2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Find a Professional
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Advertise on Piano World

Who's Online Now
54 registered members (clothearednincompo, Elboe, AB99, Abdol, akc42, CyberGene, ebonykawai, AWilley, 13 invisible), 464 guests, and 308 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords & Scales
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2937522 01/23/20 11:18 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
I have a couple of early comments that I just wanted to post before I forget them:

Do not read until nearly finished with the first unit. I'll put it in a spoiler just in case.

First of all, I found it interesting that the novel starts with the disastrous relationship between Stiva and Dolly. It really made me not like either character that much. The blame of course would have to go to Stiva, but Tolstoy didn't make me feel pity towards Dolly rather than indifference thus far. Stiva is said to have redeeming qualities, such as being personable and well liked, but I didn't find much likeable about him. He's self centered and willing to throw out his wife for a "younger, updated model" while his wife bears him children and ages as one would expect.

Next, the usage of different names had me a little confused, although I now remember the name chart TS posted above. Levin, I like. He's nice, warm, and unconsumed by materialism and status. The fact that he was a good skater gave him a little nice touch, as though he had a spark that was previously missing.

Great quote (at least in my translation), "That cannot be... forgive me" was Kitty's answer to the wedding proposal. I feel so sorry for her that she is fooled into thinking she has another suitor, when she really only has another player after her.

Next point, when Kitty's father says to the princess, "Well, you'll remember my words, but too late, just as with Dolly." At first I didn't realize that Dolly was Stiva's wife Dolly, and that Kitty and Dolly were sisters, but looking back, it becomes all the more relevant and touching. Perhaps Kitty's father's assessment of the suitors was right on track.

Now to Anna - very captivating, I have a crush on her just from reading about her, and she's surely a very, very old lady by now wink. And fictional! Tolstoy's description of her captivating persona is well done. It's not simply her beauty, but the way she looks at the person with whom she is conversing, her attentiveness, is alluring. Even when speaking with Dolly, she exhibits this trait. It's a trait I admire, and very few possess it to that degree. Tolstoy must have had some very alluring figures in his life from which to model her after.

Anyway, Anna charms Vronsky unintentionally (she cannot help it), and she realizes and even feels bad about it. But she likes him too, and just can't avoid conversing with him at the ball. I can see where this is going, and it isn't anywhere good!

Finally, one more quote from the text that I think was telling, "Kitty looked into his face (Vronsky), which was so close to her own, and long afterwards - for several years after - that look, full of love, to which he made no response, cut her to the heart with an agony of shame". You know she realized she had just made a big mistake.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2937733 01/23/20 07:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
TomLC Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
I am pretty far ahead of you it seems, so I don't want to say too much. I will suggest that your opinion of Anna may change soon. Her husband Alexi, though, is without love for his wife or his son. Tolstoy is really good at demonstrating that people are not just good, or bad. Or all the time the same.


[Linked Image]
Novice with a Novus.....?
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2940929 01/31/20 10:14 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
There was an interesting passage in the beginning of Book 2 about Anna and her shadow, with a reference to the story of The Shadow by Grimm. I looked it up, and couldn't find anything, but did come across this interesting and spooky story by Hans Christian Anderson called The Shadow, described further in Wikipedia here.

It is worth reading; short and very thought provoking. It's almost about the battle within a single man of good vs evil, id vs superego, in which the id wins, written prior to Freud's analysis.

The other interesting feature is the apparent mistaken reference, attributing the story to Grimm rather than HCA. I read a source discussing this, unsure if it was intentional or unintentional.

Thoughts?


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2940958 01/31/20 12:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
TomLC Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
Interesting that this is referenced is your version. In mine, this passage is in the first page of Part one, Chapter XXX. Without the reference you mention. I read it again after reading Andersons story. Do you think the shadow “passing under her feet” was hers, or Vronsky’s?
Either way, it could signify the moment she feels a change in herself, and her “bad” side takes control. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.


