Based on historical events, Tolstoy’s beloved final novella tells the story of the rebel leader Hadji Murat—whom Tolstoy described as “the leading daredevil of the Caucasus”—and of the precarious alliance he forged with his enemies during his final days. Set during the Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the 1850s and expressing empathy for the resistance of the native peoples of Dagestan and Chechnya, Hadji Murat raises significant questions of power, imperialism, and betrayal, and remains moving and relevant today. This richly annotated edition features a selection of illuminating background materials that help situate the novella in its historical and literary context.
“Colonial war and resistance. The murky politics of enemies, allies, and go-betweens. Questions of loyalty and faith. As the struggle intensifies, who will you side with—the inevitable, awful victor or the inspired but doomed rebel? Will you fight for an idea or for your home, for the emperor or your family? Kirsten Lodge’s fresh translation deftly captures the raw power of Tolstoy’s simple but profound story. The related texts and helpful notes make this a perfect edition for the classroom.” — Willard Sunderland, University of Cincinnati
“Kirsten Lodge’s new translation of Hadji Murat renders Tolstoy’s lucid prose in all its subtlety. Carefully echoing the sentences’ rhythms and attending to the wonderful precision of nouns used to evoke the material world, Lodge conveys the deceptive simplicity of the original text. In her translation, as in Tolstoy’s original, this simplicity is the source of Hadji Murat’s persuasive power.” — Anne Lounsbery, New York University
“… [T]his is an excellent translation and collection of relevant materials. … I will assign Professor Lodge’s edition in the future. … Lodge keeps the English closer to the Russian and also has a good twenty-first-century North American ear.” — Robert Blaisdell, Kingsborough Community College, CUNY
“Hadji Murat … is a crucial artistic depiction of the workings of imperialism, militarism, and violence as the Russian Empire strove to conquer the Caucasus—written by Leo Tolstoy, a master stylist who had come to question his own complicity in these systems. This new translation by Kirsten Lodge is richly footnoted and features an informative introduction as well as several other relevant stories by Tolstoy. The book will work well for teaching and will reward all kinds of curious readers.” — Sibelan Forrester, Swarthmore College