The Thinking 

Fame vs. Greatness

September 21, 2009


Are fame and greatness the same thing? Most people would agree they are not. Michael S. and I discuss the issue here in regard to my previous entry on Lev and Sofya Tolstoy. Tolstoy was both famous and great. His failings as a husband, father and religious sage do not diminish his immeasurable artistic achievement.



Lev and Sofya Tolstoy

September 21, 2009


Sofya Tolstoy peers into the station master's house where her husband lies dying

As part of my ongoing look at Famous Couples,  I examine the extraordinarily fertile and volatile marriage of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy and his wife, Sofya Andreyevna. In his final decades, Tolstoy largely abandoned his literary work and became a preacher of universal love and forgiveness. This prophet of peace, who had produced the greatest novel about marriage ever written, also fashioned a domestic hell on earth.