[Linked Image]
Novice with a Novus.....?
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2940972 01/31/20 01:15 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
Here is the passage
Quote

“The great change is that she brought back with her the shadow of Alexey Vronsky,” said the ambassador’s wife.
“Well, what of it? There’s a fable of Grimm’s about a man without a shadow, a man who’s lost his shadow. And that’s his punishment for something. I never could understand how it was a punishment. But a woman must dislike being without a shadow.”
“Yes, but women with a shadow usually come to a bad end,” said Anna’s friend.


I just found it on the net, but I’m not home so I don’t have the chapter number. It was at Princess something’s dinner party, around the 5th or 6th chapter (guess) of the second book.


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941081 01/31/20 06:40 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
TomLC Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
Yes, I found it. Guess I just forgot Glad you r reminded me. wink


[Linked Image]
Novice with a Novus.....?
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941152 02/01/20 01:26 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 187
DutchTea Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 187
Hello everyone. I've been invited to join in this discussion of Anna Karenina. I read the book a few years ago. Maybe more than a few! Even though I know the ending (most people probably do), I'm looking forward to delving into the characters more. I have this on my Kindle, but I just bought a hard copy today. I'm one of those who still likes to feel a real book in my hand.

I've got a lot of catching up to do. Tomorrow will be a great day to put in a few hours of reading. A couple cups of tea and a good book. What more could anyone want?

Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941157 02/01/20 01:57 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
Welcome to the party, DutchTea! Enjoy!


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941305 02/01/20 11:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 356
D
dumka1 Offline
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 356
I have time only for a quick comment now. Great discussion of the shadow image. Indeed, the wrong attribution of the shadow story to the Grimm brothers' tales is intriguing. Amy Mandelker has an interesting book, Framing Anna Karenina, available online (a somewhat unconventional feminist reading of the novel):
https://ohiostatepress.org/books/Complete%20PDFs/Mandelker%20Framing/Mandelker%20Framing.htm

In this chapter she talks about the shadow motif, including the episode Craig just quoted (starting on p. 145), with references to Andersen and other sources:

https://ohiostatepress.org/books/Complete%20PDFs/Mandelker%20Framing/09.pdf

As for Anna's charm that Craig mentioned earlier, a lot of this (in addition to her physical beauty, compassionate nature, and pleasant, lively manners) seems to come from the light shining in her eyes, that vital force which she is trying to suppress but which is still breaking through. This is how Vronsky sees her for the first time on the train station (and the readers, too, as this is her first appearance in the novel).

Speaking of their first encounter, I always found it fascinating that, while talking to Kitty and Dolly about having met Vronsky, Anna doesn't mention the fact that Vronsky gave money to the family of the killed man there. "For some reason," as Tolstoy puts it, it was unpleasant for her to recall that episode, as if there was something in it that had to do with her and that was inappropriate. Of course, deep inside she knows that Vronsky did that to impress her, that he was already attracted to her but she does not want to acknowledge it yet, to confront in consciously, and just doesn't mention it. What is unsaid is always psychologically significant in Tolstoy; in this case, it signals her moral discomfort with the whole Vronsky situation even before the actual affair began.

Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941317 02/01/20 12:03 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
L
LarryK Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
I just want to say that I’ve started the book.

My only comment is, well, hello Dolly!


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941346 02/01/20 01:15 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content OP
9000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Originally Posted by LarryK
I just want to say that I’ve started the book.

My only comment is, well, hello Dolly!

I know I bring too much of my contemporary western sensibilities into my reading, but I feel sorry for Dolly. That she loves Stiva so and is utterly crushed by his affair with Mlle. Roland, yet for him, he just wants to return back to the day when his family was happy and functioning well, and he could romance all the pretty young ladies he came across without any fear his wealthy wife would catch him out.

BTW, Larry, you should post that little Twitter joke you showed me about English, German and Russian novels. So good! laugh


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941357 02/01/20 01:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
L
LarryK Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
I just want to say that I’ve started the book.

My only comment is, well, hello Dolly!

