Art Notes Book Club: Tolstoy II Photograph by peteduhon.
Here's what I wrote to Lisa through email concerning Tolstoy's short story, The Kruetzer Sonata,
"Lisa, Thanks for the input. The book on Balzac sounds quite interesting. A must read for Balzac scholars (smile), I'm sure. Yes, it is true with the spiritual crisis, though Tolstoy didn't consider it a crisis but rather a revelation. Though I like the story, it comes across average after just finishing Balzac and even Henry James. It is also interesting that Tolstoy's art appears to suffer due not to his spiritual leanings but rather this story suffers since he allows those leanings to suffocate the form of his art, there seems to be a serious lack of restraint and tension in this story. Two qualities that are needed in any story. The main character in this story rambles and preaches in abundance which makes it quite obvious that the author is speaking frivolously through the main character. I spent some time last night with a couple of friends at a local bar on the lower eastside of Manhattan, one of whom belongs to the book club, and she simply thought the short story was "too didactic." - Peter, New York, US