Last class, one thing we briefly discussed was that Tolstoy's short stories and first two novels were remarkably distinct from one another. While Tolstoy does explore some similar themes and ideas in both, the structures and styles are still rather different. His short stories play around much more with their narration and have more of a moral than his novels. He even uses different methods for describing his characters in short stories compared to his novels.
What I find myself wondering is, how intentional was this difference? Obviously an author's short stories and novels will not have the same feel, but they do tend to share several similarities. Was Tolstoy's way of writing his short stories and novels a conscious choice, a result of his novels being so much more expansive than his short stories that the difference was organic, or a mix of the two? It is also possible that this difference is amplified because he had such a long career as a writer and throughout the course of it radically changed as a person, which inevitably impacted his writing. This huge change also came after he wrote his two most famous novels. He did write the novel Resurrection after his transformation, but he wrote far more short stories during this period. Which factor(s) were the most significant part of the distinction between Tolstoy's short stories and his novels War and Peace and Anna Karenina?