Ignaty Nikolayevich Potapenko, was a Russian writer and playwright. Potapenko was born in the village of Fyodorovka, Kherson Governorate, Russian Empire where his father was a priest. Potapenko studied at Odessa University, at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, his first works were tales of Ukrainian life. He's best known for his novel A Russian Priest, published in Vestnik Evropy, his works include novels and short stories. The General's Daughter, T. Fisher Unwin, 1892. A Father of Six, An Occasional Holiday, T. Fisher Unwin, 1893. From Archive.org A Thousand Talents, from Anthology of Russian Literature, Volume 2, Leo Wiener, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1903. From Archive.org The Curse of Fame, from Short Story Classics Volume 1, P. F. Collier, 1907. From Archive.org What Dmitro Saw At the War, from The Soul of Russia, W. Stephens, Macmillan and Co. LTD, London, 1916. From Archive.org A Russian Priest, T. Fisher Unwin, 1916. From Archive.org Dethroned, from Best Russian Short Stories and Liveright, 1917. From Archive.org
Peasants (short story)
"Peasants" is an 1897 novella by Anton Chekhov. Upon its publication it became a literary sensation of the year, caused controversy but in retrospect is regarded as one of Chekhov's masterpieces; the novella was first published in the April 1897 issue of Russkaya Mysl. With minor changes and some additions to Chapter IX, it came out as a separate edition, first via Alexey Suvorin Publishing House as part of the book called 1. Peasants. 2. My Life. With further minor edits, Chekhov included it into 9 of his Collected Works published by Adolf Marks in 1899–1901; the story's plotline was based upon Chekhov's five-year stay in Melikhovo. In a 2 April letter he informed his brother Alexander: "In the April 1897 issue of Russkaya Mysl the novella will appear where I describe the fire that broke out in Melikhovo when you visited the place in 1895." Chekhov was finishing the story at the time of the all-Russia census which he took an active part in the organization of in Melikhovo. It was in those days he steeped himself into the lives of the local peasantry.
The first mention of "Peasants" dates back to 1 January 1897 when Chekhov wrote to Elena Shavrova from Melikhovo: "I am busy, up to my throat: write and cross out and cross out again..." When did he start working upon the novella is uncertain, but by the end of February 1897 it has been completed. On 1 March he wrote to Alexey Suvorin: "How about this for a misfortune? Have written a story on the life of peasants, but they told me it won't pass censorship and has to be cut by half." The story was sent to Russkaya Mysl in mid-March. On 2 April issue of Russkaya Mysl, sent to press was submitted to the censor V. Sokolov for a review. In his report he wrote: "In the first part of the April volume of Russkaya Mysl there is a story by A. P. Chekhov called "Peasants". In it the life of peasants in villages is depicted in exceedingly grim tones. Throughout summer they toil in fields from morning till late at night along with members of their families, yet are unable to store bread for half a year. Nearly dying of hunger because of that all of them are engaged in excessive drinking.
For this they are ready to part with everything their last piece of clothes... Their helplessness is aggravated by the immense burden of taxes which for peasants' families are unbearable; the real curse for these peasants, or rather their families, is indeed their total ignorance. The majority of the muzhiks, if the author is to be believed, do not believe in God and are deaf to religion. Peasants long for light and knowledge but are unable to find the way to them on their own because few of them can read or write at all. Most of them are unaware of the concept of literacy as such."The censor came to the conclusion that, according to the author, peasants were now much worse off than they had been as serfs, for in those times "...at least they had been fed, while now what the authorities only do is rob them and punish". The second report that Sokolov sent to the Moscow Censorship Committee drew the same conclusions, as a result the whole page 123 was withdrawn from the April issue of Russkaya Mysl.
