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Drawing on the experience of his own struggle to find enlightenment and a deeper spiritual understanding of life, Tolstoy in The Death of Ivan Ilyich takes us on the final journey towards death with Ivan Ilyich, who, falling victim to an incurable illness, ponders on his own life – its shallowness and lack of compassion, wondering what is the meaning of it all. At times sombre, at times satirical, Tolstoy’s novel raises questions about the way we live and how we should strive even at the end to seek final redemption. It is a powerful masterpiece of psychological exploration, and has influenced writers as diverse as Hemingway and Nabokov. Translated by Aylmer and Louise Maude.