Night in Arzamas

How Tolstoy’s obsession with mortality became a teachable moment. Jordan Smith In 1869, just after he finished War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy experienced a profound spiritual crisis as the result of an incident during a journey through the city of Arzamas, which is on the Tyosha River about 250 miles east of Moscow. As he … Continue reading

Grief and Solemnity

COLIN DICKEY on the American way of death. At the scene of his mother’s funeral, Elvis Presley — invincible sex symbol, cocksure performer, the man who changed the world and music forever — was reduced to a pathetic, blubbering mama’s boy. “Mama, I’d give up every dime I own and go back to digging ditches, … Continue reading

In View of the end

It will, with all probability come a day when feelings of uselessness, apathy, physical weakness, and boredom subdue and vanquish the will to continue to fight for survival and live a somewhat redundant and useless life of laziness and constant pain in the doldrums. When that time comes, if it ever comes, it’ll probably come … Continue reading