Leo Nikolaivich Tolstoy

Russian Author

Tolstoy read everything that came into his hands, and took notes on a wide variety of subjects. Ever precise, he drew up a list of his literary discoveries over the years, marking opposite each the degree of admiration it had aroused in him:

  • The Gospel According to Matthew (immense influence)
  • Sterne's Sentimental Voyage (very great influence)
  • Rousseau's Confessions (immense influence) Emile (immense influence)
  • La Nouvelle Heloise (very great influence)
  • Pushkin's Eugene Onegin (very great influence)
  • Schiller's The Robbers (very great influence)
  • Gogol's The Overcoat, Ivan Ivanovich, The Nevsky Prospect (great influence)
    Vii (immense influence) Dead Souls (very great influence)
  • Turgenev's A Sportsman's Sketches (very great influence)
  • Druzhnin's Pauline Saks (very great influence)
  • Grigorovich's Anton Goremyka (very great influence)
  • Dickens's David Copperfield (immense influence)
  • Lermontov's A Hero of Our Times (very great influence)
  • Prescott's Conquest of Mexico (great influence)

Tolstoy's walls were decorated with stag-antlers brought back from the Caucasus, and the antlers of a stuffed reindeer-head served as his clothes hooks. Beside them hung portraits of Dickens, Schopenhauer, and Fet.

See Tolstoy: A Biographyby Henry Troyat