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The Death of Ivan Ilych Summary
Leo Tolstoy

Everything you need to understand or teach The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy.

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The Death of Ivan Ilych Summary

Introduction

Tolstoy's "Smert Ivana Ilyicha" ("The Death of Ivan Ilych") was widely acclaimed when it was published in 1886 and remains a compelling narrative for contemporary readers. It is significant for its universally powerful portrayal of a man's physical deterioration and subsequent spiritual rejuvenation at the moment of death, and because it is the first fiction which Tolstoy published after his conversion to radical Christianity. Several critics note a shift in his writing after his spiritual breakdown in the 1870s, which inspired him to write primarily on religious and philosophical issues while repudiating his earlier works. Tolstoy's Voina i mir (1869; War and Peace) and Anna Karenina (1877) are almost unanimously praised as compelling documents of human existence and are lauded as excellent examples of the realistic novel. Devoting his life to introspection and excelling not only as a writer but as a scholar and philosopher, Tolstoy has influenced a wide range of...

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