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!Kindle ☩ Смерть Ивана Ильича ☩ Hailed As One Of The World S Supreme Masterpieces On The Subject Of Death And Dying, The Death Of Ivan Ilyich Is The Story Of A Worldly Careerist, A High Court Judge Who Has Never Given The Inevitability Of His Dying So Much As A Passing Thought But One Day, Death Announces Itself To Him, And To His Shocked Surprise, He Is Brought Face To Face With His Own Mortality How, Tolstoy Asks, Does An Unreflective Man Confront His One And Only Moment Of Truth This Short Novel Was An Artistic Culmination Of A Profound Spiritual Crisis In Tolstoy S Life, A Nine Year Period Following The Publication Of Anna Karenina During Which He Wrote Not A Word Of FictionA Thoroughly Absorbing, And, At Times, Terrifying Glimpse Into The Abyss Of Death, It Is Also A Strong Testament To The Possibility Of Finding Spiritual Salvation . . 829 Smert Ivana Ilicha The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo TolstoyThe Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s Usually classed among the best examples of the novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of a high court judge and his sufferings and death from a terminal illness in 19th century Russia.Characters Ivan Ilyich Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man As the story progresses, he becomesandintrospective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death.Praskovya F dorovna Golovin is Ivan s unsympathetic wife She is characterized as self absorbed and uninterested in her husband s struggles, unless they directly affect her.Gerasim is the Golovins young butler He takes on the role of sole comforter and caretaker during Ivan s illness.Peter Ivanovich is Ivan s longtime friend and colleague He studied law with Ivan and is the first to recognize Ivan s impending death.Lisa Golovin is Ivan s daughter.F dor Petrishchev is Lisa s fianc 19 2007 1364 312 1370 99 9646242685 1385 152 1386 1390 9789644483073 Today I turned the last page of Banville s Eclipse and was literally hit by the profundity of a book that surreptitiously echoes the mastery of the classic tragedies My pupils dilated until they watered when I bumped into this paragraphAs a boy I knew the stars, and loved to speak their names over to myself, in celestial litany, Venus, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, the Bears, great and lesser How I loved the coldness of those lights, their purity, their remoteness from us and all we do and all that befalls us Where they are is where the dead live And you might be wondering what on earth Banville and Tolstoy have in common My unscholarly response is that they are both masters of exploring the most recondite crevices of the human mind and the existential angst that is inherent in its nature they describe the undescribable, recreate death and grief unflinchingly and make the reader be racked in pain by both And so following the thread of my pensive mood I remembered the unfinished review of Tolstoy s novella that I have been meaning to revise for months on end unsuccessfully, not finding the appropriate words, not feeling satisfied with what I had written, which I enclose below Do we really know what death entails Is the life we lead worthy of being lived Do we appreciate the gift of existence Tolstoy stares back with blank countenance and pens a sobering story stripped of artifice in response to those unanswerable questionsThe Death of Ivan Ilychconfronts the reader with his own mortality A civil servant in the high ranks of the Czarist Administration in the nineteenth century Russia ponders about the arbitrary system of rules that have dictated his life when the threat of death puts an unwanted emphasis on how he should have lived Dragged away by the currents of a set of conventions accepted without further enquiry and spurred by an eagerness to climb up the social ladder, Ivan s soul has undergone the same process of bureaucratization than his professional career A prominent citizen, he has married well, he has established contact with the influential members of his class and accumulated a vast list of superfluous achievements when death knocks on his door Either in nemesis or in randomness, fated or chanced, nature is unveiled as capricious, unbridled and inscrutable, and man s pursuit of transcendence clashes with the finitude of his banal existence At first, Ivan faces his impending death with disbelief, then denial settles in only to be swamped with an overpowering disconsolation at his own disintegration while the world keeps on turning without him being part of it His family and closest friends regard him with superficial sympathy and remain indifferent and detached from his suffering As Ivan s flesh withers with decay and stinks of sickness showing unmistakable signs of its transience, his mind is reignited and a reverse process takes place on his soul Ivan looks death in the eye withfrustration than fear, dumbfounded that his life might be reduced to a trivial list of actions performed by an absurd sense of duty making of his time in this world even less than an anecdote Tolstoy presents a magisterial reflection on mankind s incapacity to plow a satisfactory path to a dignified death and throws back his own vulnerability at the reader in the form of an omniscient narrator that chronicles the mundane yet gruesome death of a man The dilemma he contemplates goes beyond the realms of religion, philosophy