Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tolstoy and epilepsy

I am trying through an interlibrary loan request to borrow a copy of G. V. Segalin's Европатология личности и творчества Льва Толстого (Yevropatologiya lichnosti i tvorchestva Lva Tolstogo), mentioned in Alexander Boot's book, God and Man According to Tolstoy. Segalin is said to have concluded that Tolstoy suffered from "affective epilepsy" characterized by fainting, delirium, hallucinations, and amnesia. What is unclear from what I was able to read in Boot's book in a preview view at Google Books is whether Segalin made this diagnosis after seeing Tolstoy personally, or whether Segalin was relying on the accounts of others. Fingers crossed that the interlibrary loan comes through with a copy for me to peruse - and that my Russian-English dictionary is up to the challenge of a lot of medical terminology.

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