Voices from Russia

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Rare Recording from 1909: Leo Tolstoy Reads From His Last Major Work in Four Languages

Ivan Kramskoi. A Portriat of the Author L N Tolstoy. 1873

A Portrait of the Author Graf L N Tolstoy

Ivan Kramskoi

1873

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Earlier this week, we brought you rare recordings of Sigmund Freud and Jorge Francisco Isidoro Luis Borges speaking in English. Today, we present a remarkable series of recordings of the great Russian novelist L N Tolstoy reading a passage from his book, Wise Thoughts for Every Day, in four languages… English, German, French, and Russian. Wise Thoughts For Every Day was Tolstoy’s last major work. It first appeared in 1903 as The Thoughts of Wise Men, and was revised and renamed several times before the author’s death in 1910. The Soviets banned it, only to reappear in 1995 as a bestseller in Russia. In 1997, Peter Sekirin translated it into English and published it as A Calendar of Wisdom. The book is a collection of passages from a diverse group of thinkers, ranging from Lao-Tzu to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Tolstoy wrote in his diary, “I felt that I was elevated to great spiritual and moral heights by communication with the best and wisest people whose books I read and whose thoughts I selected for my Circle of Reading”.

As an old man, Tolstoy rejected his great works of fiction, believing that it was more important to give moral and spiritual guidance to the common people. He wrote, “To create a book for the masses, for millions of people is incomparably more important and fruitful than to compose a novel of the kind which diverts some members of the wealthy classes for a short time, and then is forever forgotten”. Tolstoy arranged his book for the masses as a calendar, with a series of readings for each day of the year. For example under today’s date, 9 May, Tolstoy selected brief passages from Immanuel Kant, Solon, and the Koran. Underneath he wrote, “We can’t stop on the way to self-perfection. As soon as you notice that you have a bigger interest in the outer world than in yourself, then you should know that the world moves behind you”.

The audio recordings above were made at the writer’s home in Yasnaya Polyana on 31 October 1909, when he was 81-years-old. He died just over a year later. Apparently, Tolstoy translated the passage himself. The English version sounds a bit like the King James Bible. The words are hard to make out in the recording, but he said:

That the object of life is self-perfection, the perfection of all immortal souls, that this is the only object of my life, is seen to be correct by the fact alone that every other object is essentially a new object. Therefore, the question whether thou hast done what thou shoudst have done is of immense importance, for the only meaning of thy life is in doing in this short term allowed thee, that which is desired of thee by He or That which has sent thee into life. Art thou doing the right thing?

Tolstoy made several voice recordings in his life, dating back to 1895 when he made two wax cylinder recordings for Julius Block. Russian literary scholar Andrew Kaufman collected three more vintage recordings (all in Russian) including Tolstoy’s lesson to peasant children on his estate, a reading of his fairy tale The Wolf, and an excerpt from his essay I Can’t be Silent. You can listen to them on Kaufman’s website.

9 May 2012

Open Culture

http://www.openculture.com/2012/05/rare_recording_leo_tolstoy_reads_his_work_in_four_languages_1909.html

Related Content:

The Last Days of L N Tolstoy Captured on Video

450 free Audio Books and 300 free eBooks  (list includes works by Tolstoy and other Russian classics)

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Calls for Crackdown on Scientology and JW Cults

04c Kirill and Zyuganov

Fr Vsevolod with KPRF leaders… the Church and the Party are on one wavelength. The Church is compatible with collectivist socialism… not with Republican oligarchic anarchy… fancy that…

