I actually managed to get hold of a copy of The Guardian yesterday. Even though I didn’t really feel like reading a newspaper it’s such a rare occurance that I brought it anyway. One cool thing about the guardian is that you can link to anything you read in there because their web portal is so all encompassing. This is one of those. Worth a read for the insight into Tolstoy, news of a forthcoming biopic on the man and, in my case, as a reminder to read the bastard!
For Tolstoy fans, 2010 is set to be a wonderful year. One hundred years after the great Russian novelist fled from his country estate outside Moscow – dying three weeks later in a small provincial railway station – the world is gearing up to celebrate him. In Germany and the US there are fresh translations of Anna Karenina; in Cuba and Mexico Tolstoy bookfairs; worldwide, a new black- and-white documentary. Dug up from Russia’s archives and restored, the original cinema footage shows an elderly Tolstoy playing with his poodles and vaulting energetically on his horse.
One country, however, has so far conspicuously failed to share in this global Tolstoy mania – Russia. Rumour has it that Vladimir Putin toured Tolstoy’s country estate incognito as a young KGB spy, but so far the Kremlin is not planning any major event to mark the centenary of Tolstoy’s death on 20 November. Not only that, but the makers of The Last Station ended up shooting the film not among the birch trees and northern skylines of Tolstoy’s Russia, but in the somewhat more genteel surroundings of rustic eastern Germany.