The same year, Suvorin managed to publish the story as a separate edition with Chapter IX restored if in a revised version. Chekhov's French translator Denis Rouche asked the author for the complete, uncensored version of the story. Chekov wrote in a 24 January letter to Fyodor Batyushkov: "Rouche asks me to send him those fragments that have been cut by censorship, but there have been no such cuts. There was one chapter which never made its way either into the book, but there is no need to send this chapter to Paris." The'chapter' in question has never been identified. The story was published in French in September 1897 in the fortnightly Quinzaine. In 1901 it came out as a separate edition in Paris with the illustration by Ilya Repin; the latter presented the original drawings to Chekhov who on 10 April 1901 passed donated them to the Taganrog City Library. Nikolai Chikildiyev, once a Moscow restaurant waiter, now a ill man, decides to leave the city and with his pious, meek wife Olga and daughter Sasha goes to Zhukovo, his native village.
They are shocked by the horrible state of the place, but have to settle into this murky and dangerous world of poverty, ignorance and drunk violence. Things go from bad to worse, as at one point the fire destroys a house in the village, at another the police inspector comes to collect the arrears from the villagers and confiscate a samovar from the Chikildiyev's house. Nikolai dies, mother and daughter happy now to leave all those horrors behind, set off to Moscow, begging for money on their way. Russian literary historians regard Peasants, with its vast and brutally realistic panorama of the life of low-class Russian rural community, as a revelatory event in the Russian literature of the 1890s. "Just finished your peasants. What a delight! Read it late in the evening in one gulp and couldn't fall asleep after it for a long time," Nikolai Leykin wrote in a 29 April 1897 letter. Actor and dramatist Alexander Yuzhin wrote in May 1897: "Your Peasants is the greatest piece of literature in the whole world in many years, at least as us Russians are concerned...
Not a single false, maudlin note.
Uncle Vanya is a play by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first published in 1898 and received its Moscow première in 1899 in a production by the Moscow Art Theatre, under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski; the play portrays the visit of an elderly professor and his glamorous, much younger second wife, Yelena, to the rural estate that supports their urban lifestyle. Two friends—Vanya, brother of the professor's late first wife, who has long managed the estate, Astrov, the local doctor—both fall under Yelena's spell, while bemoaning the ennui of their provincial existence. Sonya, the professor's daughter by his first wife, who has worked with Vanya to keep the estate going, suffers from her unrequited feelings for Dr. Astrov. Matters are brought to a crisis when the professor announces his intention to sell the estate and Sonya's home, with a view to investing the proceeds to achieve a higher income for himself and his wife. Uncle Vanya is unique among Chekhov's major plays because it is an extensive reworking of his own play published a decade earlier, The Wood Demon.
By elucidating the specific changes Chekhov made during the revision process—these include reducing the cast-list from two dozen down to nine, changing the climactic suicide of The Wood Demon into the famous failed homicide of Uncle Vanya, altering the original happy ending into a more problematic, less final resolution—critics such as Donald Rayfield, Richard Gilman, Eric Bentley have sought to chart the development of Chekhov's dramaturgical method through the 1890s. Rayfield cites recent scholarship suggesting Chekhov revised The Wood Demon during his trip to the island of Sakhalin, a prison colony in Eastern Russia, in 1891. Aleksandr Vladimirovich Serebryakov: a retired university professor, who has lived for years in the city on the earnings of his late first wife's rural estate, managed for him by Vanya and Sonya. Helena Andreyevna Serebryakova: Professor Serebryakov's young and beautiful second wife, she is 27 years old. Sofia Alexandrovna Serebryakova: Professor Serebryakov's daughter from his first marriage.
She is considered plain. Maria Vasilyevna Voynitskya: the widow of a privy councilor and mother of Vanya. Ivan Petrovich Voynitsky: Maria's son and Sonya's uncle, the title character of the play, he is 47 years old. Mikhail Lvovich Astrov: a middle aged country doctor. Ilya Ilych Telegin: an impoverished landowner, who now lives on the estate as a dependent of the family. Marina Timofeevna: an old nurse. A Workman A garden in Serebryakov's country estate. Astrov and Marina discuss how old Astrov has grown, how he feels bored with his life as a country doctor. Vanya enters, complains about how all order has been disrupted since the professor and his wife, arrived; as they’re talking, Yelena and Telegin return from a walk. Out of the professor's earshot, Vanya calls him "a learned old dried mackerel," criticizing him for his pomposity and the smallness of his achievements. Vanya’s mother, Maria Vasilyevna, who idolizes Serebryakov, objects to her son’s derogatory comments. Vanya praises the professor’s wife, for her beauty, arguing that faithfulness to an old man like Serebryakov is an immoral waste of vitality.
