A Confession (1879)/ Table of Contents


“A Confession” (1879) by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy
Translated by Louise and Aylmer Maude
Table of Contents


Written in 1879, and published two years later, this work is written by a 51-year-old Tolstoy who looks back, considering his life thusfar a failure. Chapters 4-7 deal with a period during which he struggled with suicide.

"A Confession" (Russian: [Ispoved']) is a short work on questions of religion by Leo Tolstoy. It was first distributed in Russia in 1882. Consisting of autobiographical notes on the development of the author's belief, "A Confession" shows the process of searching for answers to the profound questions: "What will come of my life?" and "What is the meaning of life?", without answers to which life to him is impossible.

Tolstoy shows different attempts to find answers on the examples of science, philosophy, eastern wisdom and the opinions of his fellow novelists. Not having found an acceptable solution in any of these, Tolstoy recognizes the deep religious convictions of ordinary people as containing the key to true answers. However he also finds "a great deal of superstition mixed with the Christian truths" and rejects some positions and customs of the Christian church.
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A Confession

Table of Contents

Title Page


Opening Words

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX

Part X

Part XI

Part XII


Part XIV

Part XV

Part XVI

Works by this author are in the public domain in countries where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years or less.
They are not necessarily in the public domain in the United States if published from 1923 to 1977. For a US-applicable version, see {{PD-1996}}. (from Wikisource, the free library that anyone can improve.)

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