The Hedgehog And The Fox: An Essay on Tolstoy's View of History - W&N Essentials (Paperback)Isaiah Berlin (author)
- In stock
Isaiah Berlin's classic essay on Tolstoy - an exciting new edition with new criticism and a foreword.
'The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.' This fragment of Archilochus, which gives this book its title, describes the central thesis of Isaiah Berlin's masterly essay on Tolstoy. There have been various interpretations of Archilochus' fragment; Isaiah Berlin has simply used it, without implying anything about the true meaning of the words, to outline a fundamental distinction that exists in mankind, between those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things (foxes) and those who relate everything to a central all-embracing system (hedgehogs). When applied to Tolstoy, the image illuminates a paradox of his philosophy of history, and shows why he was frequently misunderstood by his contemporaries and critics. Tolstoy was by nature a fox, but he believed in being a hedgehog.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 144
Weight: 130 g
Dimensions: 199 x 135 x 11 mm
This little book is so entertaining, as well as acute, that the reader hardly notices that it is learned too * OBSERVER *
Very readable, with a lively honed down style * SUNDAY MERCURY *
The most important study of Tolstoy's thought written in English for a long time * THE LISTENER *
Delightful to read * SUNDAY TIMES *
[Berlin] has a deep and subtle feeling for the puzzle of Tolstoy's personality, and he writes throughout ... with a wonderful eloquence * NEW YORK TIMES *
Beautifully written and suggestive -- W H Auden * NEW YORKER *
Berlin's stunning command of the resources of scholarship, his sensitivity to literature and to character, and his eloquence as a writer give this essay the lustre of a virtuoso performance * ATLANTIC *
The argument is ingenious and subtle, full of overtones - exactly what good critical writing should be * GUARDIAN *
very readable, with a lively honed down style * SUNDAY MERCURY *
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