We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy is widely regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time. Among his most notable works are “War and Peace,” “Anna Karenina,” and “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” — all timeless masterpieces of realist literature. His writing has influenced everyone from Virginia Woolf to Martin Luther King Jr.: Woolf considered him a writer of unrivaled ability who could reveal “the most carefully hidden secrets of human nature,” while King was influenced by Tolstoy’s philosophy of nonviolence. Tolstoy himself was inspired by many great writers who had come before him, and he read widely in his relentless search for life’s meaning. The above quote, which expresses the notion that recognizing the limits of our knowledge is the closest we can get to true wisdom, is spoken by Pierre Bezukhov, the central protagonist of “War and Peace” — a character Tolstoy largely based on himself.