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| | | |-+  Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky
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Question: Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky
Tolstoy   -7 (25%)
Dostoevsky   -21 (75%)
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Total Voters: 28

Author Topic: Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky  (Read 3183 times)
Miamiu1027
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« on: January 20, 2012, 09:10:45 pm »
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Tolstoy
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Sibboleth Bist
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2012, 09:17:52 pm »
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I maintain that Demons is the greatest novel ever written, so...
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patrick1
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2012, 09:20:54 pm »
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Dostoevsky
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The Mikado
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 09:35:48 pm »
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I've read a lot of Dostoyevsky and love him.  I've only read The Death of Ivan Ilyich from Tolstoy, so I can't really judge.
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Einzige is a poltroon who cowardly turns down duel challenges he should be honor-bound to accept. The Code Duello authorizes you to mock and belittle such a pathetic honorless scoundrel.
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 10:00:13 pm »
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Tolstoy. The man told damn good stories, and told them in a plain, straightforward fashion. I have no patience for the guesswork required to decipher Dusty's dreams, symbols, and metaphors.
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 10:40:34 pm »
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My experience with both is limited, but War and Peace is a much more memorable book than Crime and Punishment.
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 04:09:07 pm »
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Only read Anna Karenina by Tolstoy, but though undoubtedly great, it did feel like a poor man's Dostoevsky. Tongue
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 04:14:09 pm »
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I'm researching Tolstoy for a project for World Cultures, so that's who I voted for Tongue
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« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2012, 11:36:50 am »
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Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground is a great short novel, and The Brothers Karamazov is a great novel that changed my life. It's a close one though.
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 02:56:57 pm »
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Having read but one of the most famous books of one of these two authors, I absolutely am not qualified to comment myself.

However, one of my absolute favorite authors (the Wetterau's own Andreas Maier) names both of them among his favorite authors, and has commented on the very question of how they compare at length, so I'll just quote him at length.
The translation to follow from the original German will be mine and rather hurried, so bear with me.
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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 03:27:42 pm »
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Sheesh. This isn't coming out so well. The actual comparison is about a page, but he's going on about Dostoevski before and after and it's all sort of one thought and it isn't making much sense if I'm only sticking to the page that has Tolstoi in it. Sad

In summary he's saying that Tolstoi was incredibly versatile in style and supremely capable of dealing with all sort of subject matters, and it probably takes a writer to recognize just how much mastery goes into making it all seem so easy. While Dostoevski ploughs through ever the same subject matter, using ever the same techniques - and, in the original, a very direct, unpolished, even boorish language - but these few techniques he has refined "like a farmer his ploughing technique". But Maier happens to care about much the same subject matter (Dostoevski's views on fallen mankind), and of course Dostoevski's mastery at dialogue. He then also defends Dostoevski against some other charges  - like his characters are ever so exalted, there's such a lot of drunkenness going on etc pp. And Dostoevski's style is "redundant", something Maier admits: "He often needs fifty pages for something Tolstoi could have told you in one paragraph and in much more artful language and with much more seeming ease. This is because in Dostoevski's great novels the omniscient narrator's or else the nominal first person narrator's voice is very much sidelined" which you could make an argument out of that Dostoevski was simply the much more modern, 20th century, writer. Also Maier doesn't make that argument at all.
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"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
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« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2012, 04:35:25 pm »
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Dostoevsky
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2012, 03:43:08 pm »
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was not expecting a result this lopsided!
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2012, 08:20:26 pm »
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Dostoevsky, but it's close. My absolute love for the entire concept of The Idiot won me over.

I think my favorite Tolstoy is actually 'How Much Land Does a Man Need?', if only for its absolutely [Inks]ing brilliant final line.
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 08:12:44 am »
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Voted for Dostoevsky, but I've never read any Tolstoy.

Can anyone suggest to me where I should start? I'm looking for something that'll grab me thematically but leave me wanting more, in the way that Notes from Underground lead me to Crime and Punishment which then lead me to The Brothers Karamazov and onward. (I share Nathan's appreciation for The Idiot.)
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2012, 10:16:19 am »
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Voted for Dostoevsky, but I've never read any Tolstoy.

Can anyone suggest to me where I should start? I'm looking for something that'll grab me thematically but leave me wanting more, in the way that Notes from Underground lead me to Crime and Punishment which then lead me to The Brothers Karamazov and onward. (I share Nathan's appreciation for The Idiot.)

The Death of Ivan Ilyich
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Gustaf
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« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2012, 05:54:03 am »
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Voted for Dostoevsky, but I've never read any Tolstoy.

Can anyone suggest to me where I should start? I'm looking for something that'll grab me thematically but leave me wanting more, in the way that Notes from Underground lead me to Crime and Punishment which then lead me to The Brothers Karamazov and onward. (I share Nathan's appreciation for The Idiot.)

The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Finished that about a week ago or so. Once thesis is done I'll have me a bit more Tolstoy. I also recently read a weird Dostoevsky one with a lesbian subplot of sorts. Wondering if it might have been a pirated copy. Tongue
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« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2012, 07:29:11 am »
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Both, but if to pick...
Dostoevsky
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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2012, 12:07:35 am »
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yeah the majority who chose D are fools at best enemies at worst
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The Mikado
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2012, 12:58:08 am »
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yeah the majority who chose D are fools at best enemies at worst

Eh.  I'm probably both from your perspective, so it fits.
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Einzige is a poltroon who cowardly turns down duel challenges he should be honor-bound to accept. The Code Duello authorizes you to mock and belittle such a pathetic honorless scoundrel.
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Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2012, 07:20:18 am »
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yeah the majority who chose D are fools at best enemies at worst

Eh.  I'm probably both from your perspective, so it fits.
Or any other perspective, really.
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"The secret to having a rewarding work-life balance is to have no life. Then it's easy to keep things balanced by doing no work." Wally



"Our party do not have any ideology... Our main aim is to grab power ... Every one is doing so but I say it openly." Keshav Dev Maurya
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2012, 05:14:42 pm »
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Longwinded, simple great vs over-the-top, emotional-precion great...

I've never finished any of their books, although I was enjoying The Gambler quite a bit.

There are two Russian books I've both finished and remembered: The Cancer Ward, and One Day in the life of Ivan Somethinovich, so I'll vote for Solzenitsyn.

I have reached the point in my life now where I'm pretty much only reading British authors with a handful of Australians thrown in. But to be honest, that's pretty much always been the case for me.
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