I know I bring too much of my contemporary western sensibilities into my reading, but I feel sorry for Dolly. That she loves Stiva so, yet for him, he just wants to return back to the day when his family was happy and functioning well, and he could romance all the pretty young ladies he came across without any fear his wealthy wife would catch him out.

BTW, Larry, you should post that little Twitter joke you showed me about English, German and Russian novels. So good! laugh


Yes, I also feel sorry for Dolly. She’s given everything to this guy, bore him five living children, and two dead ones, and he has his head turned over amorous feelings for a former governess. The human heart wants what the human heart wants, but still, it’s a sad state of affairs.

In modern times, couples didn’t have servants to serve as buffers. In Russia, a lot of young couple had to live with parents, something that had to have contributed to the divorce rate.

Anyway, here is a quote I found on Twitter. Thanks for reminding me, TS.

British novel: let's go to a party and find a wife.
German novel: let's go to the wilderness and find ourselves.
Russian novel: let's go to the depths of despair and then find out there is an even deeper level of despair we didn't know about and go there.

Last edited by LarryK; 02/01/20 01:32 PM.

Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941359 02/01/20 01:38 PM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
cmb13 Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
Silver Level
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 3,696
Lol cute like it


Steinway A3
Boston 118 PE

YouTube

Working On
Chopin Nocturne E min
Bach Inventions

"You Can Never Have Too Many Dream Pianos" -Thad Carhart
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: LarryK] #2941468 02/01/20 06:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content OP
9000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Originally Posted by LarryK
In Russia, a lot of young couple had to live with parents, something that had to have contributed to the divorce rate.

There is a lot going on behind the infidelity statistics in 21st-century Russia.


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941483 02/01/20 07:17 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
L
LarryK Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
Online Content
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,491
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
In Russia, a lot of young couple had to live with parents, something that had to have contributed to the divorce rate.

There is a lot going on behind the infidelity statistics in 21st-century Russia.


Interesting. When Mark Twain was asked about polygamy, he replied, no man can serve two masters. That's how I feel about infidelity. Twain went on to state that it made a lot more sense for women to have multiple husbands than it did for men to have multiple wives. He talked about some island tribes where a female monarch had no trouble having many husbands. The quotes on this page explain his reasoning: http://www.twainquotes.com/Sex.html

Last edited by LarryK; 02/01/20 07:20 PM.

Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: DutchTea] #2941511 02/01/20 08:06 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content OP
9000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Originally Posted by DutchTea
Hello everyone. I've been invited to join in this discussion of Anna Karenina. I read the book a few years ago. Maybe more than a few! Even though I know the ending (most people probably do), I'm looking forward to delving into the characters more. I have this on my Kindle, but I just bought a hard copy today. I'm one of those who still likes to feel a real book in my hand.

I've got a lot of catching up to do. Tomorrow will be a great day to put in a few hours of reading. A couple cups of tea and a good book. What more could anyone want?

Welcome DutchTea!


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941523 02/01/20 08:25 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
TomLC Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
Welcome Cathy. This is my first time reading this book. And W&P was the first time. I didn't think I would like either of these. I am a prolific reader of novels. Most of my favorite authors have been American or British. So I am really glad this piano forum introduced me to these great novels. I'm further ahead and so I do not want to comment too much until someone else does. I will say that of all the main characters,I find Levin the most interesting.


[Linked Image]
Novice with a Novus.....?
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: DutchTea] #2941560 02/01/20 10:07 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content OP
9000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Originally Posted by TomLC
It seems to me that the only way one knows Anna is the main character in part one, is because the book is named after her. It could be any of the characters we meet in the beginning. As you read further on it may appear that Vronsky is the main character.

Vronsky never seemed to me to be the main character. For me, the way the novel starts, it's Levin who seems like the main character from the moment he appears in Part I Chapter V.

Originally Posted by TomLC
You may not like Anna because she fell in love. Already married and a mother. However, did she marry Alexei for love? Or because he was considered the best match?

