Winter 1946 • Vol. VIII No. 1 Book Reviews |

Tolstoi’s Flight

Tolstoi And His Wife by Tikhon Polner. Norton. $2.75 This book might well be a volume of discursive notes for a novel about Tolstoi to be written by Dostoevsky; it leaves much unexplained, it is disorderly, out of chronology, lacks transitions, refers to material it does not present, and it grasps for a theme it is nowhere able to declare. It is rather like the notebooks Dostoevsky left for The Possessed; for Tolstoi too, so far as Polner's account goes, seems a figure abortively shaping to become the Great Sinner who is also the Great Saint, Tolstoi too is the paradoxical creature of the Four Gospels and of direct, opinionated perception, Tolstoi too is the victim of cruel kindness and raging love, with an end in flight. The novelist's itch, in the right hands, might well take Polner and spread him to such a compass, and find the work move easy through the force of a magnificent underplot in the antagony between the possible and the impossible here symbolized as the struggle bet

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Homo Ludens

By R. P. Blackmur

Tolstoi And His Wife by Tikhon Polner. Norton. $2.75 This book might well be a volume of discursive notes for a novel about Tolstoi to be written by Dostoevsky; it […]

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