Leo Tolstoy -- Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy -- died a vagabond at a railway station on 7 Nov 1910. A centenary conference is planned at his home in Yasnaya Polyana, and some 100 direct descendents of the author plan a family party. Around the world it's a day for rescreening any of the 19 Anna Kareninas and many other films based his fiction. At least two new films will be released, a Russian documentary and "The Last Station," a Hollywood biopic. Both are about Tolstoy's last days.
The Russian film will be made only of newsreels, including shots taken at the author's funeral. Tolstoy, recognized as a master of realistic fiction and one of the world's greatest novelists, is best known for his two longest works, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which are commonly regarded as among the finest novels ever written. He was born into the nobility on 18 Aug 1828, and spent the greater part of his life in the town where he was born. He emerged from a midlife crisis as a self-appointed prophet, denouncing fiction, private property and sex, even within marriage. He was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox church in 1901. Aged 82 when he died, he had survived just 10 days after finally leaving his wife Sofya and fleeing the family estate at Yasnaya Polyana. The author's great-great-grandson Vladimir Ilyich Tolstoy is director of the state literary museum in Yasnaya Polyana. (Written Feb/2010)
Date written/update: 2010-11-20