Leo Tolstoy undertook the writing of the stories in Divine and
Human and Other Stories around the time of the 1905 revolution in
Russia. While doing so, he drew on the tragic past of Russia and
its empire to comment on the issues and ideas of the day. Tolstoy
had long before taken on the mantle of sage, and in addition to his
treatises and essays on religious and social topics, he continued
to write many works of fiction. The stories "Divine and Human",
"Berries", and "What For?" are collected together here for the
first time, and they show the depth of -- and contradictions in --
Tolstoy's thought as he tried to reconcile his harsh religious
beliefs with humanistic appeals for justice. Taken as a whole the
collection is a revealing look at the irreconcilable life and
thought of a literary giant.
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