Spoiler from Part V:
Since we are supposed to be finished with Part 1 today, Part 2 on the 15th, and so on, I'm going to put all my discussions of revelations later in the novel inside spoiler tags with a note before this which says which Part the spoiler is from, starting with this one!

So we find out a bit later that Anna's marriage with Karenin was entirely arranged. From P&V, Part V, Chapter XXI, p. 507:
Quote
During [Karenin's] governorship, Anna's aunt, a rich provincial lady, had brought the already not-so-young man but young governor together with her niece and put him in such as position that he had either to declare himself or to leave town. Alexei Alexandrovich had hesitated for a long time. There were then as many reasons for this step as against it, and there was no decisive reason that could make him abandon his rule: when in doubt, don't. But Anna's aunt insinuated through an acquaintance that he had already compromised the girl and that he was honor-bound to propose. He proposed and gave his fiancée and wife all the feeling he was capable of.

For me, this is in sharp relief with what the Princess Shcherbatsky is thinking in Part I, Chapter XII, p. 44:
Quote
The old princess herself had married thirty years ago, with her aunt as matchmaker. The fiancé, of whom everything was known beforehand, came, saw the bride, and was seen himself; the matchmaking aunt found out and conveyed the impression made on both sides; the impression was good; then on the appointed day the expected proposal was made to her parents and accepted. Everything happened very easily and simply. At least it seemed so to the princess. But with her own daughters she had experienced how this seemingly ordinary thing-giving away her daughters in marriage-was neither easy nor simple. So many fears had been lived through, so many thoughts thought, so much money spent, so many confrontations with her husband when the older two, Darya and Natalya, were being married! Now, as the youngest one was brought out, she lived through the same fears, the same doubts, and had still greater quarrels with her husband than over the older ones. The old prince, like all fathers, was especially scrupulous about the honour and purity of his daughters; he was unreasonably jealous over them, and especially over Kitty, who was his favourite, and at every step made scenes with his wife for compromising their daughter. The princess had already grown used to it with the first two daughters, but now she felt that the prince’s scrupulousness had more grounds. She saw that much had changed lately in the ways of society, that the duties of a mother had become even more difficult. She saw that girls of Kitty’s age formed some sort of groups, attended some sort of courses, freely associated with men, drove around by themselves, many no longer curtsied, and, worse still, they were all firmly convinced that choosing a husband was their own and not their parents’ business. ‘Nowadays girls are not given in marriage as they used to be,’ all these young girls, and even all the old people, thought and said. But how a girl was to be given in marriage nowadays the princess could not find out from anyone. The French custom-for the parents to decide the children’s fate-was not accepted, and was even condemned. The English custom-giving the girl complete freedom-was also not accepted and was impossible in Russian society. The Russian custom of matchmaking was regarded as something outrageous and was laughed at by everyone, the princess included. But how a girl was to get married or be given in marriage, no one knew. Everyone with whom the princess happened to discuss it told her one and the same thing: ‘Good gracious, in our day it’s time to abandon this antiquity. It’s young people who get married, not their parents; that means the young people should be left to arrange it as they can.’ It was fine for those who had no daughters to talk that way; but the princess understood that in making friends her daughter might fall in love, and fall in love with someone who would not want to marry or who was not right as a husband. And however much the princess was assured that in our time young people themselves must settle their fate, she was unable to believe it, as she would have been unable to believe that in anyone’s time the best toys for five-year-old children would be loaded pistols. And therefore the princess worried more about Kitty than she had about her older daughters.

Anna was married to Karenin in exactly the way that was already considered passé at that time. And not only that, Karenin was not even given a chance. He was roped by Anna's aunt into what almost amounted to a "shotgun marriage" through insinuations that were essentially slander and calumny. That he didn't love Anna - well he did try to make the best of a bad situation and he gave everything he had to give - it was just not that much.


Originally Posted by TomLC
I am in Chapter 25, part two and feeling sorry for all of the characters! They are messed up bunch. I like Levin the best. He seems like the nicest, honest, and down to earth person in the book.

