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Death of Ivan Ilych (Anglais)

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120 internautes sur 126 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
I stand amazed... 16 février 2001
Par Ilana Teitelbaum - Publié sur
Format: Poche
There are so many levels upon which this story can be read, yet they are woven so inextricably into this masterpiece that the complexity is staggering. The premise sounds simple: a man who is about to die realizes he has never fully lived. We've all heard this before--in fact, Hollywood likes to drum such messages into our heads on a regular basis. But rarely, if ever, is it portrayed with the exquisite mastery which Tolstoy employed upon writing "The Death of Ivan Ilyich".
Paradoxically, this story is just as much about the life of Ivan Ilyich as it is about his death. This is in order to fully appreciate who he is and the man he has made of himself before disaster strikes. It is also to highlight both the tragic deterioration of his life and the gradual enlightenment of his inmost soul.
In portraying Ivan Ilyich's character, Tolstoy's subtle but inexorable condemnation is devastating. Not a detail is gratuitous: every point further serves to illustrate what is essentially a life without ideals and without purpose. Yet the author does not beat us over the head with this, rather than allowing the clear and unembellished facts to speak for themselves. And the way Tolstoy knew exactly which facts to accentuate creates a psychological depth which is unparalleled.
Many seem to be under the impression that Ivan Ilyich was some sort of villain, and that the story is a warning against corruption and bad behavior. My personal view is that Ivan Ilyich is no worse--although no better--than many people. Perhaps he is of a slightly lesser moral calibre than most, but that does not make him completely evil. To believe that he is evil is to miss the whole point, for this story was meant to be universal, to depict a reality which exists for us all. This is obvious from the way the story begins, with Ivan Ilyich's friends' and relatives' reactions to his death. Like him, they see death as something that can never happen to them, and like him they lead lives which are shallow and superficial in an attempt to avoid the unpleasant realities of life. By the time he dies, Ivan Ilyich has risen above these people by at last coming to the realization of the worthlessness of his life. This has elevated him above the common man, who avoids the reality of death and the effort it takes to make life worthwhile. In Tolstoy's own words, "Ivan Ilyich's life had been...most ordinary and therefore most terrible."
Therein lies the impact of this story: Ivan Ilyich is Everyman, and the message he represents is applicable at every moment in our lives.
119 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Only 10 of us?? 31 octobre 2003
Par A customer - Publié sur
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
I am so sorry only 9 other people have reviewed this book for Amazon. If it were up to me, I'd place a copy in every hotel and motel room in America, right next to Gideon. I realize that some books just hit us the right way at certain times in our lives, and I once had a hard time trying to persuade 18- and 19-year-olds to appreciate this one. But when I was around 30, I read the title novella, and it changed my life by changing my outlook on life and enabling me to make some decisions I'd never have taken seriously if I hadn't read it.
But I don't want to scare you off. Tolstoy is perfectly accessible, the title character's dilemma is heartrending (the title gives you a clue), the characters universal, and the effect upon closing the cover after the last page indelible. If one person reads it after reading these 10 reviews, I'll be happy.
54 internautes sur 55 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A small sharp pain that won't go away... 18 janvier 2007
Par Mark Nadja - Publié sur
Format: Poche
This book changed my life. No kidding. After reading it, I realized I was trapped in a loveless marriage, slave to a meaningless job, and listing towards a dark oblivion. In other words, I was your average middle-class, middle-aged married white guy. This book is a terrifying wake-up call to such guys--and I suppose to their female counterparts--to the life-not-well-lived, alas, the path most-taken.

The premise is simple. A solid career guy with all the trappings of `success'--secure job, nice house, presentable wife--lifts his arm one day and feels something go `twang' inside him. No big deal, he thinks. Probably tweaked a muscle or something. Except the little pain doesn't go away. Its not ever going away. It's a message--a message of mortality. The Grim Reaper is at the door. Time's up.

Now this is bad enough news, for sure. But that's only the beginning of this novel of existential horror. For as our hero lies a-dying he sees the life around him--the carefully tended garden of his years--as if for the first time. That is, he sees how bitter, fraudulent, and full of decay and vermin it truly is. From his fair-weather friends and business associates to his vain and self-centered wife who fritters about the inconvenience attendant upon her husband's impending death as if it were a personal affront and the greatest of injustices--to her, *The Death of Ivan Ilych* offers a bedside view of the cruel absurdity of the inhuman comedy. For as the protagonist lies suffering on his deathbed and reviews his life and how it has--and hasn't--added up, he endures a torment that is almost Christ-like in its intensity and resulting in a revelation as immense in its profundity. But whether one of heaven or hell, truth or pacifying illusion is up to each reader to decide.

Said to be the result of Tolstoy's own middle-aged spiritual crisis, *The Death of Ivan Ilych* manages to say in a scant 100 pages what most novels don't begin to say in 500. Timeless and archetypal, this novel reads with the power of a myth--a cautionary myth to wake up this very moment and begin to live an authentic life before it's too late.

Because at any moment, it may suddenly be too late.
56 internautes sur 61 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
In Passing 20 septembre 2002
Par Alvaro Lewis - Publié sur
Format: Poche
Tolstoy's novella makes rewarding and unsettling reading. Surely, I can think of no novel that treats dying as boldly. Death is a fact. In this story Ivan Ilyich's life and death are plainly represented in a fashion that remarkably resembles the times I have been aware of other, near people dying. What the novel puts on display in so satisfying and disconcerting a fashion is the remarkable inability or reluctance of most people (I ashamedly include myself in this group) to take part in the life of a person who is inevitably and rather immediately dying. Only one character in the novel has the goodness, humility and patience to care for a dying man, the rest scurry about and take care of their anticipated needs in the face of losing a loved one.
I find that I read this book again every year and that it remains such a fine portrait of a bureaucrat whose family life does not entirely satisfy him and whose pursuit of a more meaningful life fails to cease even in sickness, when he understands that his mortality is soon to be demonstrated. There are few works of this nature that I can set in the company of this short novel. Despite many readings, I feel I still don't entirely understand it, but later in life I imagine I will do better. This book is so excellent and the edition here lends itself to portable and pleasant reading.
32 internautes sur 33 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If only I could give it more stars 29 février 2000
Par silvia - Publié sur
Format: Poche
Death of Ivan Ilich is one of the greatest things ever written! It follows the life story of Ivan Ilich but specificly his dying.This story is a lesson for life, for everybody that reads it,because it demonstrates how a person can make all the sociably acceptable choices yet all the wrong ones ,personaly.Ivan Ilich did everyting that was expected of him,and what he expected of himself, yet,he never knew that he never really lived,that he was never happy.That is to say he never knew it, until it was too late,until he was about to die.This story,for me at least, is not about death as it is about life.It's about doing all the right things yet finding out you are all alone in the world.Nobody really loves you and you don't love anyone.You("IVAN")never liked your job and never had any real friends and the last time you were really happy was when you were four years old.The worse thing is that you can't do anything about it,now!Tolstoy manages to take the reader and lead him through Ivan's life until his last breath,until you feel, you almost die with him.It is an incredible experience that will make you stop and think about life and what you want to make of it before it's too late.
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