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Title: Plays - Complete Edition, Including the Posthumous Plays
Author: Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Plays - Complete Edition, Including the Posthumous Plays" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

  [ Transcriber's Note:
    This e-book only contains the front matter of Tolstoy's Plays
    (Complete Edition). The individual plays have been posted as
    book's HTML version. For reference, here is a list of their
    e-book numbers:

    26661: The Power of Darkness
    26662: The First Distiller
    26663: Fruits of Culture
    26664: The Live Corpse
    26665: The Cause of it All
    26666: The Light Shines in Darkness

             From LEO TOLSTOY concerning the translation of
             his works by LOUISE and AYLMER MAUDE:--

             "Better translators, both for knowledge of the
             two languages and for penetration into the very
             meaning of the matter translated, could not be

                       [Illustration: Leo Tolstoy.]

                               LEO TOLSTOY


                              Translated by

                         LOUISE AND AYLMER MAUDE

                             COMPLETE EDITION
                         INCLUDING THE POSTHUMOUS

                            FOURTH IMPRESSION

                                 NEW YORK
                         FUNK & WAGNALLS COMPANY


  LEO TOLSTOY (Photogravure Portrait)                          Frontispiece

  MATRYÓNA GIVES ANÍSYA THE POWDERS                         Facing page  12

  I'M NOT ASHAMED OF MY PARENT                                 "     "   51

  HER BOX IS FULL AS IT IS                                     "     "   53

  YOU TELL ME NOT TO FEAR MEN?                                 "     "   91


  THERE, YOU SEE! YOU ARE BEING MADE A FOOL OF                 "     "  223



  PREFACE                                                                ix

                    Plays published during Tolstoy's life

  THE POWER OF DARKNESS (1886)                                            3

  THE FIRST DISTILLER (1886)                                             97

  FRUITS OF CULTURE (1889)                                              125

                             Posthumous Plays

  THE LIVE CORPSE                                                       229

  THE CAUSE OF IT ALL                                                   303

  THE LIGHT SHINES IN DARKNESS                                          321


_The Power of Darkness_, Tolstoy's first and greatest play, was not
written until he was fifty-eight years of age, and it was not allowed to
be performed in Russia till some years later. Both there and elsewhere
abroad it was highly successful on the stage, as was also the comedy,
_Fruits of Culture_, which he wrote three years later, to be performed
by his own family and their friends.

The only other play published during his lifetime, _The First Distiller_,
is a very slight piece of no particular dramatic importance. It was
written in the cause of temperance.

Besides these, he left three other plays finished, or nearly finished,
when he died.

_The Live Corpse_ (which in English has also been called _The Man who
was Dead_) is the one best adapted for the stage. _The Cause of it All_
is, like _The First Distiller_, a short and unimportant piece dealing
with the effects of drink. The most interesting, not dramatically but
psychologically, of the three is _The Light Shines in Darkness_, which
was left in an unfinished state. In it Tolstoy presents his own case,
and deals with the contradiction that existed and has so often been
commented on, between practice and theory in his own life and teaching.

For the purpose of the play he greatly simplified his own highly complex
personality, and, though many of the details and characters are drawn
from life with extraordinary exactitude, the picture presented is not
one which all the people concerned are disposed to regard as quite fair
to themselves.

The play presents the terrible clash which resulted from the calls
Tolstoy made on himself and on others to abandon all customary ways of
life and to start afresh in a new direction. In his own case he was
never allowed to test the effects of a life of extreme poverty and
manual labour, such as he advocated; nor did those of his followers who
adopted such a life achieve much success therein. Tolstoy's artistic
sincerity is indeed shown by the fact that, despite his spiritual
fervour and his profound conviction that he had really found the road to
salvation for mankind, he has not, in this play, minimised the failure
of his efforts to carry convictions to those about him, or to achieve
any other success than that of obtaining an inward assurance that he was
fulfilling the will of God. This assurance would, no doubt, have been
more fully indicated in the last act, had he lived to complete it.

Tolstoy was well aware of the advantages a play possesses over a novel
as a means of propaganda, and but for the existence of the Censorship he
would have written more for the stage. When asked, in 1892, whether he
would write any more plays, he replied: "I would do so with great
pleasure, and I even feel a special need to express myself in that way;
but I feel certain the Censor would not pass my plays. You would not
believe how, from the very commencement of my activity, that horrible
Censor question has tormented me! I wanted to write what I felt; but at
the same time I felt that what I wrote would not be permitted; and
involuntarily I abandoned the work. I abandoned, and went on abandoning,
and meanwhile the years passed away."

                   *       *       *       *       *

There is one other matter of some importance on which I must here say a

No accepted standard of transliteration for Russian names into English
has hitherto existed. Each writer has been a law unto himself. Now, at
last, the Liverpool School of Russian Studies has prepared and privately
circulated a scheme, which deserves to be, and is likely to be, generally
adopted. It differs in some particulars from the plan I have followed
heretofore; but the advantage to Anglo-Russian literature of the general
adoption of a uniform and authoritative rule will be so great that I
hasten to put myself in accord with the Liverpool scheme, without even
waiting for it to be publicly promulgated.

The result of so doing however is that in the three earlier plays now
reprinted from stereotype plates the transliteration does not quite
coincide with the plan adopted in the three freshly translated plays.
For this discrepancy I must ask the readers' kind indulgence.

                                                           AYLMER MAUDE.

                      Printed in Great Britain by
              T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty
                   at the University Press, Edinburgh

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