Is There in Truth No Beauty?

“It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.”
—Leo Tolstoy

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828–1910), usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Tolstoy’s ideas on nonviolent resistance, expressed in such works as The Kingdom of God Is Within You (1894), had a profound impact on such pivotal 20th-century figures as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The quote is from his book The Kreutzer Sonata (1889) — which was promptly censored by Russian authorities. The photo of Tolstoy is by Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky in 1908 — a superb example of very early color photography.


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Randy Cassingham is best known as the creator of This is True, the oldest entertainment feature on the Internet: it has been running weekly by email subscription since early 1994. It is social commentary using weird news as its vehicle so it’s fun to read. Click here for a subscribe form — basic subscriptions are free.

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