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Old 01-29-2008, 09:48 PM   #1
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Tolstoy, Leo: Hadji Murad. v1, 29 Jan 2008

The conflict in Chechnya is old and Leo Tolstoy himself served there while in the military. Hadji Murad, a relatively short novel, was not published until after his death and is his last work. From Wikipedia:

Tolstoy seems to have first heard of the historical Hadji Murad while he was serving in the Caucasus, according to letters he wrote to his brother Segei. The thistle described at the opening of the story was actually encountered by Tolstoy near his country estate and led him to remember the character and create a story about him. The theme of struggle while remaining faithful resonated with Tolstoy even though he was in ailing health; later letters suggest this work gave him a brief, final moment of vigor. Just as the author was struggling with his near death, his extended meditation on the concept of the individual refusing to give in to the demands of the world helped him to complete the book, although he himself had no inclination to publish it and was only concerned with its completion. In addition to the theme of resistance, there are many other ideas that can be found in the novel, such as determinism; this echoes Tolstoy's major work War and Peace. An even clearer theme is the struggle between a Europeanized Russia and Muslim Chechnya, the classic East vs. West theme found in Russian history and many different stories and novels (and which is once again pertinent in light of current events in Chechnya and Russia). The work is very similar to Alexander Pushkin’s work The Captain's Daughter in that it is a realist work based on actual people and events and has a similar direction, though the main character in this novel does not meet the same end.
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Last edited by Stanart; 06-03-2008 at 03:06 AM.
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