At this time I began to write, from vanity, greed, and pride. In my writings I did exactly as in life. In order to possess the glory and the wealth for whose sake I wrote, it was necessary to conceal the good, and to display the bad. And so I did.
Tolstoy's autobiographical essay is a dissection of his soul, a study of his life's movement away from the religious certainties of youth, and a vital piece of reading which contextualizes the great works he is best known for. Marking the point at which his life moved from the worldly to the spiritual, Tolstoy's philosophical reassessment of the Orthodox faith is a work that holds vital spiritual and intellectual importance to this very day.