Bibliography of Studies Pertaining to “The Death of Ivan Ilich”

Selected Bibliography of Secondary Sources

It is often said that The Death of Ivan Ilich is the masterpiece of the later Tolstoy, but Vladimir Nabokov goes even farther in declaring it the writer’s most artistic, most perfect, and most sophisticated achievement. The secondary bibliography on Tolstoy and his various writings is very large in general, and that on this story is no exception. The majority of the scholarship, of course, has been produced by persons interested in the novel mainly as an outstanding example of 19th-century European literature. But ample attention has also been paid to it from other points of view.

For the purposes of the present bibliography, which is extensive, but far from exhaustive, it has seemed sensible to divide the fairly large number of items into more manageable groups. I have categorized the entries under three main rubrics. The first I have labelled as General Studies. The unifying characteristic of this group is its focus on the novel in and of itself–its literary artistry, its thematic significance, its place within Tolstoy’s oeuvre and world literature. The second rubric I have styled Comparative. The numerous papers collected here are devoted to the study of the relationship between The Death of Ivan Ilich and one or more other works or writers. The final rubric, Miscellany, is the most varied. The studies catalogued here have in common that they use the novel as an illustration in the presentation of subject matter not necessarily related to its literary value. Here you will find the novel discussed in a variety of contexts: medical, psychological, religious, philosophical, ethical, pedagogical (how to teach the novel or how to use the novel to teach), legal, even the life of the businessman or woman or the care of the dying. The first rubric contains a fairly complete bibliography of relevant works. The second provides a fair sample of the available works. The third provides a limited sample sufficient to show the variety of the studies that have appeared.

 

 

Many of the links in these bibliographies point to citations in Google Scholar.  If you are a member of an academic institution such as a college or university, we encourage you to link your library to your Google Scholar account. This will enable you to access many of the articles through your library.