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On Friday,Archpriest V A Chaplin, the Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO), told us that the authorities shouldn’t trust adherents of Scientology and Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs), saying, “From my point of view, it didn’t surprise me that they searched the office of the Scientologists as part of a fraud case”. The media reported that the police raided Scientology headquarters in a building on Taganka Street in Moscow. Fr Vsevolod noted that this wasn’t the first time that Russians asked, “Why does this pseudo-religion, tightly controlled from the USA with a strict chain of command, collect data about our citizens, storing it in a massive storage system?” He proposed, “The authorities should investigate not only the Scientologists and JWs, but also other similar sects, and so-called expert and humanitarian structures, subsidiaries of American corporations and think tanks, which don’t engage in Russia in expert or humanitarian activities, but rather in propaganda. For example, they assert the alleged inevitability of the Western model of democracy and of financial-oligarchic capitalism, and so on”. Fr Vsevolod noted, “We should investigate these sects and experts, as the majority of our people reject them; after all, honest, free, and self-respecting people don’t want to deal with them. If the JWs come knocking on your door, don’t open it; tell Scientologists that their beliefs are incompatible with Christianity, refrain from further conversation, don’t go to their Soros-financed seminars… if they offer you money for renting a hall, don’t accept it… if they throw about the term ‘domestic violence’, ask them why someone so concerned about the family allocates so much money on one thing, allocating much less money on violence in prisons, on the streets, in markets, and in military units”. Fr Vsevolod stated that in an environment where America calls Russia a major threat, “It’d be strange to extend to these organisations preferential treatment, especially since many of them openly say that they’d like to change the consciousness and the historical path of our people. They don’t listen to our will; they often openly challenge it”.

30 January 2015

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=57738

Klichko Demanded that Kiev Gorsoviet Restore Tax Exemption to UPTs/MP

00 Kiev. Euromaidan trash. 23.05.14

The Kiev Gorsoviet is pandering to the Evromaidantsy filth… note well that Klichko isn’t going along with them. What does he know that we don’t? Is he getting ready to cut a deal with whomever replaces the junta?

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Kiev Mayor V V Klichko (elder) believed that the Kiev Gorsoviet’s decision to annul the tax exemption of the UPTs/MP is unconstitutional, telling reporters, “I understand that some are emotional about this. We understand that the Ukraine is in extreme conditions, so, many decisions are emotional. Today, the deputies decided on land and property taxes. I didn’t vote for this decision, I didn’t vote; it doesn’t have its legal force, it’s unconstitutional”. Klichko noted that Article 24 of the Constitution grants everyone, including religious organisations, equal rights and freedoms, so the Gorsoviet decision is contrary to the Basic Law. Klichko said that he was going to comment officially on the decision in five days, and that he’d review it then. As reported, on Wednesday, the Kiev Gorsoviet removed the UPTs/MP from the list of religious organisations eligible for tax exemption. In explaining the rationale for this decision, Gorsoviet Deputy Aleksandr Kharchenko claimed that UPTs/MP clergy in the Donbass supposedly issue anti-Ukrainian propaganda and refuse to serve funerals for junta soldiers.

29 January 2015

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=57726

Friday, 30 January 2015

Bishop Longin of the UPTs/MP on the Junta Mobilisation: “Don’t Give Your Children to the Satanists to Die!”

00 #savedonbasspeople 01. 29.05.14

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This anti-war appeal of Bishop Longin is especially popular amongst national minorities in the Ukrainian border regions. When the fourth wave of mobilisation began in Romanian villages in Chernovtsy Oblast, people snapped up copies of the Romanian-language newspaper Libertatea Cuvantului with an appeal of UPTs/MP Bishop Longin, the well-known Superior of Bachensky Monastery in Chernovtsy Oblast. This monastery and its superior are famous for the fact that it shelters hundreds of sick orphans, 200 of them personally adopted the abbot. The film Форпост (Forpost: Outpost) on the Vladyki Longin and his children is widely known. However, the Bishop addressed his appeal to yet-complete and happy families. He first released it in September, but the newspaper (owned by a member of the Chernovtsy Gorsoviet) printed it a day after the junta announced the mobilisation:

I ask you only one thing… come together and don’t send your children to die.  Our Orthodox faith doesn’t allow us to kill each other. For the sake of their political interests, for the sake of defending their economic gain, for the sake of defending their leadership positions, they want to kill our people, who live peacefully with faith in God. My family, you don’t have the right to shoot and kill. God gives us life, and God takes it away. The overlords of the Ukraine said, “The Orthodox faith is the biggest enemy of the Ukraine”. That’s what they told outsiders, who can’t accept the truth due to their blindness.

