25 April 2011
Anna Karenina Pts. V and VI
April's goal was to get it done before I hopped on a plane for a little trip so that I could take fun books with me on the airplane (Michael Connelly, Lilith Saintcrow and Jim Butcher, anyone?)
Another friend said, "I can't get through it because it's so dark." And I thought, "Dark?" And then we promptly started talking about slogging our way through the unabridged Les Miserables and all those chapters about Waterloo...
But Anna.... I finally realized in this section that the title is really about the daughter, Anna, not Anna Arkadyevitch and I think today that an editor would demand a different title. (Of course an editor today would want graphic sex and Vronsky and Karenin would have had that duel 400 pages ago and the book would be a 1/3 of its length.)
But an editor would excise out all of Levin and Kitty which right now is the part of the story I like. And I get when Tolstoy put them in there. He had to show another couple, other than Anna and Vronsky. I like all the tenderness between them and how Levin is growing into his own from the beginning of the book.
Given the kind of story its been so far, I expect that AK will turn quite tragic in the last 250 pages. People have to start dying. No predictions yet on who it's going to be, but there's no way a book this long can have a happy ending.