Tolstoy believed that the importance of art lies not in its purely aesthetic qualities but in its connection with life and that it becomes decadent when that connection is lost. This study demonstrates that this view has often been misconceived and its strength overlooked. The author's purpose is to correct the conventional view by giving a clear exposition of what Tolstoy really meant. Students of aesthetics who are primarily interested in "What is Art?", Tolstoy's main work in aesthetics, may wish to concentrate on chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 10. These chapters contain a detailed exposition of this work, chapter by chapter. The more general reader who is primarily interested in Tolstoy as a man and as a thinker will find in the first two chapters an account of his life and of the background to his thought. Chapter 9 presents a detailed case study of the type of art to which Tolstoy is opposed. The volume concludes with a chapter on Tolstoy's famous view of Shakespeare.
Ashgate Publishing Limited
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