Leo Tolstoy – architect of the soul

Leo Tolstoy

charcoal sketch by keith fitton

I’m a bit of a conservative when it comes to books.Three of my most loved reads are Jack Keroauc’s epic “On The Road”, Tolkein’s “Lord of The Rings”, and without any shadow of doubt, Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”. The latter caught me off guard. I read it whilst at university secretly hoping it would be crap – simply (and stupidly in a crass radical way), because it was so heavily touted as being a great novel. Well, it certainly is. I quickly became immersed in the canvas that Tolstoy paints of life in Russia in the early nineteenth century as experienced by a cast of characters that Tolstoy depicts with immense humanity and colossal artistic breadth. This is an immensely satisfying and moving read – on all counts. Tolstoy himself was/is a fascinating man. Born into wealth, he became a foremost political philosopher, a Christian anarchist, a social reformer, an influential educationalist, an environmentalist and a passionate lover, along with being a writer without peers.

So I’m thinking of Leo Tolstoy and maybe its time to read another of his books…..


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Left with the use of my left arm/hand only, after a serious motor cycle accident in 2005, I am learning to adapt to life with a brachial plexus injury and have developed a style of playing guitar using open tunings. I love drawing, painting and generally messing around in a fairly loose fashion. Can't describe myself as an artist, but perhaps a doodler with intent.

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