Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics) by Leo Tolstoy

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 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 the entire diversifications on love and relations happiness. whereas earlier types have softened the strong, and occasionally stunning, caliber of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation real to his robust voice. This award-winning team's authoritative variation additionally contains an illuminating advent and explanatory notes. appealing, lively, and eminently readable, this "Anna Karenina" often is the definitive textual content for generations to come back. "Pevear and Volokhonsky are immediately scrupulous translators and bright stylists of English, and their awesome rendering permits us, as maybe by no means prior to, 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)

Sample text

Yes, Alabin was giving a dinner on glass tables, yes – and the tables were singing Il mio tesoro,1 only it wasn’t Il mio tesoro but something better, and there were some little carafes, which were also women,’ he recalled. Stepan Arkadyich’s eyes glittered merrily, and he fell to thinking with a smile. ‘Yes, it was nice, very nice. ’ And, noticing a strip of light that had broken through the side of one of the heavy blinds, he cheerfully dropped his feet from the sofa, felt for the slippers trimmed with gold morocco that his wife had embroidered for him (a present for last year’s birthday), and, following a nine-year-old habit, without getting up, reached his hand out to the place where his dressing gown hung in the bedroom.

Tolstoy loved to quote this anecdote, which he had heard from the princess herself. II Tolstoy was mistaken when he told Strakhov that the main lines of Anna Karenina were already traced out. In an earlier letter, dated 25 March 1873 but never sent, he spoke even more optimistically about finishing the book quickly. The letter is interesting for its description of what started him writing. For more than a year he had been gathering materials – ‘invoking the spirits of the time’, as he put it – for a book set in the early eighteenth century, the age of Peter the Great.

He was aware that he loved the boy less, and always tried to be fair; but the boy felt it and did not respond with a smile to the cold smile of his father. ‘Mama? Mama’s up,’ the girl replied. Stepan Arkadyich sighed. ‘That means again she didn’t sleep all night,’ he thought. ’ The girl knew that there had been a quarrel between her father and mother, and that her mother could not be cheerful, and that her father ought to know it, and that he was shamming when he asked about it so lightly. And she blushed for him.

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