News News: Russian Studies

Guest Lecture: “Tolstoy in Eden”

Professor David Herman, Chair of the Slavic Department at the University of Virginia, will be giving a lecture about Tolstoy and his fiction on February 17th at 3 pm in Washington 315.  His lecture is titled: “Tolstoy in Eden.”  Here is a brief description of the content of the talk: “Virginia Woolf famously called Tolstoy the greatest of all novelists, and it may be that his gift was not just technical, but also an ability to interrogate the shared assumptions that ground modern subjectivity.  Tolstoy’s fiction asks us to think about life as a repeating tragedy of innocence or ignorance ruined by a fall into knowledge and awareness, rather like the Biblical narrative of Adam and Eve, but endlessly renewed in each individual life.  In so doing, Tolstoy’s works challenge us to ponder what innocence really entails and why we value it so much.