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Tolstoy by Romain Rolland

Updated: Oct 21, 2022


1911, Hachette

(La Vie de Tolstoï)


The French writer Romain Rolland (1866 - 1944), a mentor and favorite of Stefan Sweig, wrote this biography of Tolstoy whom* he admired as a "great soul", in spite of criticising Tolstoy's late-in-life stance that art is elitist and should be rejected. (Tolstoy stopped publishing some of his works, and refused to profit from them.) I highly recommend Rolland's biography for Tolstoy lovers interested not only in his works, but also his personal life, character and convictions. You can find an English version online for free.


In 1915, Romain Rolland won the Nobel Prize for Literature "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings". - The FNAC (French bookstore)


Read: Rolland was a prolific writer. Time permitting, I'd like to read more of his works.


Life of Beethoven (1903).

Handel (1910).

Above the Battle (Au-dessus de la mêlée) : (1915). Pacifist Manifesto

Mahatma Gandhi (1924).

L'Évangile universel (1930).

Goethe and Beethoven (1930).

Robespierre (1939).

Mémoires (1956).

Romain Rolland-Stefan Zweig. Correspondance



* who vs whom: I admit to looking this up.

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