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Archives > Anna Karenina, Tolstoy, 3Q 2016 seasonal read

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message 1: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Count Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in the Tula province. In 1844 he entered the University of Kazan to read Oriental Languages and later Law, but left before completing a degree. He spent the following years in a round of drinking, gambling and womanizing, until weary of his idle existence he joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean war and after the defense of Sevastopol wrote The Sevastopol Sketches (1855-6), which established his literary reputation. After leaving the army in 1856 Tolstoy spent some time mixing with the literati in St Petersburg before traveling abroad and then settling at Yasnaya Polyana, where he involved himself in the running of peasant schools and the emancipation of the serfs. His marriage to Sofya Andreyevna Behrs in 1862 marked the beginning of a period of contentment centred around family life; they had thirteen children. Tolstoy managed his vast estates, continued his educational projects, cared for his peasants and wrote both his great novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). During the 1870s he underwent a spiritual crisis, the moral and religious ideas that had always dogged him coming to the fore. A Confession (1879–82) marked an outward change in his life and works; he became an extreme rationalist and moralist, and in a series of pamphlets written after 1880 he rejected church and state, indicted the demands of flesh, and denounced private property. His teachings earned him numerous followers in Russia and abroad, and also led finally to his excommunication by the Russian Holy Synod in 1901. In 1910 at the age of eighty-two he fled from home "leaving this worldly life in order to live out my last days in peace and solitude;" he died some days later at the station master's house at Astapovo. (From Penguin Group USA, courtesy of Barnes & Noble.)


message 2: by Dianne (new)

Dianne (deemitchell) I truly hate this book, I've read it 3 times, trying to like it, but anna just annoys me, what does she expect for being unfaithful.... Don't get me started! Suffice to say, i will skip reading this one with you.


message 3: by John (new)

John Seymour Dee wrote: "I truly hate this book, I've read it 3 times, trying to like it, but anna just annoys me, what does she expect for being unfaithful.... Don't get me started! Suffice to say, i will skip reading thi..."

I agree with you about AK, but am still very much enjoying the book. Tolstoy's writing is magical and his evocation of late 19th century Russia is amazing. I much prefer the sections focused on Levin


message 4: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 4207 comments Mod
I am reading it for the second time. Doing it audio and a different translation. I can read Tolstoy but I find his ideas sometimes quite annoying even if he is a good author.


message 5: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Robitaille | 975 comments My edition (a French paperback printed in the 70s) contained quite a few embarrassing typos, including a few occasions where Levin was referred to as Lenin...


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