10 November 2011

Anna Karenina Part 2

Holy cow, this thing is a tome. Now I know why I haven't tackled it yet. Tonight DS said he's surprised that I'm finding it overwhelming... "How did you feel the first time you read it?"

"The first time? Honey, this IS the first time."

He thought I'd read every book in our home. Maybe every book EVER. I suppose I'm now just a mere mortal.

Analogy: Frou Frou (the horse) is to Anna as a broken back is to a broken life. Frou Frou WANTS to race. Anna WANTS to have a more inspiring relationship than that which she has (or doesn't have) with her insufferable husband. Both Anna and Frou Frou are described as fluttering birds within pages of each other. And Vronsky is the agent of both their suffering. Neither is done with malice; he adores both his mistress and his horse. But both are vulnerable... to him.

Levin: "Why should I worry about medical centers that I'll never use, or schools I'll never send my children to, that the peasants don't want to send their children to either, and in which I have no firm belief that they ought to send them?" (p. 244). Screams of Libertarianism. Ron Paul could have said that yesterday. "I will always defend with all my might those rights that touch on my interests" (p. 246). Yikes. Experts say that Levin is Tolstoy's autobiographical character. No socialism there, so far as I can tell.

So the Book Referees (DS and DH) have offered me a respite with a volume of Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales. I think I need a break from Russian angst.

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