By Leo Tolstoy
"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair among the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the speeding officer, count number Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and needs to suffer the hypocrisies of society. Set opposed to an unlimited 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 the entire adaptations on love and relations happiness. whereas earlier models have softened the strong, and occasionally stunning, caliber of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation actual to his robust voice. This award-winning team's authoritative version additionally contains an illuminating advent and explanatory notes. appealing, lively, and eminently readable, this "Anna Karenina" would be the definitive textual content for generations to return. "Pevear and Volokhonsky are right away scrupulous translators and shiny stylists of English, and their impressive 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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Extra resources for Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics)
And in his imagination he again pictured all the details of his quarrel with his wife, all the hopelessness of his position and, most painful of all, his own guilt. ‘No, she won’t forgive me and can’t forgive me! And the most terrible thing is that I’m the guilty one in it all – guilty, and yet not guilty. That’s the whole drama,’ he thought. ’ he murmured with despair, recalling what were for him the most painful impressions of this quarrel. Worst of all had been that first moment when, coming back from the theatre, cheerful and content, holding a huge pear for his wife, he had not found her in the drawing room; to his surprise, he had not found her in the study either, and had finally seen her in the bedroom with the unfortunate, all-revealing note in her hand.
The only notable exceptions, interestingly enough, are Anna and Vronsky. Levin also goes through the same religious crisis that Tolstoy went through while he was writing the novel, and reaches the same precarious conversion at the end. 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.
As Tolstoy worked, he removed virtually all the details of her past, all explanations, all discussion of her motives, replacing them by hints, suggestions, half-tones, blurred outlines. There is a glimpse of Anna’s dark side at the ball in Part One, where she takes Vronsky away from Kitty, but it seems to surprise Anna as much as anyone. There are moments when she does seem ‘possessed’ by some alien power, but they are only touched on in passing. Tolstoy became more and more reluctant to analyse his heroine, with the result that, in the final version, her inner changes seem to come without preparation and often leave us wondering.