In the 1870s, Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an equally profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession (1882). His literal interpretation of the ethical teachings of Jesus, centering on the Sermon on the Mount, caused him to become a fervent Christian anarchist and pacifist. His ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. He also became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing, particularly Resurrection (1899).
War and Peace is generally thought to be one of the greatest novels ever written, remarkable for its dramatic breadth and unity. Its vast canvas includes 580 characters, many historical with others fictional. The story moves from family life to the headquarters of Napoleon, from the court of Alexander I of Russia to the battlefields of Austerlitz and Borodino. Tolstoy's original idea for the novel was to investigate the causes of the Decembrist revolt, to which it refers only in the last chapters, from which can be deduced that Andrei Bolkonsky's son will become one of the Decembrists. The novel explores Tolstoy's theory of history, and in particular the insignificance of individuals such as Napoleon and Alexander. Somewhat surprisingly, Tolstoy did not consider War and Peace to be a novel (nor did he consider many of the great Russian fictions written at that time to be novels). This view becomes less surprising if one considers that Tolstoy was a novelist of the realist school who considered the novel to be a framework for the examination of social and political issues in nineteenth-century life. War and Peace (which is to Tolstoy really an epic in prose) therefore did not qualify. Tolstoy thought that Anna Karenina was his first true novel.
Tolstoy's contemporaries paid him lofty tributes. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who died thirty years before Tolstoy, admired and was delighted by Tolstoy's novels (and, conversely, Tolstoy also admired Dostoyevsky's work). Gustave Flaubert, on reading a translation of War and Peace, exclaimed, "What an artist and what a psychologist!" Anton Chekhov, who often visited Tolstoy at his country estate, wrote, "When literature possesses a Tolstoy, it is easy and pleasant to be a writer; even when you know you have achieved nothing yourself and are still achieving nothing, this is not as terrible as it might otherwise be, because Tolstoy achieves for everyone. What he does serves to justify all the hopes and aspirations invested in literature." The 19th-century British poet and critic Matthew Arnold opined that "A novel by Tolstoy is not a work of art but a piece of life." Isaac Babel said that "if the world could write by itself, it would write like Tolstoy."
After reading Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation, Tolstoy gradually became converted to the ascetic morality upheld in that work as the proper spiritual path for the upper classes. In 1869 he writes: "Do you know what this summer has meant for me? Constant raptures over Schopenhauer and a whole series of spiritual delights which I've never experienced before....no student has ever studied so much on his course, and learned so much, as I have this summer."
He describes his experience of witnessing an opera rehearsal which was a "repulsive sight." The performers exerted much energy on perfecting a ridiculous opera about an Indian king who disguises himself as a minstrel musician and falls in love with a woman. Tolstoy judges this performance harshly. He points out the utter ridiculousness of the plot and the "stupid costumes." He explains that since such a great effort is being expended to produce such silliness it is worthwhile to determine precisely what art is and to denounce the perpetuation of "art for art's sake" since such artistic endeavors have no value.
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There is, in all of this, an implicit analogy between beauty and beatitude. Understood as a foretaste of beatitude, beauty affirms its place in an integrated ontological order; as the radiance of being, beauty subordinates itself to what it reveals. But emancipated from that order, beauty threatens to displace the totality it once illumined, conjuring a rival order of its own.
There is plenty to criticize about the Enlightenment (just as there is plenty to celebrate), but my point is merely to question whether the symbiotic relation between great art and religion is as close as Murray suggests. Fra Angelico, a deeply religious painter, was a great artist, but then so was Titian, a conspicuously worldly one. Bach was a pious soul and was possibly the greatest composer who ever lived, but what about Beethoven? If he was religious it was in a vastly different sense. Jane Austen was conventionally religious in her personal life, but her novels achieve greatness through their secular wit and wisdom. Art and religion are both eulogistic words: Calling something a work of art endows it with a nimbus of value; the same is true of religious. But is that the same sort of value?
The main purpose of designing THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY Epub is to provide its readers compassionate guidelines for raising a puppy. From the decision of owning a puppy to the choosing of the right breed by following practical steps, preparing your home in this regard, promising to the new charge, and practicing some basic obedience exercises, this book is actually the complete guide. It also explains the different stages of puppy development, also illustrating how to communicate with your pup, and what to do in starting a complete training program.
Very many articles are now being written about artistic works from the formal point of view. In these articles one will find whatever one wants when it comes to detailed and even extremely detailed arguments about plot, composition, or rhythm; but it is never possible to know about what is being told in the given work and how the author-critic feels about it himself. A certain justification may be offered for formal deviations if we consider the scorn on the part of our revolutionary circles toward questions of form, something which has not been outgrown yet. In addition, the questions of a formal nature for the younger generation, which has something to say but which lacks the necessary cultural know-how, have undoubtedly become a serious matter. But no matter how important these questions are, we must never forget that they are only part of the issue. L. N. Tolstoy was right: the most skillful painter would be helpless despite all his technical mastery if a special content and the contours of this content have not revealed themselves to his eyes; on the other hand, whoever has these seeing eyes but lacks certain skills will not be powerless.
For the artist Mikhailov, technique did not exist apart from content. Was he right or wrong here? He was right from his own standpoint, right as an artist. For an artist, during the process of creativity, his work remains single, whole and indivisible. Mikhailov did not therefore understand how one could divide this solitary whole, juxtaposing technique to content. In actual fact, during his creative work, what existed for Mikhailov as content and what as technique or form? Perhaps the content was the idea of a man who was in a fit of rage? But such an idea for an artist does not exist abstractly, it always is clothed in an image for him; an idea clothed in an image is already form, but form which fully coincides with content. On the other hand, perhaps, we could call form what is fixed on the paper or on the canvas as an open image and which is then freed from all that is superfluous and unnecessary? But if this fixing is called form, then it is indissolubly linked with content. The work of the artist is concrete. In the concrete, form and content are organically merged. The creative act is prolonged and sometimes very painful, but it does not break down for the artist into the links of a logical chain and therefore does not yield to separation.
In the very same sense, the aesthetic process of perceiving a work of art does not involve such a division. Aesthetically we perceive and evaluate a work of art as a single whole, since we perceive it concretely. But we can, and so, too, can the artist, translate the work from the language of images into the language of logic. As soon as we begin to do this, we cease to evaluate it concretely and begin to view it abstractly, rationally. Viewing something abstractly, we find it useful to divide the work into content and form, setting limits to both. Methodologically this is completely justified. Such a bifurcation helps us logically to evaluate a work from various points of view. First of all, we pose the question: what idea is expressed in a given work and what is its relative social weight? Secondly, we then try to answer the question of how it is expressed, fully or incompletely, using what devices, and so forth. In this way we divide a work into content and form. But in making such a division, we must not forget for a moment about its conditional nature. A work of art is concrete; it is inherently indivisible. In the sphere of analytical, critical evaluation, and in the interests of such an analysis, we view this indivisible unity from two sides: from its inner side (content) and from its outer side (form), but each point of view deals with a unified work. In speaking of form and content, we are considering one and the same thing, only from differing points of view. (We could explain further using the analogy of matter and spirit. What from the objective point of view is matter, from the subjective is spiritual or psychical.) Form and content exist separately only in abstraction. This must never be forgotten, but it is precisely what is forgotten by those who look at content, ignoring form, and by those for whom all that exists is device. 2b1af7f3a8