Hugo von Hofmannsthal once remarked that he could not read a page of The Cossacks, Tolstoy, without remembering Homer. In both cases, if we leave aside their common epic background, the theme is the hero who leaves the civilized world to face the dangers and moral purification from a trip to distant lands.
In 1851, when Tolstoy has twenty-two, taking a trip to the Caucasus as a cadet to join the Russian defense line in the war against the Turks. The time spent there will mark for life and will serve as inspiration for his first novels.
As in most of his early works, the protagonist, Olenin, is a projection of the personality of its author, a young man who has squandered part of their heritage and embrace the military career to escape his dissolute life in Moscow. Will propel vague dreams of happiness. And this seems to meet him, so the deep impression of fullness that prod...read more