My favorite character is Levin. Levin was modeled after Tolstoy himself. The thing I don't like about Levin is his moralizing - it's unkind. Part I, Chapter XI, p. 41:
Quote
‘Well, you must excuse me. You know, for me all women are divided into two sorts ... that is, no ... rather: there are women and there are ... I’ve never seen and never will see any lovely fallen creatures, and ones like that painted Frenchwoman at the counter, with all those ringlets-they’re vermin for me, and all the fallen ones are the same.’ (Levin)

‘And the one in the Gospels?’ (Oblonsky)

‘Oh, stop it! Christ would never have said those words, if he’d known how they would be misused. Those are the only words people remember from all the Gospels. However, I’m not saying what I think but what I feel. I have a loathing for fallen women. You’re afraid of spiders and I of those vermin. You surely have never studied spiders and don’t know their ways: it’s the same with me.’(Levin)


Originally Posted by cmb13
Yes it’s getting better as I near the end of the first part. I’ll post more this weekend.

Although some consequential events happen in Part I such as Kitty turning down Levin's proposal, and Anna and Vronsky's building relationship, I think most of Part I is setting the tone for the rest of the novel.

Originally Posted by cmb13
I have a couple of early comments that I just wanted to post before I forget them:

Do not read until nearly finished with the first unit. I'll put it in a spoiler just in case.

I took off the spoiler tags since your spoilers were essentially embargoed until today! grin

Originally Posted by cmb13
First of all, I found it interesting that the novel starts with the disastrous relationship between Stiva and Dolly. It really made me not like either character that much. The blame of course would have to go to Stiva, but Tolstoy didn't make me feel pity towards Dolly rather than indifference thus far.

That's interesting. I did feel sorry for Dolly. But she is not fully a 3-dimensional character like Stiva, in the way that Tolstoy portrayed her. I feel like he didn't flesh her out since she is simply one of the foils for the other characters (mainly Stiva and Anna).

Originally Posted by cmb13
Stiva is said to have redeeming qualities, such as being personable and well liked, but I didn't find much likeable about him. He's self centered and willing to throw out his wife for a "younger, updated model" while his wife bears him children and ages as one would expect.

But in many ways, Stiva is who he is. There really is nothing hidden. And everyone liked him. You don't like him as much as his associates like him because you disagree with his morality. Stiva is not a particularly deep character, unlike his sister. He is extremely shallow, which is why I find this very ironic (Part I, Chapter I, p. 2):
Quote
She - this eternally preoccupied and bustling and, as he thought, none-too-bright Dolly...

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Originally Posted by cmb13
Next, the usage of different names had me a little confused, although I now remember the name chart TS posted above.

It's all the diminutives and patronymics in Russian names. BTW, the use of these names can also be significant. Among the upper classes, a wife might use the patronymic when addressing her husband when she is being ironic or annoyed for example, like a mother using a middle name when addressing a child. But we saw that this is different among the poor. An example of these class distinctions is Part I, Chapter XXIV, p. 86:
Quote
Some gentleman's here, Nikolai Dmitrich, she said.

Nikolai Levin's wife refers to him with a patronymic (also a more idiomatic version of his patronymic which is "Dmitrievich") and he refers to her with the diminutive, "Masha".

Originally Posted by cmb13
Levin, I like. He's nice, warm, and unconsumed by materialism and status. The fact that he was a good skater gave him a little nice touch, as though he had a spark that was previously missing.

The skater thing underscored how for Levin, if it was worth doing, it was worth doing well, and how he would pour all his energies into his interests and passions. There were no halfway measures. For example, if Kitty wouldn't marry him, well then he wasn't going to look for second best, he was simply not going to get married at all.

Originally Posted by cmb13
Great quote (at least in my translation), "That cannot be... forgive me" was Kitty's answer to the wedding proposal. I feel so sorry for her that she is fooled into thinking she has another suitor, when she really only has another player after her.

