by Leo Tolstoy
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Famous for his longer novels, War and Peace and
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy displays his
mastery of the short story in Twenty-Three Tales. This
volume is organized by topic into seven different
segments. Part I is filled with stories for children,
while Part 2 is filled with popular stories for adult. In
Part 3, Tolstoy discreetly condemns capitalism in his
fairy tale "Ivan the Fool." Part 4 contains several short
stories, which were originally published with
illustrations to encourage the inexpensive reproduction of pictorial
works. Part 5 features a number of Russian folk tales, which address the
themes of greed, societal conflict, prayer, and virtue. Part 6 contains
two French short stories, which Tolstoy translated and modified.
Finally, Part 7 contains a group of parabolic short stories that Tolstoy
dedicated to the Jews of Russia, who were persecuted in the early
1900's. Entertaining for all ages, Tolstoy's creative short stories are
overflowing with deeper, often spiritual, meaning.
CCEL Staff Writer