Astrov is forced to depart to attend a patient, but not before delivering a speech on the preservation of the forests, a subject he is passionate about. Act I closes with Vanya declaring his love for an exasperated Yelena; the dining room, several days later. It is late at night. Before going to bed, Serebryakov complains of being of old age. Astrov arrives, having been sent for by Sonya. After Serebryakov is asleep and Vanya talk, she speaks of the discord in the house, Vanya speaks of dashed hopes. He feels he’s misspent his youth, he associates his unrequited love for Yelena with the devastation of his life. Yelena refuses to listen. Alone, Vanya questions why he did not fall in love with Yelena when he first met her ten years before, when it would have been possible for the two to have married and had a happy life together. At that time, Vanya believed in Serebryakov’s greatness and was happy to think that his own efforts supported Serebryakov's work; as Vanya agonizes over his past, Astrov returns, somewhat drunk, the two talk together.
Sonya chides Vanya for his drinking, responds pragmatically to his reflections on the futility of a wasted life, pointing out that only work is fulfilling. Outside, a storm is gathering and Astrov talks with Sonya about the suffocating atmosphere in the house, he laments. Sonya begs Astrov to stop drinking, telling him it is unworthy of him to destroy himself; the two discuss love, during which it becomes clear that Sonya is in love with the Doctor and that he is unaware of her feelings. When Astrov leaves, Yelena enters and makes peace with Sonya, after an long period of mutual anger and antagonism. Trying to resolve their past difficulties, Yelena reassures Sonya that she had strong feelings for her father when she married him, though the love proved false; the two women converse at cross purposes, with Yelena confessing her u
Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko, PAU, was a Russian and Soviet theatre director, pedagogue, playwright and theatre administrator, who founded the Moscow Art Theatre with his colleague, Konstantin Stanislavski, in 1898. Vladimir Ivanovich Nemirovich-Danchenko was born into a mixed Ukrainian-Armenian family in the village of Shemokmedi near Ozurgeti, his Ukrainian father, Ivan Danchenko, was an officer in the Imperial Russian army, his mother, Alexandra Yagubyan, was Armenian. He went to high school in Tbilisi. In 1879 he left the University for the theatre, starting as a theatre critic, in 1881, his first play "Dog-rose", staged in one year by Maly Theatre, was published, he was a teacher of Moskvin and Meyerhold. In 1919, he established the Musical Theatre of the Moscow Art Theatre, reformed into the Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Theatre in 1926. In 1943 Nemirovich-Danchenko established the Moscow Art Theatre School, still extant, he died of a heart attack on 25 April 1943, aged 84, in Moscow.
Nemirovich-Danchenko's Moscow Art Theatre staged Chekhov and Gorky drama with theretofore unknown naturalism and full expression. In addition, his theatre presented acclaimed Dostoevsky and Tolstoy dramatizations, it has been said that "If Stanislavski was the soul of Art Theatre Nemirovich was its heart". Nemirovich-Danchenko created the Moscow Art Theatre's acting and directing style, known for "actors ensemble" and its "atmosphere"; because of his directorial and production skills, the Moscow Art Theatre was considered, at the time, the best theatre in the world. But Nemirovich didn't write down his acting "system"and we know only the "system of Stanislavski", he was one of the first recipients of the title of People's Artist of the USSR in 1936. He was awarded the USSR State Prize, the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner of Labour; the Brothers Karamazov Resurrection Anna Karenina Three Sisters Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko: Biography from Answers.com
Three Sisters (play)
Three Sisters is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov. It was first performed in 1901 at the Moscow Art Theatre; the play is sometimes included on the short list of Chekhov's outstanding plays, along with The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull and Uncle Vanya. Olga Sergeyevna Prozorova – The eldest of the three sisters, she is the matriarchal figure of the Prozorov family though at the beginning of the play she is only 28 years old. Olga is a teacher at the high school, where she fills in for the headmistress whenever the latter is absent. Olga is a spinster and at one point tells Irina that she would have married "any man an old man if he had asked" her. Olga is motherly to the elderly servants, keeping on the elderly nurse/retainer Anfisa, long after she has ceased to be useful; when Olga reluctantly takes the role of headmistress permanently, she takes Anfisa with her to escape the clutches of the heartless Natasha. Maria Sergeyevna Kulygina – The middle sister, she is 23 at the beginning of the play.
