotto, si scansa al primo fendente e lascia la signora al suo destino).Fin qui, la fredda cronaca.Premessa: é Tolstoj, è un gigante, è russo, è morto.Dopodichè.Il racconto è un portento di introspezione psicologica, scritto da un ossessivo indagatore dell'animo umano, in primo luogo del proprio.Colpisce la profondità della descrizione di come una coppia dà alla luce, accudisce e fa crescere un sentimento incontrollabile di astio reciproco.Finissima la danza sull'ambiguità del racconto, l'adulterio immaginato, forse perfino desiderato, certamente agevolato dal marito che ha bisogno di una conferma alle sue manie.Ma la cosa che mi sbalordisce è l'analisi (attuale, attualissima) della condizione femminile, che Tolstoj diagnostica senza sconti, nemmeno alle donne peraltro.La notazione dello scontro perdente tra la concessione di diritti formali, da esercitare in un mondo dominato da una mentalità maschilista e misogina non mi pare, ad oggi, del tutto mandata a mente dai nostri contemporanei, nè mandata a mente nè messa granchè a profitto (me lo si conceda, da sostenitore del matriarcato).Poi é Tolstoj, è un gigante, è russo, è morto.Però (grossi IMHO, peace&love, siparvalicet).Però, il racconto bisognerebbe poterlo leggere come la descrizione di un delirio. Il che richiederebbe un controcanto.Lasciare il delirante solo a imperversare come se fosse sul palchetto di Hyde Park manda - lo dico? Grossi IMHO etc. - manda il meccanismo drammatico a schiantarsi.Non c'è niente di più facile che interpretare un pazzo o un ubriaco, si diceva nella vecchia Hollywood.Il delirante può dire tutto, far quadrare tutti i cerchi, bestemmiare in chiesa, è legibus solutus (scusate il latinorum).E infatti il delirio, se c'è, è dell'autore (abbiamo la prova documentale, Vs. Onore, la postfazione).Così, la tirata sulla morale corrente, la conclusione sono impossibili da prendere sul serio, oggi.Tantomeno se, a un certo punto della lettura, ti si insinua nella testa un pensiero. Oddìo, pensiero. Un pensierino. Non ti esce più dalla testa. Non si dovrebbe sorridere mentre va in scena una tragedia (e il sottoscritto, infame Franti contemporaneo, ogni tanto rideva persino).Ti metti a pensare che tutta questa tragedia in fondo accade per un banale equivoco. Un qui pro quo.[Post scriptum pecoreccio - continuate a vostro rischio]Lei suona il Pianoforte.Lui suona il Violino.Non la Tromba.

  • Özgür
    2019-05-14 20:33

    Son dönemde kitaplarda önsöz olayının biraz çığrından çıktığını düşünmekteyim. O kadar uzun ve yönlendirici yazılmaya başlandı ki, “Önsöz” yazmaya bile utanır oldular. Gerçekten öncelikli bir bilgi vermesi gerekiyorsa veya kitabın yazıldığı dönem orijinalleriyle görseller sunuluyorsa( bknz;iletişim klasikleri görselleri ) okur için etkili olabiliyor. Kroyçer Sonat, Beto’nun Keman ve Piano eşlikli Presto bir girişe sahip olan incelikli eseridir. Böyle olumsuz anılan bir eserin adını taşıyor olması da ayrı bir ironi konusu olmuştur. Aslında eserin derinliği ve giriftliğiyle birlikte analiz ediyor olmak daha çok işime gelirdi ama bu mecra da bunu yapmayacağım. Yoksa, o tren yolculuğu girizgahıyla, arşe’nin usulca aşağı inişleri tam bir uyum içindeydi. Sonlara doğru Pozdnişev’in Moskova’ya dönerken yaşadığı kalp çarpıntılarını, Fazıl’ın 30 parmağı varmışçasına çaldığı cressendo’ları nasıl güzel anlatırdım oysa. Hayır anlatmayacağım 😊Kroyçer Sonat, giriş kısmında da belirtildiği gibi döneminde o kadar çok tartışma yaratmış ki kitap adeta Öykü’yü aklamaya çalışan bir manifesto kıvamında. Son bölümde Tolstoy’un da günah çıkarmaya çalıştığını okuduktan sonra, nasıl bir baskıya maruz kaldığını gözlerimle hissetmiş oldum.Tüm yargılar, Tolstoy’un, ahlaksal olarak bağnazlık yaptığı, erkeklerin saf çıkarcı tutum sergilediği görüşünde birleşiyor. Bunu anlamam biraz zor çünkü kitap karakterlerinin diyalogları aslında tam anlamıyla, Aşk, Sevgi, Kadın, ve Erkek hakkında bilinen tüm evrensel ahlak ilkelerine göre değerlendirildiği, buradan hareketle de tüm yanlış ve doğru olguların doğruluğu üzerine sorular ortaya çıkartmaya çalıştığı yöndedir. Kadınlara acımasızca davranıldığı düşünülen diyalogların keskinliği, bu diyaloglara verilen karşı cevaplarda da mevcut. Tolstoy cinsiyetçilik değil tam tersi, ” NaCinsiyet, İnsan ve olması gerekenler” gözüyle yaklaşıyor konuya. Öykü’nün finali dramatik bitiyor ama bu keskinlikte olmasaydı o dönemi ve insanları başka türlü rahatsız edip, harekete geçiremezdi diye düşünmekteyim. Bence Tolstoy’un yaptığı tek hata, kitabın final bölümüne sonradan eklediği günah çıkartma yazısı olmuştur diyebilirim. Saygılar.

