tolstoy: a russian life


“Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.”

Thoughts of Prince Andrei, War and Peace Bk XII, Ch. 16

James Norton as Prince Andrei Bolkonsky, War and Peace (BBC 2016)

And precisely in that time he received the peace and contentment with himself which he had previously striven for in vain.

In his life he had long sought in various directions for that peace, that harmony with himself, which had struck him so much in the soldiers at the battle – he had sought it in philanthropy, in the distractions of social life, in wine, in a heroic dead of self-sacrifice, in romantic love; he had sought it by way of thought, and all this seeking and trying had disappointed him.

And, without thinking, he had received that peace and harmony with himself only through the horror of death, through privation, and through what he had understood in his friend. It was as if those terrible moments he had lived through during the execution had washed forever from his imagination and memory the anxious thoughts and feelings that had once seemed important to him.

—  Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Literature: Leo Tolstoy

very nice video by The school of life