“Tolstoy’s ardent strides towards perfectionism never resulted in any semblance of peace or serenity. Up to the moment of his death the diaries and letters kept circling to the rueful theme of failure. When he wrote about his religious faith, or attempted to live out that faith, the antagonism between the real and the ideal haunted him like a dybbuk. Too honest for self deception, he could not silence the conscious that convicted him because he knew his conscious to be true. Leo Tolstoy was a deeply unhappy man. He fulminated against the corrupt Russian Orthodox Church of his day and earned their excommunication. His schemes for self-improvement all floundered. He had to hide all the ropes in his estate and put away his guns in order to resist the temptation towards suicide. In the end, Tolstoy fled from his fame, his family, his estate, his identity; he died like a vagrant in a rural railway station.” (>>)