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Leo Tolstoy's "War and Peace" -- "There is no greatness where simplicity, goodness, and truth are absent.”
Mahatma Gandhi (born October 2, 1869) studied Tolstoy's writings on nonviolence.

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Aleksandr Kuprin, born today in 1870, reflected on Anton Chekhov: "No, the sum of his wide and hard experience of life, of his sorrows, joys, and disappointments was expressed in that beautiful, anxious, self-forgetting dream of the coming happiness of others.
—“How beautiful life will be in three or four hundred years.”
And that is why he looked lovingly after his flower beds, as if he saw in them the symbol of beauty to come, and watched new paths being laid out by human intellect and knowledge.

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A.K. Tolstoy (born today in 1817) was regarded as the best historical dramatist in Russia in the 19th century for his trilogy: "The Death of Ivan the Terrible" (1866), "Tsar Fyodor Ioannovich" (1868), and "Tsar Boris" (1870). Leo Tolstoy's cousin, as a child he was a "comrade in games" with the future Crown Prince, Alexander II.
Alexei Tolstoy
Alexei Tolstoy
americanliterature.com

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In his unique style Gogol wrote down the story of The Viy. It's a horror story in the style of E.T.A. Hoffmann, but Gogol infused it with humour and irony: horses that out of habit stop at every inn; drunken Little-Russians* that kiss each other noisily…
Gogol’s Horror Story ‘The Viy’
Gogol’s Horror Story ‘The Viy’
arussianaffair.wordpress.com

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This looks like the ultimate Russian literature reading list!

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Ivan Turgenev: "His perpetual silence lent a solemn dignity to his unwearying labor. He was a splendid peasant, and, except for his affliction, any girl would have been glad to marry him... But now they had taken Gerasim to Moscow, bought him boots, had him made a full-skirted coat for summer, a sheepskin for winter, put into his hand a broom and a spade, and appointed him porter."

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Russian Empire became the USSR by the Treaty of Union, today, July 6, 1923. So many great writers during revolutionary times were already gone...
Russian Writers
Russian Writers
americanliterature.com

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Vsevoldo Garshin's stories have a quiet power; he employed tragic irony, later perfected by Anton Chekhov.
Vsevolod Garshin
Vsevolod Garshin
americanliterature.com

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Alexsander Pushkin, modern Russian Lit founder, born today, 1799:
"My pride of blood I have subdued;
I'm but an unknown singer
Simply Pushkin, not Moussin,
My strength is mine, not from court:
I am a writer, a citizen."
My Pedigree
My Pedigree
americanliterature.com
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