Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Anna Karenina By Leo Tolstoy

Well it's over, I'm done, I have finally finished the depressing Anna Karenina. I know my vocabulary has grown. Try saying these ten times fast:
Insouciance - casual lack of concern; indifference
Denouement- the final part of a play, etc.
Erroneousness - wrong; incorrect 
Polemical - controversial, engaging in disputation, a person who argues
Beatifically- blissfully happy; 'smiling beatifically'

I absolutely loved reading in four different languages, with easy to access annotations for translations in English. There were sentences and phrases kept in German, French, and Russian throughout the novel. I enjoyed seeing the parallels of Russian society in the 1800's, and how some things still haven't changed. The human condition of emotion is still rampant all over the world.

I could empathize with moments of desperation through the main character, Anna Karenina, but I can say with certainty that she's not someone I'd ever like to meet, unless I was a certified psychologist. (She's one mean, lonely, crazy woman). Levin and Kitty gave me warm fuzzy moments with their strained romance, every touch and thought was meaningful. 

But, not everything in life is warm and fuzzy, so of course, just as in life, there was suicide, infidelity, births, and deaths. A part of me wishes I had stopped at part four, for a Hollywood type ending, but I was committed to making it through all eight parts. I think it would have been more enjoyable to read it alongside someone else to discuss each part, as originally intended, but I'm glad I've finally seen what all the fuss was about.

There were too many quotes I enjoyed to share them all, which reminds me that it is a classic for a reason. I look forward to watching the movie now, and putting classic Russian literature behind me, at least for now. It was a beautifully told story, with the truth of the subtle and sensitive inner thoughts that everyone can empathize with, but I think I'll stick to my usual genres of business, biographies, modern fiction, and magic realism.


  1. A shallow review by obviously someone with limited vocabulary. The last paragraph the only meaningful one

    1. I think had it not been recommend to me by so many people as their favorite book, than I may have given it a better review. Also if I had read it when I was sixteen, I might have seen more of the romance in it, however it has the same controlling "I can't live without you" helplessness that the Twilight saga has, and I just can't condone that.
      How did you stumble upon my blog?

  2. Your last paragraph was meaningful. There is much to learn from reading the classics. Immense pleasure as well