Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Pity the poor little fox
“Tolstoy’s sense of reality was until the end too devastating to be compatible with any moral ideal which he was able to construct out of the fragments into which his intellect shivered the world, and he dedicated all of his vast strength of mind and will to the lifelong denial of this fact. At once insanely proud and filled with self-hatred, omniscient and doubting everything, cold and violently passionate, contemptuous and self-abasing, tormented and detached, surrounded by an adoring family, by devoted followers, by the admiration of the entire civilised world, and yet almost wholly isolated, he is the most tragic of the great writers, a desperate old man, beyond human aid, wandering self-blinded at Colonus.” - Berlin, I. The Hedghog and the Fox: an essay on Tolstoy's view of history. Simon & Schuster, 1953. http://books.google.com/books?id=YClgAAAAMAAJ.