The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Ivan Ilyich
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivána Ilyichá), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.wikipedia
59 Related Articles

Leo Tolstoy

TolstoyLev TolstoyTolstoi
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivána Ilyichá), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.
Tolstoy's fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novellas such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), and Hadji Murad (1912).

Patronymic

patronymibnbin
Ivan Ilyich (Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin) is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man." As the story progresses, he becomes more and more introspective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death.
Examples in titles of classical Russian literature include The Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin, The Death of Ivan Ilyich and "The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarreled with Ivan Nikiforovich".

Ikiru

Doomed (To Live)Living
Ikiru (1952) directed by Akira Kurosawa
The screenplay was partly inspired by Leo Tolstoy's 1886 novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Ivans Xtc

ivans xtc.ivansxtc. (To Live and Die in Hollywood)
Ivans Xtc (2000) directed by Bernard Rose
The film, loosely based on Leo Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2000.

Novella

novelettenovellasshort novel
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivána Ilyichá), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.

Religious conversion

convertconversionconverted
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert' Ivána Ilyichá), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.

Surname

family nameoccupational surnamelast name
Ivan Ilyich (Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin) is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man." As the story progresses, he becomes more and more introspective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death.

Judiciary of Russia

District CourtjudicialRussian court
Ivan Ilyich (Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin) is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man." As the story progresses, he becomes more and more introspective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death.

Ethics

ethicalmoral philosophyethic
Indeed, the mundane portrayal of Ivan's life coupled with the dramatization of his long and grueling battle with death seems to directly reflect Tolstoy's theories about moral living, which he largely derived during his sabbatical from personal and professional duties in 1877.

Russian literature

RussianRussian writerliterature
In his lectures on Russian literature, Russian-born novelist and critic Vladimir Nabokov argues that, for Tolstoy, a sinful life (such as Ivan's) is moral death.

Vladimir Nabokov

NabokovNabokovianNabokov, Vladimir
In his lectures on Russian literature, Russian-born novelist and critic Vladimir Nabokov argues that, for Tolstoy, a sinful life (such as Ivan's) is moral death.

Tolstoyan movement

TolstoyanTolstoyanismTolstoyans
To quote Nabokov: "The Tolstoyan formula is: Ivan lived a bad life and since the bad life is nothing but the death of the soul, then Ivan lived a living death; and since beyond death is God's living light, then Ivan died into a new life – Life with a capital L."

Death

mortalitydeaddeceased
Death permeates the narrative in a realistic and absorbing fashion, but the actual physicality of death is only present in the early chapters during Ivan's wake.

Epiphany (feeling)

epiphanyepiphaniesepiphanous
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

Russian Orthodox Church

Russian OrthodoxOrthodoxRussian Orthodoxy
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

Human sexuality

sexualitysexualsex
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

Education in Russia

educationgymnasiumspecialist diploma
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

Serfdom in Russia

serfsserfdomserf
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

The Kreutzer Sonata

Kreutzer Sonata the novella1899 novella
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

The Devil (novel)

The Devil
This personal epiphany caused significant spiritual upheaval in Tolstoy's life, prompting him to question the Russian Orthodox Church, sexuality, education, serfdom, etc. The literature Tolstoy composed during this period is some of his most controversial and philosophical, among which falls The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other famous short stories such as The Kreutzer Sonata and The Devil.

Martin Heidegger

HeideggerHeideggerianHeidegger, Martin
Martin Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time (1927), refers to the novella as an illustration of Being towards death.

Being and Time

Sein und Zeitbeingsbest known work
Martin Heidegger's magnum opus, Being and Time (1927), refers to the novella as an illustration of Being towards death.

Alexander Kaidanovsky

Aleksandr Kaydanovskiy
A Simple Death (1985) directed by Alexander Kaidanovsky