She married her husband, when she was 18 and just out of school. When the play opens she has been disappointed in the marriage and falls in love with the idealistic Lieutenant-Colonel Vershinin, they begin a clandestine affair. When he is transferred away, she is crushed, but returns to life with her husband, who accepts her back despite knowing what she has done, she has a short temper, seen throughout the play, is the sister who disapproves the most of Natasha. Onstage, her directness serves as a tonic to the melodrama, her wit comes across as heroic, her vitality provides most of the play's plentiful humour. She was trained as a concert pianist. Irina Sergeyevna Prozorova – The youngest sister, she is 20 at the beginning of the play, it is her "name day" at the beginning of the play and though she insists she is grown-up she is still enchanted by things such as a spinning top brought to her by Fedotik. Her only desire is to go back to Moscow, she believes she will find her true love in Moscow, but when it becomes clear that they are not going to Moscow, she agrees to marry the Baron Tuzenbach, whom she admires but does not love.
She gets her teaching degree and plans to leave with the Baron, but he is shot and killed by Solyony in a pointless duel. She decides to dedicate her life to work and service. Andrei Sergeyevich Prozorov – The brother of the three sisters. In Act I, he is a young man on the fast track to being a Professor in Moscow. In Act II, Andrei still longs for his old days as a bachelor dreaming of life in Moscow, but is now, due to his ill-conceived wedding to Natasha, stuck in a provincial town with a baby and a job as secretary to the County Council. In Act III, his debts have grown to 35,000 rubles and he is forced to mortgage the house, but does not tell his sisters or give them any shares in the family home. Act IV finds Andrei a pathetic shell of his former self, now the father of two, he acknowledges he is a failure and laughed at in town for being a member of the village council whose president, Protopopov, is cuckolding him. Natalia Ivanovna – Andrei's love interest at the start of the play his wife.
She begins the play as an awkward young woman who hides her true nature. Much fun is made of her ill-becoming green sash by the sisters, she bursts into tears, she has no family of her own and the reader never learns her maiden name. Act II finds a different Natasha, she has grown bossy and uses her relationship with Andrei as a way of manipulating the sisters into doing what she wants. She has begun an affair with Protopopov, the head of the local council, cuckolds Andrei flagrantly. In Act III, she has become more controlling, confronting Olga head on about keeping on Anfisa, the elderly, loyal retainer, whom she orders to stand in her presence, throwing temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. Act IV finds that she has inherited control of the house from her weak, vacillating husband, leaving the sisters dependent on her, and, as the châtelaine, planning to radically change the grounds to her liking, it is arguable that the vicious, self-absorbed Natasha, who cares for no one besides her own children and Sofia, upon whom she dotes fatuously, is the complete victor by the end of the play.
Fyodor Ilyich Kulygin – Masha's older husband and the Latin teacher at the high school. Kulygin is a jovial, kindly man, who loves his wife, her sisters, although he is much aware of her infidelity. In the first act he seems foolish, giving Irina a gift he has given her, joking around with the doctor to make fun of Natasha, but begins to grow more and more sympathetic as Masha's affair progresses. During the fire in Act 3, he confesses to Olga that he might have married her – the fact that the two would be happy together is hinted at many times throughout the show. Throughout the show at the most serious moments, he tries to make the other characters laugh in order to relieve tension, while that doesn't always work, he is able to give his wife comfort through humor in her darkest hour at the show's climax. At the end of the play, although knowing what Masha had been doing, he takes her back and accepts her failings. Aleksandr Ignatyevich Vershinin – Lieutenant colonel commanding the artillery battery, Vershinin is a true philosopher.
