Part Two Chapter 11
Are you with me? I can hardly even bring myself describe the scene, so please do me a favor and look back at it for yourself.
Yep, that one. For lack of a better description I’ll call it The Beginning of the Affair You remember it, right? Or have you blocked it from your mind as I’m tempted to do?
Possibly the most gut-wrenching, graphic, horrible, detestable, lamentable, grievous, heart-breaking collection of words we’ve read thus far on our list.
But those are the two events that flashed through my mind as the infidelity unfolded. I didn’t connect Anna to Hester or Emma. Despite his trembling jaw I didn’t see a parallel between Vronsky and Arthur. Even the boldness in calculation, pursuit, and patience didn’t draw my mind to Léon or Rodolphe at this moment.
I saw only Bill and Rask.
Certainly this is what Tolstoy wanted. He himself likens his characters to a murderer and corpse. He himself paints blood oozing out of the invisible, yet deep wounds the affair cut into their souls. He himself mixes the language of love and kisses with loathing and axes. He himself turns paramours into accomplices.
Thou shall not murder. Thou shall not commit adultery.
Side by side, as always.