Influence of Tolstoy on Readers of His Works

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Examines the methods employed by Tolstoy to influence the reader, including the relationship he establishes with the reader and the way he uses images to help the reader join the world of the characters.


". . . a percipient and illuminating analysis of Tolstoy's methods for making the reader a rapt receptor of his own vision. . . . [Williams] introduces some penetrating insights of his own such as the pervasive thermo-dynamic metaphor in Anna Karenina. Again and again in the course of reading this study . . . I was made to 'feel clever'. That is the mark of effective criticism." - Scottish Slavonic Review

"The stories of the later 1850s are discussed in detail. . . A particularly interesting chapter shows how the opening sections of War and Peace throw the reader into a completely unexplained environment, deliberately challenging him to find his own orientation in the welter of experience." -- Oxford Journals' Forum for Modern Language Studies, Spring 1996

"The author justly claims to be breaking new ground. . . shows much evidence of wide reading and original thought, and he is not afraid to cross swords with other critics. . . as a perceptive and original study by a sympathetic and scholarly admirer of Tolstoi's fiction the book will repay careful reading..." - MLR, 88.1, 1993

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Early Drafts of the Autoiographical Triology

Chapter 2 Childhood

Chapter 3 The Dialectic of the Soul

Chapter 4 Moral Progress and the Question of Unity

Chapter 5 Investigation through Invention

Chapter 6 Didacticism and Satire

Chapter 7 Problems

Chapter 8 Lines of Communication

Chapter 9 War and Peace: The First Impressions

Chapter 10 War and Peace: The 'Wonderful Sagacity' of the Reader

Chapter 11 Tolstoy's Reader at the Time of War and Peace

Chapter 12 A Prisoner of the Caucasus

Chapter 13 Anna Karenina: The Conservation of Force

Chapter 14 Anna Karenina: The Power of the Will




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