He knew the girls' father in Moscow and they talk about how when they were little they called him the "Lovesick Major". In the course of the play, despite being married, he enters into an affair with
The Seagull is a play by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov, written in 1895 and first produced in 1896. The Seagull is considered to be the first of his four major plays, it dramatises the romantic and artistic conflicts between four characters: the famous middlebrow story writer Boris Trigorin, the ingenue Nina, the fading actress Irina Arkadina, her son the symbolist playwright Konstantin Tréplev. Though the character of Trigorin is considered Chekhov's greatest male role like Chekhov's other full-length plays, The Seagull relies upon an ensemble cast of diverse developed characters. In contrast to the melodrama of mainstream 19th-century theatre, lurid actions are not shown onstage. Characters tend to speak in ways; the opening night of the first production was a famous failure. Vera Komissarzhevskaya, playing Nina, was so intimidated by the hostility of the audience that she lost her voice. Chekhov spent the last two acts behind the scenes; when supporters wrote to him that the production became a success, he assumed that they were trying to be kind.
When Konstantin Stanislavski, the seminal Russian theatre practitioner of the time, directed it in 1898 for his Moscow Art Theatre, the play was a triumph. Stanislavski's production of The Seagull became "one of the greatest events in the history of Russian theatre and one of the greatest new developments in the history of world drama". After purchasing the Melikhovo farm in 1892, Chekhov had built in the middle of a cherry orchard a lodge consisting of three rooms, one containing a bed and another a writing table. In spring, when the cherries were in blossom, it was pleasant to live in this lodge, but in winter it was so buried in the snow that pathways had to be cut to it through drifts as high as a man. Chekhov moved in and in a letter written in October 1895 wrote: I am writing a play which I shall not finish before the end of November. I am writing it not without pleasure. It's a comedy, there are four acts, landscapes, thus he acknowledged a departure from traditional dramatic action. This departure would become a critical hallmark of the Chekhovian theater.
Chekhov's statement reflects his view of the play as comedy, a viewpoint he would maintain towards all his plays. After the play's disastrous opening night his friend Aleksey Suvorin chided him as being "womanish" and accused him of being in "a funk." Chekhov vigorously denied this, stating: Why this libel? After the performance I had supper at Romanov's. On my word of honour. I went to bed, slept soundly, next day went home without uttering a sound of complaint. If I had been in a funk I should have run from editor to editor and actor to actor, should have nervously entreated them to be considerate, should nervously have inserted useless corrections and should have spent two or three weeks in Petersburg fussing over my Seagull, in excitement, in a cold perspiration, in lamentation.... I acted as coldly and reasonably as a man who has made an offer, received a refusal, has nothing left but to go. Yes, my vanity was stung, and a month later: I thought that if I had written and put on the stage a play so brimming over with monstrous defects, I had lost all instinct and that, therefore, my machinery must have gone wrong for good.
The eventual success of the play, both in the remainder of its first run and in the subsequent staging by the Moscow Art Theatre under Stanislavski, would encourage Chekhov to remain a playwright and lead to the overwhelming success of his next endeavor Uncle Vanya, indeed to the rest of his dramatic oeuvre. Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina – an actress Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplyov – Irina's son, a playwright Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin – a well-known writer Nina Mikhailovna Zarechnaya – the daughter of a rich landowner Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin – Irina's brother Ilya Afanasyevich Shamrayev – a retired lieutenant and the manager of Sorin's estate Polina Andryevna – Ilya's wife Masha – Ilya and Polina's daughter Yevgeny Sergeyevich Dorn – a doctor Semyon Semyonovich Medvedenko – a teacher Yakov – a hired workman Cook – a worker on Sorin's estate Maid – a worker on Sorin's estate Watchman – a worker on Sorin's estate, he is the brother of the famous actress Irina Arkadina, who has just arrived at the estate for a brief vacation with her lover, the writer Boris Trigorin.
