chapter
Introduction
The Realism of Tolstoi
Pages 24

Tolstoi appears before us as a very great artist, at times giving proof of a singularly methodical and definite mentality and dealing in masterly fashion with intellectual subjects to which he seems to give but occasional and playful attention, though speedily showing himself on equality with the specialists in these very subjects. But Tolstoi is even more of a teacher, an educator. Like Rousseau- with whom he has so much in common-his views on education are both ingenious and profound. Tolstoi's fundamental realism is too easily forgotten. It is veiled from us by the stormy and tragic, the mystical and paradoxical nature of the man. It is our duty to consider it at close quarters. True, we hear ad nauseam of the realism of Tolstoi the novelist. The interpretation of the beginning of the Gospel according to Saint John reveals the realistic temperament of Tolstoi in strange fashion.