mouseofcards89 wrote:Personal longevity.
.... wow, why do you think 82 is ridiculous? My mother is 88 & has no intention of 'shuffling off the mortal coil' anytime soon. I happen to think it was a remarkable achievement to survive to that age give the times Tolstoy liven in as regards wars, medicine etc.
I am not denigrating age, or the ‘venerable ancients’ who have had the audacity to live past 40, as the Underground Man termed them. What irritates me is that, five years before his death, Tolstoy had become Karmazinov, the parody of Turgenev that Dostoevsky illustrated so aptly in “Demons.” He railed on with impunity against the Tsar and the social hierarchy and war and was lauded for it. This would have been fine and well had he believed in his own product, but no. Shortly before setting out on his final pilgrimage, he renounced all of his work and became a populist. How am I supposed to respect the work of a writer who doesn’t even vouch for his own material?
Tolstoy outlived his utility as an artist. Dostoevsky was on the threshold of sixty when he died, and his magnum opus, “The Brothers Karamazov,” was meant to be little more than a prequel. Yet, he died in extreme poverty before he had the chance to write the book that could have changed the course of history. Had he been given another five years, he could have prevented the Bolshevik uprising. By 1905, Tolstoy was whining petulantly about the realities of war. Had he skimmed “Notes From Underground,” he would have understood why people go to war and would have devoted his considerable potential and means to something greater. If Dostoevsky had possessed a tenth of his resources and means, he could have accomplished far more than Tolstoy ever dreamed of...but then, had that been the case, then Dostoevsky would not have been Dostoevsky. Nonetheless, Tolstoy lived too long. So, 82 is ridiculous in Tolstoy’s case because 59 was even more ridiculous in Dostoevsky’s.
"The world is a vampire/sent to drain/secret destroyers hold you up to the flames/And what do I get for my pains?/Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game."