Shake, Rattle & Toll



The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Ivan, a middle-aged, upper-class, high-stature Russian judge, lives a straightforward posh lifestyle. He doesn't really like his wife, but hey, who's perfect? He is very content to climb on his social ladder.

Well, one day, while on an actual ladder, Ivan slips while trying to hang some fancy new curtains. He injures his side, but brushes away the immediate pain. After suffering in non-silence for a few days, Ivan is forced to have a physician check on the symptoms.

Cause - :shrug:
Prognosis - Certain death.

Distraught that this is his fate after having lived such a "good" life, Ivan starts to loath his family and friends, who don't seem to acknowledge that the death bell is tolling. The impending doom shakes apart how Ivan defined his life. The book continues on in an intense and insightful study of what could go through a person's mind as he or she is reasoning and struggling with the concept of approaching death.

Reading a Tolstoy book is like peering directly into the human mind. You get to feel and experience what Ivan is going through, whether you are OK with that or not. I can only begin to imagine what would go through my head if a doctor told me I'd be on the outs in a couple of months. I've never really been a "self-searching" kind of guy, but I supposed I'd start looking for something, if that were the case.

13 comments:

Indigene said...

Great illustration and post! Quite original!

Shirley said...

Beautifully illustrated! Yes, what a take on the word for the week. You've captured his horrendously shaky tip of the end for poor Ivan. Great post.

ArtSparker said...

Wonderful character.

Denise Gallagher said...

I love it...
from the nose to the shoes!
(and I really dig the color palette)

d

Ann Marie said...

He looks like a very crotchety fellow. Your illustration and post make me curious about reading the book. I want to know if he arrives at a peaceful state before he dies.

justdoodleit said...

Owww! Ivan learns that social climbing is a slippery slope, the hard way!

Connie said...

Fabulous illustration and the text simply inspires me to go order the book from the library for my reading on a long trip we have ahead of us. Thank you!

Connie said...

PS: love the idea of 'booksketch'!

Burt said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments, everyone! If you are interested in reading the book, I suggest that you do. It is quite good!

Dream Painter said...

Wonderful illo! Great style!

Laura Dreyer said...

looks sweet! love the ink work & muted colors

donny* said...

stylin ivan! love the interpretation.

~d said...

I cannot draw. (sad)