or fiction, for the physical agony, the ruthless demise of body and mind is described in painful detail infusing the story with perturbing realism Despite the heartfelt compassion that Ivan perceives in his son s glance, as the young, untainted boy takes his lifeless hand, Death places her cold, blindfolded kiss and presses her finger upon the man s lips, sealing them forever, and I, uninvited outsider, shaken and teary, get a sour taste of what dying feels like I had meant to polish the review retrieve some sentences, rephrase others, perhaps add some quotes It s highly probable that I would have never published it, but Banville s masterpiece made me realize that there are some things that mere words can t convey, the touch of a virtuous pen is needed, the sparkle of geniality is required I am not the possessor of such talents, but Banville has both And so did Tolstoy. Socrates said that an unexamined life was not worth living In Kafka s The Metamorphosis poor Gregor Samsa is transformed into a being that cannot take part in the daily round of society and becomesandsidelined and ignored by those around him This book, the Death of Ivan Ilych, has both of these notions contained within it s theme.Ivan Ilyich is dying As he grows sicker and fits in less with his fairweather friends and family and their preoccupations with their social lives, they leave him be, they cannot stand his sickness, they cannot stand him All Ivan Ilyich has is the simple, unschooled manservant with the good heart who doesn t want his master to die alone and afraid He is almost the Angel of Mercy, all good, his role is just to be there to help his master pass from this life with a good companion Ivan Ilych progresses through the endless scream of Why me to where he is almost at the end And then he sees his rather petty life of moderate success and a little excess as it really was He stops hating his selfish wife and self centred daughter and ceasing to be afraid of death hopes his demise will bring them peace And by this examination of his life and the letting go of hisshabby and trivial emotions, he elevates himself And dies.Finished end of Dec 2014. El significado de la vida est en que se detiene Franz KafkaPocos libros resultan ser tan contundentes como esta obra de arte que escribi Tolst i en 1886, puesto que no puede ser calificada de otra manera Escritores, fil sofos, artistas pl sticos y m sicos, entre otros, s lo tienen palabras de admiraci n ante esta peque a pero gran novela Yo siempre sostengo que una novela no necesita tener mil p ginas para transformarse en una joya literaria y este es un caso que lo demuestra con creces En poco m s de cien p ginas Tolst i nos deja un legado, una ense anza y un modo de mirar o de intentar comprender a la muerte, si es que existe alg n m todo para ello.Este inmenso autor ruso ven a elaborando la novela un a o antes, inspir ndose en el caso de un hombre real para terminarla y regal rsela a su esposa el d a en que ella cumpl a a os En cierto modo, algunos aspectos de lo que le sucede a Iv n Illich tambi n concuerda con la vida personal de Tolst i que tambi n tuvo cortocircuitos con su esposa durante su matrimonio otro momento lgido el la relaci n fue durante la publicaci n de otra de sus famosas novelas, me refiero a La sonata a Kreutzer y tambi n se relaciona con su propia muerte, dado que l tambi n confesaba que la muerte lo atemorizaba Tolst i fue encontrado muerto en el banco de espera de una estaci n de tren luego de una larga caminata La muerte de Iv n Illich no es una novela exclusivamente sobre la muerte, sino casualmente sobre la vida de este funcionario, escrita en retrospectiva y poblada de an cdotas y reflexiones tanto del mismo Iv n Illich como tambi n de sus familiares, amigos y compa eros de trabajo.En cierto modo, es tambi n una cr tica a la ambici n de sus colegas en el Juzgado , cuestiona las relaciones humanas su esposa y su hija y expone su punto de vista sobre la ciencia y la religi n sus doctores y el sacerdote Todo parece conspirar contra la d bil salud de este hombre, pero es tambi n su propia mente la que tambi n contribuye al derrumbe y en ese proceso de enfermedad el personaje comienza a comprender algo que a veces nos confunde el creer que la muerte est lejos, que uno es joven y que no hace falta preocuparse, si total, uno se encuentra bien de saludEs a partir de que se empeora cuando sabe cu n mortal es el ser humano Se llama Iv n, que en ruso es uno de los hombres m s comunes significa Juan y el mismo Tolst i lo aclara con sus propias palabrasUna descripci n de la simple muerte de un hombre simple, realizada por l mismoEse Iv n es un hombre simple y en el fondo ese Iv n somos todos los hombres simples que este planeta para un d a emigrar hacia otro estado Siendo redundante, la muerte es as de simple.Durante la lectura de las ltimas p ginas, no pude dejar de conmoverme por el relato de los ltimos d as de Iv n Illich.Confieso que yo tambi n le tuve siempre temor a la muerte y la forma en la que Tolst i relata los dolores y sufrimientos de los ltimos d as de Iv n Illich me remite directamente a los de mis padres, a quienes perd en poco m s de cinco meses entre ambas muertes.Le a, levantaba la cabeza y ve a a mi padre sufriendo terriblemente por no poder respirar y a mi madre en su agon a de tres d as Uno quiere ayudar, quiere lograr que ese enfermo se sienta mejor, pero en el fondo sabe que todo es in til y en vano Todos, como dice