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14 April 2010 @ 10:02 pm
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

I am scared of Tolstoy. I have thrice tried, and failed, to finish War and Peace. So I approached AK with suitable dread, and found...

1. It was super easy to read and follow;
2. It was stupid.

Anna is the biggest douche going, which explained why she married a douche she didn't love and then fell in love with another douche who had a prettier moustache. Yadda yadda yadda the untenable position of the adulteress in society as opposed to the adulterer, but a better book to have written would be the one where the heroine defies social conventions and DOESN'T throw herself under a train because of it.

Oblonsky is a twatsicle of the first water; it was very easy to tell that he's related to Anna. I wanted Levin to SHUT UP ALREADY about his bloody crops and morals and wanting to be a peasant. He didn't want it so much that he gave away all his possessions and lived in a hut, so who cares? Nor did I enjoy reading 17,942 pages about 'Levin and Co's Adventures in Hunting'. THIS HAD NO LITERARY MERIT WHATSOEVER COULD YOU PLEASE SHOW SOME ACTUAL PLOT DEVELOPMENT INSTEAD KTHANXBI. Koznyshev should have manned up and proposed to Varenka. I think that's the one annoying me the most, even a month later.

He even thought that she, who was nothing but an excellent mother of a family, worn-out, already growing elderly, no longer pretty, and in no way remarkable - in fact, quite an ordinary woman - ought to be lenient to him, if only from a sense of justice. It turned out that the very opposite was the case.


"[...] The question is this: when a tuberculous process is suspected, what should be done to nourish the patient?"
"But you know in these cases there is always some hidden moral clause," the family doctor allowed himself to remark with a subtle smile.


She would be indebted to her husband for everything, which was a thing he had always desired in his future family life.

Yes, slavery is such an attractive trait!

He spoke disrespectfully of the education of women in general, and said that Hannah, her little English protegee, did not at all need to know physics.


Unfortunately Tolstoy did have some moments of genius, which is a shame, as I should have liked to roundly condemn him for this execrable 'classic'. But there it is.

Had Constantine been asked whether he liked the peasants, he would not have known what to answer. He both liked and disliked them, just as he liked and disliked all human beings.

He stepped down, avoiding any long look at her as one avoids long looks at the sun, but seeing her as one sees the sun, without looking.

In all he painted and ever had painted he saw defects that were an eyesore to him, the results of carelessness in removing the shell of the idea, which he could not now remedy without spoiling the whole. And in almost all the figures and faces he saw traces of wrappings that had not been entirely removed and that spoilt the picture.

Respect was invented to fill the empty place where love ought to be!


Previously, on Book Glomp 2010:
The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories, Anton Chekhov
I'll take you there, Joyce Carol Oates
Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
The School for Husbands, Moliere
On Green Dolphin Street, Sebastian Faulks
The Famished Road, Ben Okri
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The Sea, the Sea, Irish Murdoch
Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad