On Wednesday, April 27, 2016 we will meet to discuss this year’s choice for the Great Books Intercollegiate Student Symposium*, The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy. We will meet at 11:30 a.m. in room 1550.
“Hailed as one of the world’s supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilych is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his death so much as a passing thought. But one day death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise he is brought face to face with his own mortality. How, Tolstoy asks, does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truth?
This short novel was the artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy’s life, a nine-year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fiction. A thoroughly absorbing and, at times, terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death, it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation. “
*The Great Books Symposium will be held at Wright College this year on Tuesday, May 3rd 12:30-1:50 in the Events Theatre. Best of luck to to all the students involved.
- Ivan Ilych Golovin – The protagonist of the novel. Ivan is a nondescript, unexceptional man
- Peter Ivanovich – Ivan’s closest friend and fellow judge.
- Praskovya Fedorovna Golovina – Ivan’s wife and the mother of his children.
- Schwartz – Ivan’s colleague and friend.
- Gerasim – Ivan’s sick nurse and the butler’s assistant.
- Vladimir Ivanich – Ivan’s son.
- Lisa – Ivan’s daughter.
- Fedor Petrovich – Lisa’s fiancé.