” Do not be lazy to read books as you can easily find that what other people have acquired from life hard experiences, and will know everything…” It is written on the back cover of the book “Encyclopedia of Wisdom”, “Bukolika” 2007, “POOCCA”, 2007 in Russian which is shown here on the photos to the right and to the left.
Easy to say: “Don’t be lazy to read books…”,yes, but in reality, at our computerized age, one prefers to play electronic games in stead of reading, having fun, fun, fun-endless fun. Without much thinking.
But books demand thinking and re-thinking. As in this case. The Encyclopedia consists of 294 short life stories of outstanding people of the world, their different quotations in various subjects: life, freedom, liberty of morals, love, the role of a woman in life, arts, music, philosophy etc.
Nice to have this book in one’s hands, go through 814 pages of it, recollecting the facts you could remember from your all reading life, making yourself again and again figuring out the simple ideas which you could not understand before because of early age or lack of information in old times…
On the waves of my memory I am flying away back to Romain Rolland and Leo Tolstoy, a world class literary scholar and intellectual giant. We know their creative works. What is the link between the two? Spiritual enlightenment-“letters from afar” , after the failure of Franco-Prussian War, France was filled with gloomy atmosphere. July, 1886, Rolland was admitted to the Ecole Normal School, the first exposure to Tolstoy’s writings, especially “war and peace”. In Rolland’s mind, after Shakespeare, Tolstoy is the greatest writer in the world, “War and Peace” is a supreme classic through the ages. When recalling his spiritual path, Rolland is full of deep feeling: “I deeply loved, I never stop to love Tolstoy. I have lived in an atmosphere of his thought, I work with him, with “War and Peace’ and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”, intimacy, than with any one of the important works of French writer relationship. The great kindness, wisdom, absolutely true, for me, he is the spirit of our times, the most reliable to anarchy”.
Later Rolland was shocked by Tolstoy’s booklet “The how we are to do” where he believes the role of art is the corrosion of the human mind, it will corrupt the people…”
He wrote a letter to Tolstoy and got an answer from him. “Letters from afar” of Rolland are the following points: first. Equality. As a noble writer Tolstoy criticized in the letter that gentleman for doing nothing.: “One does not fulfill everyone’s moral obligation to follow the people, an excuse to love science, love art, and live a parasitic life.
Secondly,Love and happiness. Love is better than love yourself.
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Third, the concept of art against violence. On the role of art, Tolstoy made a well-known thesis: “Art should be the elimination of violence, and only artistic talent to do so. Art’s mission to rule the kingdom of love”.
Rolland accepted doctrine of Tolstoy, then, when Tolstoy died, full of respect for Rolland he wrote “Tolstoy Biography” (1911). By writing biography, Rolland bathed in Tolstoy the ocean of the mind to experience the power of Tolstoy and the meaning of life and thought and emotional experience in the mentality of Tolstoy.
Rolland created “John Christopher”. At my student years I remember I read this book through the night, could not get enough of it, and tomorrow arrived: we need to attend classes after sleepless night. And we did. Everything was all right.
Today, with globalization, the dream of 21st century came to us, but the world is not tranquil: personal desires expansion, expansion of national strife, rampant terrorism. Tolstoy and Rolland humanitarian ideas remain up to date.
Listen to:Edith Piaf – La Vie En Rose (live)