Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

04 Oct

First of all, let me apologize for my blogging, ehem, hiatus.   Trying to adjust this school year has proven challenging.  While I’ve managed to keep up with the reading, blogging has fallen by the wayside.  Thank you blogging partners for picking up the slack.

I’ve been jotting down ideas for posts, but since, as I mentioned, I haven’t actually put fingers to keyboard, I guess I’ll just go back in Anna Karenina time and mention a few thoughts.

Did anyone else enjoy the opening line?   “All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”   Not sure I agree with that, but it did immediately draw me in and and make me think.

I also was struck by the Biblical reference before Part I even begins:  “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”   Now that I’m in Part III, I’m wondering about that one even more.   Is vengeance one of Tolstoy’s main themes?   I haven’t seen much of it yet.   Of course, there is quite a bit of book to go…

A few other “opening” remarks:

1.  I’m finding this MUCH easier reading than Dostoyevsky.

2. “Tolstoy” is much easier to type and pronounce than “Dostoyevsky.”

3.  Is it just me, or are the characters easier to keep straight?   One of my blogging partners suggested it might be because of the more Americanized nicknames such as Dolly, Kitty, and Steve.

Hope you are enjoying this as much as I am!


Posted by on October 4, 2012 in Anna Karenina


6 responses to “Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

  1. Norma carey

    October 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Two favorite Oblonsky quotes (chuckle) – one in which he said, “It’s my own fault…. and yet I am not guilty.” And one attributed to him by the author..”try as he would to be a considerate husband and father, Oblonsky never could remember that he had a wife and children.”

    Speaking of fathers, it seems that Father Knows Best when it comes to Kitty’s father!

    Yes, I do like this novel and the characters are easier to remember. Also find some genuine humor (don’t remember any of that in C/P) and even in serious drama, one needs comic relief.

    Oh and Levin is such a divine romantic!

  2. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    October 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Great to have you back Jeannette! I AM enjoying AK very much. I love the short chapters. They make me feel like I’ve accomplished something even if it’s just one chapter while I’m waiting for a pot of water to boil. The characterization is amazing. Love Tolstoy’s style. AK has substance yet is easy to digest after C&P. Keeping track of all the blushing and flushing that happens in this book has also been fun.

  3. Jeannette

    October 5, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Norma – I like that Oblonsky quote about husband and father too. I really don’t know whether to like or dislike the guy. Adriana – How much blushing and flushing have you found? I’ve noticed quite a bit, but are you actually keeping track? Fun.

    • Adriana @ Classical Quest

      October 5, 2012 at 10:19 am

      So far I’ve found 11 instances of blushing and/or flushing. I’m on Part 3, Chapter 7. I imagine there is quite a lot more blushing and flushing to come!!!

  4. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    October 6, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Jeannette, I just realized my copy has a footnote for “Vengeance in mine, I will repay.”

    “Romans 12:19. Variously interpreted, Tolstoy’s words on this epigraph offer some light. He told Vikenty Smidovich (Russian novelist who wrote under the pseudonym Veresaev) that ‘I selected [it] simply to express the idea that the evil committed by man results in all bitter things that come from God and not from men, as Anna Karenina also experienced it . . .’ “


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