Tolstoy is being cancelled in Russia

Starting several weeks ago, I noticed that I had stopped receiving traffic from the Great Nation of Russia, when in the past I regularly had Russian readers coming in. I decided to get to the bottom of my suspicions was actually quite flattered to out that:

But seriously? How bad could their censorship be when the ministry of internal affairs blacklists apolitical literary websites with an average readership of 150 people a day? I wondered what such a decision could have been based on and then my suspicions fell on a trilogy of posts I wrote a couple of years ago in the wake of the Russian invasion special military operation in Ukraine. I mentioned that I was first inspired to write them by reflecting on what the perhaps greatest example of Russian genius would have made of it all had he lived today, but other than that and briefly slandering the religious hypocrisy of that scoundrel the Patriarch of Moscow, I didn’t write at all about ongoing political events, only about Tolstoy.

How often aren’t the works of the greats a part of the great ideological melée taking place in the present though? I wrote those posts because I felt that Tolstoy’s authority and perspicacity were as relevant as ever and as such my suspicion was that Tolstoy’s philosophical-religious work, founded on his Christian anarchism and pacifism and running in such a contrary motion to the flow of events in his native country, would either be banned by official decree or surreptitiously disappear from bookshelves. Not being in Russia, I don’t know if that is true or not, but the banning of this website on those grounds would certainly be some evidence for it.

And so if there is no hope for Looking to Leeward in Russia, what hope could there be, if any, for works like The Kingdom of God is WIthin You? A Confession, What I Believe or Tolstoy’s moral tales? If guilty to the crime of common authorship, perhaps we should be just as fearful for War and Peace and Anna Karenina too?

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