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The Wife of a Famous Man

Song Without Words

Title: Song Without Words
By: Sophia Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's wife bore him 13 children. He scribbled his novels in notebooks that only she was able to read so she spent all night copying in a legible hand everything he wrote the previous day...think about THAT the next time you see a copy of WAR AND PEACE. But who was she? Her name was Sophia. She was a photographer and she kept very personal journals which have been translated from the Russian by Leah Bendavid-Val. As revealing as Sophia's journal entries are, her photographs tell us so much more. SONG WITHOUT WORDS is a beautiful combination of journal entries and photographs that reveals the joy and pain of a 48-year marriage in a very keen way. Emotions are sometimes so raw that the reader winces. Sophia's style of photography reminds me of Julia Cameron's but most arresting are two series that she continued throughout her life. She made numerous self-portraits and she took a photograph of herself and her husband every single year on their wedding anniversary. She would meticulously set up the shot and the camera and have someone else snap the shutter. In this book, you can see her talent and skill grow until the very culminates in a stunning image of Sophia and Leo on their 48th anniversary, shortly before he died. This is a not-to-be-missed book for anyone interested in photography, Russia, Tolstoy, or biography.

View similarly tagged posts: history, biography, photography

Posted by Ruby Boggs on June 11, 2009 at 9 a.m.
1 Comment


November 24, 2009 at 9:43 p.m.:

I enjoyed that little bit of history!!

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