Uncluttered by the complexities of plot and character that daunt so many readers of the longer Russian masterpieces, Tolstoy's tales illumine eternal truths with the forceful brevity. While inspired by the sense of spiritual certainty, their narrative quality, subtle humor, and visionary power lift them far above the common run of "religious" literature. Moralists purport to tell us what our lives should mean, and how we should live them. Tolstoy, on the other hand, has an uncanny gift for simply conveying what it means to be truly alive. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.