Tolst i se dan cuenta que el destino es inevitable y que Ella nos espera con su infinita paciencia y nos alcanza Nos lleva.En el caso de Iv n Illich todo el proceso, desde la declarAci n de los s ntomas hasta el inevitable final, adem s de la retrospectiva que tanto autor como personaje llevan adelante, es ocupado por la muerte como tema dominante Iv n Illich, ante la lozan a de su esposa y la jovialidad y juventud de su hija reflexionaS Para qu enga arme Acaso no es evidente para todos, excepto para m , que me estoy muriendo y que la cuesti n pasa s lo por la cantidad de semanas, de d as Puede ser ahora Hab a luz, y ahora tinieblas Yo estaba ac , y ahora estoy yendo hacia all Hacia d nde Dijo una vez Agatha ChristieLa muerte es el nico asesino perfectoFunciona como el preciso mecanismo de un reloj Inexorablemente avanza y nos abraza. . The Death of Ivan Ilych, written in 1886, was the first major fictional work published by Tolstoy during his post conversion Tolstoy s religious philosophy which illustrates the values of brotherly love, Christian charity, and mutual support are the frameworks for the writing of this novel Just as Tolstoy s discovery of the true meaning of life led him to fulfillment and an acceptance of death, Ivan Ilych s awakening comes through the realization of death which ignites within him fear, anger, contemplation and eventually acceptance.Death is the central theme of the story and through it one can discern the artificial from the authentic characters and the dichotomy between the inner and outer man.The character Ivan Illych belonged to an elite social circle.He was intrigued by the idea of being a member of the elite aristocratic society, and individuals who did not conform to the social circle were looked on with disgust.He was unaware however, that his life was an illusion brought upon a need to imitate a certain social class rather than to find true individuality The true meaning of life was concealed behind the blindfolds of his na ve perceptions.His marriage to Praskovya Fedorovna is also an act of illusion It is not done out of genuine love, but as is common practice by the bourgeoisie society, it is done out of the sense of obligation The fact that she was a good looking woman from a well to do family were the essential characteristics he required her to have.Illych s rude awakening into the way he was living a life of conforming to social expectations came about when he came face to face with death With the realization that he was dying, he began to contemplate his life and tried to find out if there was any meaning to it all along Paradoxically, Death is responsible for allowing Illych to examine his life He begins to contemplate about those people in his life whom he considered friends He discovers that they too were false because upon his death bed there were no friends to comfort him.Tolstoy incorporates several patterns of reversal into the structure of the novel The actual death of Ivan Ilych, the chronological end of the story, occurs in the first chapter The remainder of the novel deals with the life, as opposed to the title of Ivan Ilych s death The concepts of life and death are reversed by Tolstoy Early on in his life, when Ivan seems to be increasing in power, free will, and societal status, he is actually being reduced to limitation, repression, and isolation brought on through the grappling force of death After the seventh chapter, when Ivan is confined to his study and suffers physical deterioration and isolation, he in fact goes through the process of a spiritual rebirth. Last year the group catching up on classics chose The Death of Ivan Ilyich as one of their monthly short story selections At the time, I did not have the time to read it however, a play I recently read had reading Anna Karenina as a major plot line Wanting an introduction to Tolstoy prior to reading this epic, I decided upon Ivan Ilyich as my gateway to hiscelebrated work Ivan Ilyich enjoyed an upper middle class life in pre revolutionary Russia He graduated from a jurisprudence course and eventually became a lawyer in an out of the way province He married Praskovya Fyodorovna and the two lived a married life that was neither happy nor sad for over twenty years Each person became set in their own ways and the two lived as separate islands in their home, made possible by Ivan Ilyich s income I was not completely captivated by the story of Ivan Ilyich He lived a relatively normal existence and experienced many things that an average upper middle class citizen might have experienced in Russia at the time of publication, hence the rating I found Tolstoy s writing style accessible, which should ease the way for me to read his longer works The part I found the most interesting was how Tolstoy through Ivan Ilyich discussed his views on death and dying, which is the premise of this story Ivan Ilyich grappled with the alternatives of dying and being mired in a marriage where he was not appreciated or loved Even though I only gave this story three stars, I am glad I read it as an introduction to Tolstoy The premise is an interesting one and I enjoy the time period, although, it is not a story that I am not drawn to I would recommend this to those who might not read classics due to their long length and want to begin to read an author s works I look forward to endeavoring through Tolstoy s epic novels after discovering that his writing style is easy to read for the masses.