  • Noce
    2019-05-13 20:27

    Leo ed Henri culo e camiciaNonostante questo libro continui a non piacermi un granché, ci sono validi motivi per leggerlo, oltre naturalmente al fatto che la vostra amica Noce Moscata l’abbia letto e quindi anche voi vorrete fare altrettanto. (vero?)A) Stilisticamente parlando, Tolstoj avrebbe scritto bene anche col delirium tremens o con una pistola puntata alla testa. B) Inizia con una normale e casuale conversazione in treno. Normale un par de palle. L’ultima volta che ho preso il treno (era quello Fiumicino-Roma), se fossi salita, con addosso solo Chanel N.5° e avessi lanciato in mezzo al vagone una bomba al fosforo bianco, per poi dileguarmi senza fretta, facendo ondeggiare le mie guerrafondaie chiappette tra le macerie, i sopravvissuti mai e poi mai avrebbero potuto descrivermi, dato che TUTTI eccetto la sottoscritta, per TUTTO il viaggio hanno trafficato intensamente sui loro palmari, tìcchetìcchetìcchetàc, portatili, tìcchetìcchetìcchetàc, iPad, tìcchetìcchetìcchetàc, iPod, iMiei cojoni, senza mai alzare, e dico mai, il loro intelligente sguardo ad altezza conversazione normale. Insomma una scena che già ai vostri cugini più piccoli sembrerà antidiluviana. Di sicuro irrealizzabile al giorno d’oggi, a meno che non paghiate sottobanco il controllore per scambiare quattro paroline mentre vi chiede il biglietto.Quindi, è un’opera da tenere a portata di mano insieme ai gettoni per la cabina telefonica, alle audiocassette e al Bravo della Piaggio, per sorprendere i vostri nipoti con reperti paleolitici.C) Tolstoj è una persona seria. Se la terza età di oggi, ripensando alla dissolutezza di certi errori giovanili, espia le proprie colpe, piantando ravanelli in giardino, Tolstoj no. Tolstoj ci pensa così tanto che sente il bisogno di purgare le proprie colpe, sviscerandole fino a trovarne l’origine, scrivendole (ma mica così, tanto per non dimenticare qualche punto, no no, lui fa le cose come dio comanda) e cercandone la soluzione.Il problema è che Tolstoj s’è fatto un po’ prendere la mano. Un po’ l’ascetismo, un po’ l’arteriosclerosi, ha iniziato bene e a finito per scantonare. Alla fine della fiera, il quadretto che riesce a dipingere in un centinaio di pagine non so se faccia più ridere o piangere. A quanto pare la vita dell’uomo è dominata più che da un bio ritmo, da un appetito sessuale inestinguibile. I ragazzi perché sò ragazzi, le ragazze peggio: passano da uno stadio di innocenza imbecille, ove sognano principi azzurri e cavalli bianchi, ma vengono immediatamente instradate dalle madri (tutte figlie di buona donna) verso un’ipocrita rettitudine, e saltano dunque con balzo felino e per niente ingenuo, allo stadio di meretrici navigate, che altro scopo non hanno che quello di accalappiare il partito migliore. Quindi si sposano. I coniugi sono bene o male entrambi soddisfatti. Lui perché ha carne fresca a disposizione, lei perché domina lo sposo attraverso il sesso. Ma c’è anche l’ora della ricreazione: i figli. Unico motivo che riesce temporaneamente a distrarre gli sposi (già non più tanto felici), ma non a frenare la vanità dei genitori che cercano di educarli per farne dello loro copie. E si ricomincia daccapo. La soluzione? Tolstoj la spiega in lungo e in largo. L’astinenza più totale. Ma non in forma di cintura di castità e unguenti urticanti sul pipino, ma proprio come modo di pensare. Il fondo di verità c’è eccome, però Tolstoj ne ha fatto praticamente una malattia. Va bene che era tormentato dai suoi sbagli, va bene che sentiva così tanto le pastoie della società russa dell’epoca, che doveva per forza, per purificare se stesso e noi (perché Leo era pure altruista), trovare un causa e una soluzione che ci portasse alla redenzione. E così, sfruttando la sua bravura tecnica ha utilizzato il rapporto lettore-autore per indottrinare il pubblico, sperando che le sue idee Ratzingeriane attecchissero. Lodevole il suo tentativo, però alla fine sempre di idee esacerbate si tratta. E alla fine quando chiudi il libro, lo vedi che sulle ginocchia è rimasto l’alone di delirio. E mica ti si leva facilmente eh! Perché di logica, a dispetto delle idee radicali, in questo piccolo libro ce n’è da vendere.Solo che, bè ecco, come dire, a doverlo riassumere, fatemi trovare le parole, insomma, cioè, bo, ecco sì, per dirla alla Henri Bergson: “la persistenza della pippa”.

