Leo Tolstoy - The Kreutzer Sonata

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Full text reading by Axel Grube
Playing time: 4 hours 17 min.

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“Die Kreutzersonata”, (1889) Tolstoy's notorious late work, a haunting as well as irritating portrayal of a married drama and the murder of a wife, the psychogram of delusional jealousy, is - also in its dubiousness - a captivating piece of world literature. In a night train compartment, some travelers talk about marriage and fidelity. Disturbed by the conversation, the initially withdrawn Posdnyschew makes his life confession to a younger fellow traveler. In changing tones of self-accusation and bitterness, he describes his fateful marriage up to and including the murder of his wife. Even if some motives for marriage, life style or basic orientation, especially in Posdnyschev's speech, may sound antiquated or even misogynous to today's ears, questions are raised that are unexpectedly topical. Sofja Tolstaja, Tolstoy's wife, initially campaigned for the publication of the work not approved by the censorship authority, but nevertheless answered a few years later with a counter-novel: “Whose mistake? A woman's story. (On the occasion of Leo Tolstoy's “Kreutzer Sonata”. Written down by Leo Tolstoy's wife in the years 1892/1893) ”.

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