Quotes from book
The Kreutzer Sonata

The Kreutzer Sonata
Leo TolstoyOriginal title Крейцерова соната (Russian, 1889)

The Kreutzer Sonata is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, named after Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata. The novella was published in 1889, and was promptly censored by the Russian authorities. The work is an argument for the ideal of sexual abstinence and an in-depth first-person description of jealous rage. The main character, Pozdnyshev, relates the events leading up to his killing of his wife: in his analysis, the root causes for the deed were the "animal excesses" and "swinish connection" governing the relation between the sexes.


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„It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, book The Kreutzer Sonata

Variant: What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.
Source: The Kreutzer Sonata

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„If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason for living.“

—  Leo Tolstoy, book The Kreutzer Sonata

Source: The Kreutzer Sonata (1889), Ch. 23. This is not, as it is often quoted, a stand-alone Tolstoy epigram, but part of the narration by the novella's jealousy-ridden protagonist Pozdnyshev.

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