I am very interested to know from Russian speakers about their attitude towards Tolstoy's language. When I read any of his work, whether it is his extended writing or short stories, the words he use strike me as being still contemporary and commonplace, as if it could have been written today. Certainly the elevated, aristocratic theme of his works could not be considered reflective of contemporary discourse, but the vocabulary by which he expresses them seems to be.
I am curious about this, because it has an influence on what I'm inclined to read. To some extent my choice of literature is based on pleasure and I read what I like, however, I don't want to be inundated with too much outdated vocabulary. I want what I'm reading to bear a resemblance to what a Russian speaker might speak today. I think it's good to read eclectically to a certain extent, but I want to know what classic Russian writer's vocabulary is closest to the lexicon of most Russian speakers in the present.