How can you pick up a gun and shoot at the image of God? He has, as we have, a mother, wife, and children. What forces us to kill each other? True, they only scratch the surface… already, there are thousands and tens of thousands of dead, but they only talk about hundreds. I don’t bless the war. We call all of you to peace. There are about 10,000 dead soldiers; not even their mothers know that they’re no longer alive. I don’t involve myself in politics, but what hurts me is that this isn’t a war with an external enemy; it’s a war between us.

The USA wants to see Orthodox killing each other, they like to see us shooting at each other, whilst they drink, eat, and have fun… they glory in the blood shed on our holy land. Europe, of which the Holy Fathers said, “Do not worship the beast”, now stands on the sidelines and rejoices at our spilled Orthodox blood. Brothers! We all feel that we’re on the verge of World War III. That’s why I urge you… repent! Don’t give our children over to death!

During the Liturgy, I’ll never commemorate the damned leaders of our country… they’re unbelievers with no fear of God, who sit in their seats and wave their hands to command… “Kill!” I beg only one thing, “If you can, O Lord, enlighten them, as darkness covers them, and poison fills them. They have no taste for anything except spilled blood, which they enjoy. Satanists! They’re Servants of Satan! If they won’t stop, they’ll defy God, but that’ll bring down much grief!”

Equally disturbing is the situation in bordering Romania and, even more so, in multinational Bessarabia. In Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Raion, the local Voenkom cancelled the Constitution! It banned any reservist to leave the area unless they have permission. Lawyers noted in the Odessa newspaper Dumskaya that this order is contrary to the article of the Constitution which provides for freedom of movement (this limitation is possible only in case of emergency or martial law). It is also illegal to dismiss those called up as the law guarantees to every conscripted man continued employment and wages during the year. However, the local bosses see no crime in this. Yuri Piskun, the head of the Odessa Oblast Voenkom said, “If they see that people are leaving the area, then, what else should they do?” However, why should this surprise us when the actual mobilisation violates the Constitution?

However, in Bessarabia, not all “ran away”. Some “defended their rights” in upholding constitutional rights. Kulevcha rebelled against mobilisation. Six Voenkom members brought 240 subpoenas, in a rural locality of less than a thousand people. In response to the threat of criminal prosecution, the villagers chanted, “No to war!” and “We want peace!” With great audacity, they confronted the military officers, telling them that martial law wasn’t in force. Then, they expelled the Voenkom from the village. Standing there in the village square, they appealed to the local authorities, calling the mobilisation forced and illegal. They promised that the entire village would resist any attempt to seize their relatives. Similarly, residents of the Bulgarian village of Dmitrovka in Bolgrad Raion expelled the Voenkom, which brought 200 summonses. We don’t know if a Right Sector punitive expedition is going to descend on these Bessarabian villages.

Let’s look at another place where it didn’t happen either, Peregonsk in Kalush Raion in Ivano-Frankovsk Oblast. Supposedly, it was full of Galician National Consciousness, it had “vowed at war with the Raška”. So, on 19 January, right before the start of mobilisation, 26 buses left Peregonsk loaded with workers… bound for Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk Krai. Oleg Goncharuk, the Chairman of the Oblast OGA, stated, “In the region, the critics of the mobilisation are active, the Podkarpatski aren’t sufficiently aware of the need to replenish the Armed Forces”. However, he refused to admit that local activists resist the mobilisation. Rather, he believed, “It’s either an unprofessional Voenkom or its due to bribery of officials”. That is why the Right Sector decided to assume control of the mobilisation. In Galicia, they’ve gone to the forest… in Odessa, as usual, they go “underground”… but, of course, it’s much more tragic than funny.

29 January 2015

Dmitri Skvortsov

Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya

http://ruskline.ru/special_opinion/2015/01/episkop_upc_mp_o_mobilizacii_ne_otdavajte_detej_satanistam_na_smert/

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