By Leo Tolstoy
"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair among the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the rushing officer, count number Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and needs to undergo the hypocrisies of society. Set opposed to an enormous and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven significant characters create a dynamic imbalance, taking part in out the contrasts of urban and kingdom existence and all of the adaptations on love and kinfolk happiness. whereas prior models have softened the powerful, and infrequently stunning, caliber of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation real to his strong voice. This award-winning team's authoritative variation additionally comprises an illuminating advent and explanatory notes. appealing, lively, and eminently readable, this "Anna Karenina" may be the definitive textual content for generations to come back. "Pevear and Volokhonsky are instantaneously scrupulous translators and bright stylists of English, and their fabulous rendering permits us, as maybe by no means ahead of, to understand the palpability of Tolstoy's 'characters, acts, situations.'" (James wooden, "The New Yorker")
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Additional info for Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics)
The following passages suggest how closely Tolstoy modelled Levin’s spiritual struggle on his own. The first is from Part Eight of Anna Karenina: ‘Without knowing what I am and why I’m here, it is impossible for me to live. And I cannot know that, therefore I cannot live,’ Levin would say to himself… It was necessary to be delivered from this power. And deliverance was within everyone’s reach. It was necessary to stop this dependence on evil. And there was one means – death. And, happy in his family life, a healthy man, Levin was several times so close to suicide that he hid a rope lest he hang himself with it, and was afraid to go about with a rifle lest he shoot himself.
His criticism prompted an interesting reply from Tolstoy, in a letter dated 27 January 1878: Your judgement of Anna Karenina seems wrong to me. On the contrary, I am proud of my architecture. But my vaults have been assembled in such a way that the keystone cannot be seen. Most of my effort has gone into that. The cohesion of the structure does not lie in the plot or in the relations (the meetings) of the characters, it is an internal cohesion… look well and you will find it. In a letter to Strakhov some two years earlier he had already raised the question of this hidden cohesion: In everything or almost everything I have written, I have been moved by the need to bring together ideas that are closely knit, in order to express myself, but each idea, expressed separately in words, loses its meaning, is enormously impoverished when removed from the network around it.
The children should be pitied. Apologize, sir. No help for it! After the dance, you must pay the…’ ‘But she won’t receive me…’ ‘Still, you do your part. ’ ‘Well, all right, go now,’ said Stepan Arkadyich, suddenly blushing. ’ He turned to Matvei and resolutely threw off his dressing gown. Matvei was already holding the shirt like a horse collar, blowing away something invisible, and with obvious pleasure he clothed the pampered body of his master in it. III After dressing, Stepan Arkadyich sprayed himself with scent, adjusted the cuffs of his shirt, put cigarettes, wallet, matches, a watch with a double chain and seals into his pockets with an accustomed gesture, and, having shaken out his handkerchief, feeling himself clean, fragrant, healthy, and physically cheerful despite his misfortune, went out, springing lightly at each step, to the dining room, where coffee was already waiting for him, and, next to the coffee, letters and papers from the office.