P&V changes the quote only by one word:
Quote
It cannot be... forgive me.

Partly, she is fooled because her mother, the princess is also fooled and trying to arrange a marriage without arranging a marriage. The sad thing is that even at this point, Kitty clearly loves Levin, but allows her practical mind to do her thinking for her. Part I, Chapter XIII, p. 47:
Quote
‘That it depended on you,’ he repeated. ‘I wanted to say ... I wanted to say... I came for this ... that ... to be my wife!’ he said, hardly aware of what he was saying; but, feeling that the most dreadful part had been said, he stopped and looked at her.

She was breathing heavily, not looking at him. She was in ecstasy. Her soul overflowed with happiness. She had never imagined that the voicing of his love would make such a strong impression on her.

Her soul wasn't overflowing with happiness because someone made a proposal. Her soul overflowed with happiness because clearly, even then, she loved Levin although she tried to not allow herself to.

Originally Posted by cmb13
Next point, when Kitty's father says to the princess, "Well, you'll remember my words, but too late, just as with Dolly." At first I didn't realize that Dolly was Stiva's wife Dolly, and that Kitty and Dolly were sisters, but looking back, it becomes all the more relevant and touching. Perhaps Kitty's father's assessment of the suitors was right on track.

Yes, I think Kitty's father was right all along. It's interesting that after Levin's failed proposal, Tolstoy doesn't even allow us a moment of thinking that Kitty and the Princess might be right and Kitty's father wrong. Just after the Princess prays that "Lord have mercy," we read (Part I, Chapter XVI, p. 56):
Quote
If he could have heard what her parents said that evening, if he could have taken the family’s point of view and learned that Kitty would be unhappy if he did not marry her, he would have been very surprised and would not have believed it. He could not have believed that something which gave such great and good pleasure to him, and above all to her, could be bad. Still less could he have believed that he was obliged to marry her.

BTW, I'm going to gratuitously take this time to mention that we have a flat just 3 km from the home where Tolstoy met real life Kitty - that is, where Tolstoy met Praskovya S. Scherbatovaya, on whom he based his character Kitty!

Originally Posted by cmb13
Now to Anna - very captivating, I have a crush on her just from reading about her, and she's surely a very, very old lady by now wink. And fictional! Tolstoy's description of her captivating persona is well done. It's not simply her beauty, but the way she looks at the person with whom she is conversing, her attentiveness, is alluring. Even when speaking with Dolly, she exhibits this trait. It's a trait I admire, and very few possess it to that degree. Tolstoy must have had some very alluring figures in his life from which to model her after.

I think it is telling that Tolstoy does not describe a classically beautiful woman, but one who is alluring on other levels, perhaps spiritually (Part I, Chapter XVIII, p. 61):
Quote
Vronsky followed the conductor to the carriage and at the door to the compartment stopped to allow a lady to leave. With the habitual flair of a worldly man, Vronsky determined from one glance at this lady’s appearance that she belonged to high society. He excused himself and was about to enter the carriage, but felt a need to glance at her once more-not because she was very beautiful, not because of the elegance and modest grace that could be seen in her whole figure, but because there was something especially gentle and tender in the expression of her sweet-looking face as she stepped past him. As he looked back, she also turned her head. Her shining grey eyes, which seemed dark because of their thick lashes, rested amiably and attentively on his face, as if she recognized him, and at once wandered over the approaching crowd as though looking for someone. In that brief glance Vronsky had time to notice the restrained animation that played over her face and fluttered between her shining eyes and the barely noticeable smile that curved her red lips. It was as if a surplus of something so overflowed her being that it expressed itself beyond her will, now in the brightness of her glance, now in her smile. She deliberately extinguished the light in her eyes, but it shone against her will in a barely noticeable smile.

This stresses how Vronsky's first impression of Anna was something more than just beauty - something inside of her that he was seeing.

Originally Posted by cmb13
Anyway, Anna charms Vronsky unintentionally (she cannot help it), and she realizes and even feels bad about it. But she likes him too, and just can't avoid conversing with him at the ball. I can see where this is going, and it isn't anywhere good!

