Tolstoy and China - Vol. 4

Tolstoy and China - Vol. 4

Tolstoy and China - Vol. 4

Tolstoy and China - Vol. 4

Excerpt

This study originated from a chance remark by my wife, Galia Speshneff Bodde, to the effect that she had once vaguely heard of the existence of a bust of the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, in Tolstoy's study at Yasnaya Polyana. Though resulting investigation has revealed no trace of this bust, it has brought to light abundant evidence of Tolstoy's interest in China, most of which, to my knowledge, has never heretofore been presented. For the collecting of this evidence I owe a deep debt of gratitude to my wife. She it was who carefully examined the voluminous Russian sources and translated the pertinent data into English; without her painstaking work this book could never have been written.

All dates here given are in "old style" (i.e., for the nineteenth century, twelve days behind the Gregorian calendar), save for the events occurring outside of Russia which are mentioned on pp. 44-45. Chinese names, which often appear with confusing variations in different sources, are all romanized according to the Wade-Giles system, unless they occur spelled otherwise in the titles of books. Russian names are transcribed according to the system found in Ernest J. Simmons' Leo Tolstoy (item 5 in the Bibliography at the end of this book).

The fact that many of the most important Russian sources are unavailable in Philadelphia, where most of the research for this monograph has been conducted, has made its preparation a task of more than usual difficulty. Compensation has been provided, however, by the cooperation of several persons, to whom I am happy to express my hearty thanks. Mr. Elliott H. Morse and his colleagues, of . . .

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