"War and Peace" with illustrations by Teodor Ushev

"War and Peace" with illustrations by Teodor Ushev
"War and Peace" with illustrations by Teodor Ushev

In the midst of the Christmas book fair, "Krug" presents one of the largest editions of the year - "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy. On December 8, the grand novel of the Russian classic comes out in four luxurious and easy-to-read volumes, for which the great artist and animator Teodor Ushev drew covers and nearly fifty illustrations. The classic translation in our country by Konstantin Konstantinov, created in 1957, was used, and the overall layout of the project was designed by the designer Grigor Grigorov.

War and Peace is often referred to as the greatest novel in the history of literature, and its author, Leo Tolstoy, is recognized by critics and readers as the best fiction writer of all time.He created his most famous work in the period 1863 - 1869, in the prime of his youth, he managed to devote himself entirely to writing in the first years of his marriage. The title of the work becomes final after the first two versions - "Three Times" and "Everything is Good".


War and Peace is a remarkable blend of realism, historical prose, and philosophy. If the world could tell itself, it would write like Tolstoy, comments Isaac Babel. And Tolstoy himself declared that "War and Peace" is not "a novel, much less a poem and even less a historical chronicle" because "the best Russian literature does not meet the standards".

Although focused on the Napoleonic war with Russia, the plot is much larger than a chronicle of glorious battles and battle tactics – it is a reflection of the remarkable diversity of Russian culture. The impressive volume of the work meets readers with over five hundred living, full-blooded characters from three generations, whose destinies unfold through the ambitions and misfortunes of five aristocratic families.

Beyond the artistic merits, large fragments of the text, especially the later chapters, are more philosophical discussions than classical prose and articulate those convictions of Tolstoy that would transform him from an oppositionist of his contemporaries into one of the greatest thinkers known to mankind.

In the four volumes, the almost unimaginable depth of the novel is beautifully complemented by the impressive illustrations of the most successful Bulgarian animator Teodor Ushev. He worked on the project at the invitation of ed. "Circle" for more than a year and created over 60 illustrations, 50 of which entered the four volumes. He chose to work with Chinese ink on rice paper. "The goal was to create expressive images that would correspond in an unusual way with this opus of love, war, peace and human existentialism," says the artist.

Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828 – 1910) is rightly considered one of the greatest writers ever to create.He was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature every year from 1902 to 1906 and for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902 and 1909. Born into an aristocratic Russian family, Tolstoy is best known for his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina. His fiction includes dozens of short stories and several novels such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich (1886), Family Happiness (1859), After the Ball (1911) and Hadji Murat (1912). In his rich work there are also non-fiction works, among which the essay "Confession" stands out, dedicated to the most turning point in his life, when Tolstoy gave up his riches and turned to religion.

Teodor Ushev (b. 1968) is a Bulgarian artist, animator and director.

The films of Ushev, who lives and works in Canada, in cooperation with the Canadian National Film Board, have won more than 80 prestigious awards around the world. Among them, the Oscar nomination for short animated film in 2017 for "Blind Vaisha" stands out the most.

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