I felt as if Anna felt like she had won a contest. She enjoyed his attention, but I am not sure she "likes" him yet at that point.

Originally Posted by cmb13
Finally, one more quote from the text that I think was telling, "Kitty looked into his face (Vronsky), which was so close to her own, and long afterwards - for several years after - that look, full of love, to which he made no response, cut her to the heart with an agony of shame". You know she realized she had just made a big mistake.

Yes, no doubt about it. And I can't help but feel like she deserved it just a little bit.

Originally Posted by TomLC
I am pretty far ahead of you it seems, so I don't want to say too much. I will suggest that your opinion of Anna may change soon. Her husband Alexi, though, is without love for his wife or his son. Tolstoy is really good at demonstrating that people are not just good, or bad. Or all the time the same.

I agree completely! Regarding Alexei, see my spoiler above!

Originally Posted by TomLC
Interesting that this is referenced is your version. In mine, this passage is in the first page of Part one, Chapter XXX. Without the reference you mention. I read it again after reading Andersons story. Do you think the shadow “passing under her feet” was hers, or Vronsky’s?
Either way, it could signify the moment she feels a change in herself, and her “bad” side takes control. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

Hmmm, I don't see what you are referring to in Part I Chapter XXX.

Originally Posted by dumka1
As for Anna's charm that Craig mentioned earlier, a lot of this (in addition to her physical beauty, compassionate nature, and pleasant, lively manners) seems to come from the light shining in her eyes, that vital force which she is trying to suppress but which is still breaking through. This is how Vronsky sees her for the first time on the train station (and the readers, too, as this is her first appearance in the novel).

Yes, like there is something shining out of her she can only partly suppress. It seems spiritual to me. Like she has some sort of spirituality and the light coming out of her eyes are symbolism for spirituality.

Originally Posted by dumka1
Speaking of their first encounter, I always found it fascinating that, while talking to Kitty and Dolly about having met Vronsky, Anna doesn't mention the fact that Vronsky gave money to the family of the killed man there. "For some reason," as Tolstoy puts it, it was unpleasant for her to recall that episode, as if there was something in it that had to do with her and that was inappropriate. Of course, deep inside she knows that Vronsky did that to impress her, that he was already attracted to her but she does not want to acknowledge it yet, to confront in consciously, and just doesn't mention it. What is unsaid is always psychologically significant in Tolstoy; in this case, it signals her moral discomfort with the whole Vronsky situation even before the actual affair began.

This is a great point! I was just say above that I don't think Anna's early behavior (like at the party) reflected that she really like or was attracted to Vronsky, but this incident with the money would suggest otherwise. So do you think she was conscious of liking him or it was all subconscious.

Originally Posted by DutchTea
Hello everyone. I've been invited to join in this discussion of Anna Karenina. I read the book a few years ago. Maybe more than a few! Even though I know the ending (most people probably do), I'm looking forward to delving into the characters more. I have this on my Kindle, but I just bought a hard copy today. I'm one of those who still likes to feel a real book in my hand.

I've got a lot of catching up to do. Tomorrow will be a great day to put in a few hours of reading. A couple cups of tea and a good book. What more could anyone want?

It is exactly this way for me - read a long time ago so I remember the film adaptations of the novel (including the one with the delightful Ms. Kiera Knightley) better than the novel. This time around, I just started yesterday and finished Part 1 just now. I had meant originally to really study this time a few characters. Anna, of course. And that of Vronsky and Levin.

I'm reading in the Kindle app my iPad and highlighting in color how Tolstoy characterizes each of them and introduces them. It's very interesting because, for example, it made me notice that Tolstoy does not introduce Anna as a physically beautiful woman, but more as someone with spiritual attributes, as I mentioned above.

Originally Posted by TomLC
I'm further ahead and so I do not want to comment too much until someone else does.

