Happy Birthday, Leo Tolstoy!
I know I promised you all a list by today, but I was so worn out from my Alabama trip, that I had hard time coming up with one. So instead of a list, today we will celebrate a man I consider the greatest novelist of all time. He may not be my favorite writer (see my Anna Karenina post from several months ago), but I can not deny that he did things with the novel that changed fiction forever. I still consider War and Peace one of the most important literary accomplishments of all time, and it is one of my favorite books to boot.
So today, let us raise a toast to Tolstoy. Let's forget his faults (his preachiness, his conservative social views on family and marriage, his occasional misogyny) and remember only good. He created some of my all-time favorite characters (Prince Andrei Bolkonski, who gets most of the best parts of War and Peace, in my opinion) and his ability to be constantly aware of every tiny detail in his created worlds always blows me away. Tolstoy is truly a master. So Happy 181st Birthday, big guy!