Influence of India on Leo Tolstoy and Tolstoy's Influence on India: A Study of Reciprocal Receptions

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Tolstoy’s fictional works reflect a connection with Indian religious texts even before he had actually read them. His quest to read and assimilate ancient Hindu writing earned Tolstoy great respect- even reverence – from Gandhi and other Indian intellectuals such that Tolstoy took his place as a pre-eminent writer, thinker, and sage in India. Yet, much remained unexplored in regard to Tolstoy’s relationship with India and this book addresses the gaps in that research. (From the Preface)


“Her monograph is a significant contribution to Tolstoy-India scholarship. It reflects, in a way that is unprecedented, the very special place that India with its religions, philosophies, and epic tradition occupies in Tolstoy’s spiritual universe.”
-Dr Galina Alekseeva, Head, Academic Research Department, State Museum-Estate of Leo Tolstoy at Yasnaya Poliana

"This a very useful book that every college and university with a Russian studies program and every serious Tolstoy scholar should have in their library. ... for this new look into Tolstoy (and Russia) as a link between Western and Eastern culture." -Prof. Donna Orwin, University of Toronto

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Tolstoy as a Theological Thinker
Chapter 2: Tolstoy’s Interest in Indian Spirituality: Buddhism and Hinduism
Chapter 3: Indian Thought in Tolstoy’s Writing
Hindu Philosophical Thought Reflected in Tolstoy’s Life and Fiction
Character Portrayal Redefined: Through the Prism of Hindu Philosophy
India’s Wisdom Retold
Chapter 4: Tolstoy’s Place among Indian Intellectuals
Tolstoy and Indian Freedom Fighters and Writers :
Correspondence, Admiration, and Respect
D. Javare Gowda: A Tolstoyan at Heart
G.P. Pradhan: Freedom Fighter, Teacher, Social Worker, Politician, and Admirer of Tolstoy
Chapter 5: Portrayals of Tolstoy and His Works in the Indian Media
Portrayals of Tolstoy in Two leading English-Language Newspapers in India
Biographies, Translations, and Adaptations
Screen and Theatre Adaptations of Tolstoy’s Stories and Novels
Future Research on Tolstoy and India: Concluding Word

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