anna-k

Some Notes After Reading Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is the first full length Leo Tolstoy novel I read after reading War and Peace six years ago. This is also the first lengthy novel of around a thousand pages that I read after reading Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov three years ago. After Anna Karenina, the only lengthy tome by the 19th Century Russian…

Young Tolstoy

Tolstoy @ 26

I am ugly, awkward, untidy and socially uncouth. I am irritable and tiresome to others; immodest, intolerant and shy as a child. In other words, a boor… I am excessive, vacillating, unstable, stupidly vain and aggressive, like all weaklings. I am not courageous. I am so lazy that idleness has become an ineradicable habit with…

CossackWW2-03

Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad

Leo Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad begins with this now very familiar device of the unnamed first-person narrator who vanishes, replaced in the rest of the text by an omniscient one, after the story’s premises are introduced.* On his way home, the narrator came across this beautiful  thistle plant called “Tartar,” which he plucks with great difficulty:…