  • Lee
    2019-05-11 17:30

    I will admit, since it suggests something about this one's clarity/readability and the effectiveness of its short chapters, that I read this under blankets with a cat in my lap on a sleepy January Saturday spent watching the riveting NFL divisional playoff games almost on mute -- the double OT Broncos/Ravens game was an epic worthy of Tolstoy, although this late-style gripping polemical narrative essay of course didn't meet the seven-star standards set by Leo's masterpieces. Like Zwieg's Chess Story (best novella I've read in the modern era), a traveler meets a man overflowing with nervous energy who relates an intense story. At first, the narrator relays a charged conversation among a few travelers -- a woman supports the importance of marrying for love and an older impassioned dude shoots her down and says things were better when marriage was arranged. After that, our authorially effaced narrator (a very patient good-listener) relays a tale an intense/disturbed traveler tells about/against marriage depicting his experience with weapons-grade jealousy when he suspects that his 30-year-old wife/mother of five is having an affair with a violinist with red lips. Like in Houllebecq's The Possibility of an Island, the intense traveler argues that humanity's ideal state (a figurative return to Eden, with men and women living in peaceful cooperative equality) will only occur if we move beyond our -- shall we say -- interest in nongenerative intercourse. All suffering comes from sexual desire. Men debase women forever after being encouraged to visit brothels at fifteen (there's an ambiguous line early on that suggested to one modern reader that a few older boys corrupted the intense traveler's innocence when he was fourteen -- either they abused him or instilled in him a desire to do it before marriage). Women enslave men in factories trying to fulfill feminine desire for useless ornaments to attract men. The whole thing has been and will always be a shitshow until we replace carnal love with spiritual love and only do it to propagate the species -- plus it's really bad, Leo says, to do it when preggers or nursing since it taps spiritual energy. At times, the jealous murderous lover is a ranting Bernhardian obsessive, channeling Schopenhauer. The depiction of the guy's churning mind and spirit like a caged beast that needs to be released so it can break shit and maybe even end lives is vivid, vital, and seemingly startlingly accurate -- such a masterful, powerful depiction of such a timeless, natural, mortally significant, yet animalistic/irrational, essentially unenlightened human state overcomes the dated silliness of Leo's ideas. Another star is Leo's forward-flowing -- if occasionally eddying -- storytelling, the short chapters, the energy of the crystalline prose that's neither simple nor elegant nor stripped down but just sort of transparent and urgent, not sloppy or debased. Great description of travel by horsedrawn carriage in the fall under "a young moon" -- Leo pulls off this sort of thing with a flick of his wrist. He's really good at animating minor characters (servants and "extras" in scenes) for a second, too. This novella can't compare to his other stuff, of course, but -- despite the author's pro-chastity/anti-marriage/nutso intentions -- a solid four stars for me. This edition also sandwiches either side of the novella with 1) a nearly unreadable raving Christian afterword by the author wherein "Christ" appears 100+ times and he describes point by point the points he was trying to make and 2) a pretty much unnecessary/unilluminating intro by Lessing I skimmed after reading the seventy-something pages of lean sandwich meat. So: a recommended book, a good quick read, especially while watching playoff-grade football. Will try the same with Melville's famous novella later today. I'll say Seahawks over Falcons in the early game and Texans over the Pats in the afternoon. Leave the house today? I would prefer not to.

