Page:Rolland Life of Tolstoy.djvu/169

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CHAPTER XIV

THEORIES OF ART: MUSIC

The finest theory finds its value only in the works by which it is exemplified. With Tolstoy theory and creation are always hand in hand, like faith and action. While he was elaborating his critique of art he was producing types of the new art of which he spoke: of two forms of art, one higher and one less exalted, but both “religious” in the most human sense. In one he sought the union of men through love; in the other he waged war upon the world, the enemy of love. It was during this period that he wrote those masterpieces: The Death oj Ivan Ilyitch (1884-86), the Popular Tales and Stories (1881-1886), The Power of Darkness (1886), the Kreutzer Sonata (1889), and Master and Servant (1895).[1]

  1. To these years was attributed, in respect of the date of publication, and perhaps of completion, a work which was really written during the happy period of betrothal and the first years of marriage: the beautiful story of a horse, Kholstomier (1861-86). Tolstoy speaks of it in 1833 in a letter to Fet (Further Correspondence). The art of the commencement, with its fine landscapes, its penetrating psychological sympathy, its humour, and its youth, has much in common with the art of Tolstoy's maturity (Family Happiness, War and Peace). The macabre quality of the end, and the last pages comparing the body of the old horse with that of his master, are full of a realistic brutality characteristic of the years after 1880.