You could go ahead and comment and just use spoiler tags ("[spoiler]" before the spoiler and "[/spoiler]" after the spoiler) as I did above after identifying the part the spoiler comes from.

Originally Posted by TomLC
I will say that of all the main characters,I find Levin the most interesting.

Same!


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2941696 02/02/20 10:20 AM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
TomLC Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 1,333
Quote
Hmmm, I don't see what you are referring to in Part I Chapter XXX.j


Page 102
Quote
The huddled shadow of a man slipped under her feet, and there was the noise of a hammer striking iron.

Quote
She turned and in the same moment recognized the face of Vronsky. Putting his hand to his visor, he bowed to her and asked if she needed anything, if he might be of service to her. She peered at him for quite a long time without answering and, though he was standing in the shadow, she could see, or thought she could see, ..... but now, in the first moment of meeting him, she was overcome by a feeling of joyful pride


Maybe I am way off here. Yet, the moment his shadow slipped under her feet she changed from “good” to “bad” and became his servant.


[Linked Image]
Novice with a Novus.....?
Re: Anna Karenina - Tolstoy [Re: TomLC] #2941729 02/02/20 11:50 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Tyrone Slothrop Online Content OP
9000 Post Club Member
OP Online Content
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,561
Originally Posted by TomLC
Yet, the moment his shadow slipped under her feet she changed from “good” to “bad” and became his servant.

Could it have been a process vs. instant? For example, back at the ball, Part I, Chapter XXIII, p. 83:
Quote
In the middle of the mazurka, repeating a complicated figure just invented by Korsunsky, Anna came out to the middle of the circle, took two partners and called another lady and Kitty to her. Kitty looked fearfully at her as she walked up. Anna, her eyes narrowed, looked at her and smiled, pressing her hand. But noticing that Kitty’s face responded to her smile only with an expression of despair and surprise, she turned away from her and began talking gaily with the other lady. ‘Yes, there’s something alien, demonic and enchanting in her,’ Kitty said to herself.

...and the next day, in Part I, Chapter XXVIII, p. 97:
Quote
‘Yes,’ Anna went on. ‘Do you know why Kitty didn’t come for dinner? She’s jealous of me. I spoiled ... I was the reason that this ball was a torment for her and not a joy. But really, really, I’m not to blame, or only a little,’ she said, drawing out the word ‘little’ in a thin voice.

‘Ah, how like Stiva you said that!’ Dolly laughed.

Anna became offended.

‘Oh, no, no! I’m not like Stiva,’ she said, frowning. ‘I’m telling you this because I don’t allow myself to doubt myself even for a moment.’

But the moment she uttered these words, she felt that they were wrong; she not only doubted herself, but felt excitement at the thought of Vronsky, and was leaving sooner than she had wanted only so as not to meet him any more.

‘Yes, Stiva told me you danced the mazurka with him, and he ...’

‘You can’t imagine how funny it came out. I had only just thought of matchmaking them, and suddenly it was something quite different. Perhaps against my own will I ...’

She blushed and stopped.

It seems that Anna was already turning even then, perhaps only subconsciously, but if it was only subconsciously, then her subconscious was also disturbing her conscious mind (re: feeling excitement @ the thought...).


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Page 2 of 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Moderated by  Piano World 

Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Musician's Hand Sanitizer available in our online store (and our Maple Street Music shop in Cornish Maine). Antibacterial, 62% ethyl alcohol. Hand Sanitizer for Musicians
Tons more music related products in our online store!
(ad)
Pianoforall
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
World Piano Day livestream
by Tyrone Slothrop - 03/28/20 12:42 PM
YouTube : DeutscheGrammophe
by Pianoperformance - 03/28/20 11:12 AM
Piano meetup pandemic recital
by KevinM - 03/28/20 11:06 AM
Stephen Hough and Covid 19
by gooddog - 03/28/20 09:54 AM
Rust spots on strings
by Deltajockey - 03/28/20 08:30 AM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics197,744
Posts2,939,629
Members96,385
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers


 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2019 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3