Death of Ivan Ilyich

Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich is required reading for anyone interested in existentialism. We follow the protagonist through the story of his life to discover some startling truths about the meaning of life and the purpose of death. If death is not an event in life, as Wittgenstein maintains, then eternal life belongs to those who live in a fully reconciled present. Ilyich shows us that eternal life is not to be understood in temporal quantitative terms, but rather in qualitative value-laden terms.