When Marshal of the Nobility Pozdnyshev suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner, his jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder. Controversial upon publication in 1890, The Kreutzer Sonata illuminates Tolstoy’s then-feverish Christian ideals, his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of nineteenth-century marriage, and his thinking on the role of art and music in society.
In her Introduction, Doris Lessing shows how relevant The Kreutzer Sonata is to our understanding of Tolstoy the artist, as well as to feminism and literature. This Modern Library Paperback Classic also contains Tolstoy’s Sequel to the Kruetzer Sonata .
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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|Title of History eBook: The Kreutzer Sonata|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Kreutzer Sonata
It was early spring. We had been traveling for more than twenty-four hours. Passengers with tickets for various places along the way had been boarding and leaving our carriage, but there were four of us who had been on the train from the very start—a weary-faced lady, neither beautiful nor young, wearing a hat and mannish overcoat, who smoked cigarettes; her companion, a talkative man of forty, with neat new luggage; and thirdly, a rather short and very reserved gentleman with prematurely gray curly hair, with very nervous mannerisms, and with extraordinarily brilliant eyes which kept roving from object to object. He wore an old overcoat with a lamb’s-wool collar, quite obviously made by an expensive tailor, and a high lamb’s-wool hat. Under his overcoat, when it was thrown open, were visible a sleeveless kaftan1 and an embroidered Russian shirt. He had a peculiar habit: from time to time he produced strange noises like a cough or like a laugh begun and suddenly broken off. During the whole journey, he carefully avoided all acquaintance and conversation with the other passengers. If anyone spoke to him, he replied briefly and stiffly; for the most part he either read, smoked, gazed out the window, ate some food he took out of his old bag, and drank tea.
It seemed to me that he was oppressed by his loneliness, and several times I was tempted to speak with him, but whenever our eyes met—as often happened, since we sat diagonally opposite each other—he turned back to his book or looked out of the window.
Just before the evening of our second day, during a stop at a large station, this nervous gentleman left the carriage to get s