Leo Tolstoy

Literary Birthday – 9 September – Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was born 9 September 1828, and died 20 November 1910.

Tolstoy Quotes

  1. Art lifts man from his personal life into the universal life.
  2. Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
  3. The greater the state, the more wrong and cruel its patriotism, and the greater is the sum of suffering upon which its power is founded.
  4. Pure and complete sorrow is as impossible as pure and complete joy.
  5. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
  6. All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.
  7. To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can’t eat it.
  8. Music is the shorthand of emotion.
  9. All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
  10. Wrong does not cease to be wrong because the majority share in it.
  11. Art is a microscope which the artist fixes on the secrets of his soul, and shows to people these secrets which are common to all.
  12. Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking.

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer of novels, short stories, plays and essays.  He is best known for War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich. His ideas on non-violent resistance, in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, had an impact on Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read Leo Tolstoy’s 10 Rules For Life.

Image: Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L.N.Tolstoy_Prokudin-Gorsky.jpg

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 9th September 2013