The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year

The Last Station: A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year

Jay Parini

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0307386155

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Based on detailed research, this book is a novelization of the last days of Leo Tolstoy. The book focuses on the tension between Sofya Andreyevna, Tolstoy's wife, and his latter-day retinue of assorted sychophants, led by Vladimir Chertkov.

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toothless grin of his, stretching his lips. “You are my doctor, aren’t you?” “I am indeed. So listen, for once.” I am forever trying to get him to behave sensibly about his age. An official of the courts led us to a small box, where we sat on a wooden bench with other witnesses and official observers. The gallery was crowded, and the judge—an aristocrat and member of the local militia called Bozorev—bowed slightly to Leo Nikolayevich as he entered and took his place behind a table. The first

all wisdom, love of my life. . . .” Glasses clinked. I bowed my head, determined not to weep. From the garden, well hidden by trees and bushes, came the gay strains of my favorite opera, La Muette de Portici. Lyovochka rushed to my side, drawing me into his arms for a brief public display of strong affection. I could feel the pressure of their eyes upon us as we kissed. But I did not mind. “Just one dance—before dinner?” Lyovochka asked me. I dipped my eyes, shyly, to the floor, but I danced

caught, others spring up. Moscow presents all kinds of beggars. There are some who live by it; and there are others, “real” beggars, who have come to the town for some reason and are genuinely destitute. Among these latter are many simple muzhiks, men and women alike, wearing muzhik clothes. I often meet them. Some of them have fallen ill here and have been let out of the hospital; they can neither support themselves nor get away from Moscow. Some are not ill but have lost everything they own

saying that the minister of the interior had granted Chertkov permanent residence in Tula. Mama came into the breakfast room with the paper clutched in her hand like a strangled animal. “I will have Chertkov murdered. Either he dies, or I die. There can be no compromise.” Papa’s face turned to chalk. “You all see what I endure,” he shouted. “It’s . . . impossible!” Mama glared at him, then fell hard onto the wide-plank floorboards, hitting her head on the molding. A new maid screamed. Dushan

state would mean to renounce life. And I do not consider that I have the right to do that. Farewell, dear Sonya, and may God help you! Life is not a jest, and we have no right to throw it away on a whim. And to measure it by its length of time is also unreasonable. Perhaps those months that remain to us are more important than all the years we have yet lived, and they should be lived well. 36 SASHA I traveled to Shamardino with Varvara Mikhailovna just two days after Papa. Chertkov told

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