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One of Tolstoy’s greatest stories is one of his least known, and certainly belies the more common perception of Tolstoy as a writer of triple-decker novels such as Anna Karenina and War and Peace. “Hadji Murat” is also one of his last, written at a time when he had virtually abandoned fiction as a decadent art. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the subject matter takes him back to his earliest fiction, such as The Cossacks, which drew upon his own war-time experiences in the Caucasus (in the 1850’s). …

Joshua Grasso

English professor at East Central University (OK); PhD from Miami University (OH); eternal student and lover of books

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