25 April 2011

Anna Karenina Pts. V and VI

I'm through another 300-odd pages of AK and well over the halfway point. I'm feeling confident that I'll finish this book in May, just as planned.

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.

1 comment:

Kelly Schuknecht said...

There are parts about Levin that I like and then parts that I hate - like the entire section about farming (Part 3) and now (within Part 6, I think) an entire section about hunting. But, the Levin/Kitty romance gives a different perspective (or stage?) of love and marriage.

I hope you're right, that something fairly exciting will happen towards the end, but I'm not holding my breath.