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...
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This unfinished play records Tolstoy's struggle with orthodox Christianity and reveals his rationale for eventually severing his relationship with his wife of many years. It provides insight into the inner man but is boring as a "read"....
shed 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.Odin’s Library Classics is dedicated to bringing the world the best of humankind’s literature from throughout the ages. Carefully selected, each work is unabridged from classic works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or drama.