“Tolstoj, a cry and its answers”, presented from August 24th-30th at the Meeting Fairground in pavilion A5, is an exhibit born of the desire to present the writer and philosopher Tolstoj, to converse with him, to understand the reality of a controversial human outlook. The exhibit has been presented today at the Meeting, at Eni Caffè Letterario A3 by Valentina Alekseeva, Curator of the Tolstoj Museum of Moscow and by Giovanna Parravicini, of the Christian Russia Foundation. Francesco Braschi, Doctor of the Ambrosian Library, introduced the conference.
Valentina Alekseeva, after thanking the exhibit curators for their contribution, reminded that “a hundred years after his death, the world needs to bring alive the problems of the Russian writer, as the purpose of his thought is to open questions to us, not to give final answers.” The chairman emphasized that the exhibit was possible thanks to the collaboration of many high school students. The most relevant material will be represented at the Russia Christian Annual Conference planned for November in Milan.
Giovanna Parravicini, during her speech, proposed a comparison between the theme of the Meeting and the message of Tolstoj: “The ends of the Earth are not only places, but also persons.” “All of us – explained the speaker – are far from ourselves, but we have an infallible instrument, the heart, capable of recognizing the mystery.” Tolstoj affirmed “so that a man can live, he has to have an explanation for the meaning of life, so that the finite is equaled by the infinite.” In that sense, the exhibit wants to establish a dialogue between the heart of the visitor and the philosopher, just as his works were a living dialogue with his contemporaries.
In Tolstoj appears the drama of modern man: a son of rationalism who is incapable of bending his knees and accepting Christ’s calling, in spite of perceiving the inexplicable mystery of life. That is why the Russian writer can be compared with Leopardi for his existential questions and for some impressive claims.
“His great appeal among his contemporaries,” concluded Parravicini “is explained his ability to explore the extremes of human experience and to raise the question: What does man live for? Characters are not divided to good and bad, but to alive and dead, like persons made alive by a more profound Presence. Tolstoj, “the great heretic”, through his dramatic testimony of his inner struggles, has inspired many conversions around the world among people who have met Christ through him and his works.