Pjotr Sorin and his guests gather at an outdoor stage to see an unconventional play that Irina's son, Konstantin Treplyov, has written and directed. The play-within-a-play features Nina Zarechnaya, a young woman who lives on a neighboring estate, as the "soul of the world" in a time far in the future; the play is Konstantin's latest attempt at creating a new theatrical form, is a dense symbolist work. Irina laughs at the play, finding it incomprehensible. Irina does not seem concerned about her son. Although others ridicule Konstantin's drama, the physician Yevgeny Dorn praises him. Act I sets up the play's various romantic triangles. T
Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer, regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. He received multiple nominations for Nobel Prize in Literature every year from 1902 to 1906, nominations for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1910, his miss of the prize is a major Nobel prize controversy. Born to an aristocratic Russian family in 1828, he is best known for the novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina cited as pinnacles of realist fiction, he first achieved literary acclaim in his twenties with his semi-autobiographical trilogy, Childhood and Youth, Sevastopol Sketches, based upon his experiences in the Crimean War. Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Family Happiness, Hadji Murad, he wrote plays and numerous philosophical essays. In the 1870s Tolstoy experienced a profound moral crisis, followed by what he regarded as an profound spiritual awakening, as outlined in his non-fiction work A Confession.
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. Tolstoy's ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You, were to have a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Tolstoy became a dedicated advocate of Georgism, the economic philosophy of Henry George, which he incorporated into his writing Resurrection; the Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility who traced their ancestry to a mythical nobleman named Indris described by Pyotr Tolstoy as arriving "from Nemec, from the lands of Caesar" to Chernigov in 1353 along with his two sons Litvinos and Zimonten and a druzhina of 3000 people. While the word "Nemec" has been long used to describe Germans only, at that time it was applied to any foreigner who didn't speak Russian. Indris was converted to Eastern Orthodoxy under the name of Leonty and his sons – as Konstantin and Feodor, respectively.
Konstantin's grandson Andrei Kharitonovich was nicknamed Tolstiy by Vasily II of Moscow after he moved from Chernigov to Moscow. Because of the pagan names and the fact that Chernigov at the time was ruled by Demetrius I Starshy some researches concluded that they were Lithuanians who arrived from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania part of the State of the Teutonic Order. At the same time, no mention of Indris was found in the 14th – 16th-century documents, while the Chernigov Chronicles used by Pyotr Tolstoy as a reference were lost; the first documented members of the Tolstoy family lived during the 17th century, thus Pyotr Tolstoy himself is considered the founder of the noble house, being granted the title of count by Peter the Great. Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, a family estate 12 kilometres southwest of Tula, 200 kilometers south of Moscow, he was the fourth of five children of Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, Countess Mariya Tolstaya. After his mother died when he was two and his father when he was nine and his siblings were brought up by relatives.
In 1844, he began studying law and oriental languages at Kazan University, where teachers described him as "both unable and unwilling to learn." Tolstoy left the university in the middle of his studies, returned to Yasnaya Polyana and spent much of his time in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, leading a lax and leisurely lifestyle. He began writing during this period, including his first novel Childhood, a fictitious account of his own youth, published in 1852. In 1851, after running up heavy gambling debts, he went with his older brother to the Caucasus and joined the army. Tolstoy served as a young artillery officer during the Crimean War and was in Sevastopol during the 11-month-long siege of Sevastopol in 1854–55, including the Battle of the Chernaya. During the war he was promoted to lieutenant, he was appalled by the number of deaths involved in warfare, left the army after the end of the Crimean War. His conversion from a dissolute and privileged society author to the non-violent and spiritual anarchist of his latter days was brought about by his experience in the army as well as two trips around Europe in 1857 and 1860–61.
Others who followed the same path were Mikhail Bakunin and Peter Kropotkin. During his 1857 visit, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life. Writing in a letter to his friend Vasily Botkin: "The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere." Tolstoy's concept of non-violence or Ahimsa was bolstered when he read a German version of the Tirukkural. He instilled the concept in Mahatma Gandhi through his A Letter to a Hindu when young Gandhi corresponded with him seeking his advice, his European trip in 1860–61 shaped both his political and literary development when he met Victor Hugo, whose literary talents Tolstoy praised after reading Hugo's newly finished Les Misérables. The similar evocation of battle scenes in Hugo's novel and Tolstoy's War and Peace indicates this influence. Tolstoy's politi