My grandpa had an old print of a painting hanging in his garage.
The book floats in some charmed section of the lake of literary opinion where the ripples from modernism and the ripples from Hollywood overlap without merging. It is more admired than learned from. Instead of a barrage of metaphors describing things in terms of other things that they resemble, Lev Tolstoy seeks the precise word for the thing itself.
Instead of the solipsistic modern mode of events being experienced from the point of view of a single character, Tolstoy slips in and out of the consciousness of dozens of characters, major and minor. He likes to show and tell. The teller, the narrator of the book, is a formless, omniscient voice with no elaborate Rothian construct to justify his role.
No first-person or free-indirect speech here. The most powerful passages are those where Tolstoy slows time down to note each thought, gesture and feeling of Anna and her lover Vronsky, with a third entity present — the narrator — not only lodged deep in the two psyches, but standing back to tell us the ways in which one is misunderstanding the other.
To Tolstoy the city is a static, artificial place. No human action is too small to be recorded: The characters are always smiling, frowning, blushing, twitching, fidgeting, touching, kissing, bowing, sobbing, and deconstructing these signs in each other.
They come to us alive with intentionality, describing themselves in movement, waltzing through the ballroom, trudging through the marsh after wildfowl, racing horses, cutting hay. The most odious characters are never beyond momentary redemption, and the most admirable characters must endure patches of vileness.
At this moment of high drama and revelation, two woodcocks fly over, and he forgets about Kitty in the excitement of shooting the birds. But Tolstoy has the confidence to relay these secret moments of unlove, certain — rightly — that by being true to his weakness in one particular instant in time he will make Levin more real and human without poisoning the instants of time to come, when Levin will show himself more like the man he wants to be.
With that gesture, Anna effects a reversal in the status of the two men. In that moment of time, with Anna seemingly dying, the transformation is quite real. But time shifts, and the old reality comes back. Anna gets better and hates Karenin more than ever for his forgiveness.
Vronsky restores his honour by shooting himself he misses. In the novel there are no turning points, only points, and characters travelling through them. The heroine has no childhood. She comes equipped with a son, a dull older husband, a brother, friends, a place in high society, but no past, no younger self.Tolstoy’s first self-proclaimed novel, Anna Karenina, tells the story of the eponymous Russian society woman who, initially trapped by societal conventions, dares to leave her loveless marriage for an illicit love and meets with tragic consequences.
Nov 30, · Anna Karenina () Directed by Clarence Brown Running a brisk minutes, this sumptuous MGM film starred Greta Garbo as Anna, with Basil Rathbone as her husband, and Frederic March as Vronsky.3/5.
It was Anna Karenina that he would regard as his first true novel. Anna Karenina Described by Dostoyevsky and Vladimir Nabokov as ‘flawless’, and by William Faulkner as ‘the best ever written’, Anna Karenina was for many Tolstoy’s greatest novel.
Anna Karenina couldn't be less like a conventional modern novel. Instead of a barrage of metaphors describing things in terms of other things that they resemble, Lev Tolstoy seeks the .
Unhappy families may have been on Leo Tolstoy’s mind when he wrote this line, the first sentence of his novel Anna Karenina, but in reality, his life at age 50 seemed settled and peaceful. Anna Karenina couldn't be less like a conventional modern novel.
Instead of a barrage of metaphors describing things in terms of other things that they resemble, Lev Tolstoy seeks the precise word.