Page:The life of Tolstoy.djvu/65

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.



On arrival at St. Petersburg, Tolstoy was at once received by the editors and the staff of contributors of the Sovremennik as one of themselves, for they highly appreciated his first literary work and his sketches from Sebastopol. But there was no affinity between him and this circle, and even with Turgenef, whom he respected most of all, he often quarrelled.

By his nature Tolstoy was quite unsuited to any collective action. Every collective initiative found in him a hot opponent. It was as if he feared to lose his independence or to be carried away by a general current of opinion in a direction which was not his own. This was the cause of all his misunderstandings and quarrels with his literary comrades.

Turgenef, who very much liked Tolstoy's first works, took a great interest in him; he even invited him to live with him in St. Petersburg. Fet, in his reminiscences, gives a comical description of