  • Tiago Diogo
    2019-04-24 19:38


  • Proustitute
    2019-04-30 20:20

    Praised by many as Tolstoy's best short story—or novella, really—I'm shocked that I've never read this until now, if only for the reason that Tolstoy's best inevitably means one of the best novellas ever written. And The Kreutzer Sonata is definitely that; it's also one of the beginning texts of existentialist literature, and I can imagine Camus and even Proust reading this with relish. In a mere hundred or so pages, Tolstoy attacks everything: the oppressive system of gender inequality; the class system; capitalism, money, and the ignorance in which children are reared; marriage; religion; medicine; the legal system—in short, every subject under the sun is scrutinized and unashamedly bashed to pieces here, in a novella that renders the act of confession as the only means of redemption in a world of lost faith, principles, and morals, a motif that pairs this rather well with Camus's La chute, whose own narrator seems oddly reminiscent at times with Tolstoy's in Kreutzer. One can see why this was banned and why there was such a scandal when Tolstoy published this in 1889, and many of its subjects and concerns are still sadly relevant today.

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2019-05-03 01:40

    This novella is a great character portrait and presents a downward spiral into murderous jealousy. The writing is great and I did enjoy it despite the sexism, outdatedness and the anti-sex stance. Pozdnyshev is by no means justified in his violence, nor is he excused, but Tolstoy genuinely believed that only men liked sex and therefore abstinence is the best way for a man to respect a woman and be a virtuous man. This old school anarchist Christian attitude is what makes most of Tolstoy's later stories not work as well for me as Anna Karenina or War and Peace, but I'm still going to read Resurrection... eventually....

  • Rubi
    2019-05-17 19:25

    ¿Le queda algo por criticar a Tolstoi en esta novela? He leído que todas sus novelas tienen algo de autobiográfico, pero espero que no tenga todos estos pensamientos porque si no, de ahora en adelante, le odiaré.No me extraña que "Sonata a Kreutzer" fuese censurada en su época. Primero porque habla de sexo y deseo sexual sin tapujos (y en esos años no se atrevían a hacerlo) y segundo porque puede meter ideas descabelladas en las mentes débiles: ¡ASESINATOOOO!He odiado que ponga a las mujeres de estúpidas, de únicamente preparadas para ser objeto de deseo, como si no tuvieran voluntad o ideales propios; lo que es peor, como si ellas practicasen sexo por obligación y no disfrutasen con ello. Las tacha de impuras, de presumidas, dice que únicamente están interesadas en agradar a los hombres... Dios mío, qué difícil es intentar comprender esta clase de pensamientos en la sociedad en la que vivimos ahora (y doy gracias de que sea así). "¡Qué extrañas confusiones hay en el cerebro y en el corazón de las pobres mujeres!"También critica mucho a los médicos, y principalmente por descubrir métodos anticonceptivos. Pero, ¿cómo es posible que no vea el gran avance que suponen? Sí, vale, un pensamiento muy "cristiano" pero... Lo siento, no puedo comprenderlo por mucho que lo intente.Otra cosa que me ha puesto de muy mal humor es su crítica a la música en general y a Beethoven en particular. ¡No te pases, eh?! (Beethoven es mi compositor favorito y me ha dolido que critique así su obra.)"La música me hace olvidarlo todo, la verdadera situación en que me hallo y hasta a mí mismo; me induce a creer lo que, en el fondo, ni creo ni siento, comprender lo que no comprendo, y poder lo que no puedo.:Se supone que esto lo dice como una crítica, aunque en realidad me parece algo positivo: La música hace soñar. Y, sin embargo, ¿quién no sabe que, en particular la música, produce la mayor parte de los adulterios en nuestra sociedad?: Reconozco que esto me ha hecho gracia; es como el dicho de que los mú[email protected] tienen [email protected] en cada puerto. :DEl protagonista no es capaz de vencer el odio interno que siente, ni los celos, ni su inseguridad. Únicamente se olvida de sí mismo y deja de ser egoísta cuando ya no hay vuelta atrás: Y por primera vez olvidé mi persona, mis derechos, mi orgullo; por primera vez vi en ella a un ser humano. Y todo lo que antes me ofendía, mis celos, pareció una cosa insignificante."Por último, un pensamiento que me parece digno de mención también: Pero si no se tiene vanidad, ¿qué objeto tiene la vida?(Las cuatro estrellas se deben a que a pesar de los pensamientos machistas y retrógados que me han puesto de un mal humor horrible y a pesar de que la historia es bastante sencilla y no hay mucha acción, ha conseguido mantenerme en vilo durante todas sus páginas y está tremendamente bien escrita, cómo no.)