Anna Karenina (Penguin Classics) by Leo Tolstoy

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By Leo Tolstoy

"Anna Karenina" tells of the doomed love affair among the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the rushing officer, count number Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and needs to suffer the hypocrisies of society. Set opposed to an enormous and richly textured canvas of nineteenth-century Russia, the novel's seven significant characters create a dynamic imbalance, taking part in out the contrasts of urban and state existence and all of the diversifications on love and relatives happiness. whereas prior types have softened the strong, and infrequently surprising, caliber of Tolstoy's writing, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have produced a translation real to his strong voice. This award-winning team's authoritative variation additionally comprises an illuminating advent and explanatory notes. attractive, full of life, and eminently readable, this "Anna Karenina" would be the definitive textual content for generations to return. "Pevear and Volokhonsky are right away scrupulous translators and brilliant stylists of English, and their extraordinary rendering permits us, as might be by no means sooner than, to understand the palpability of Tolstoy's 'characters, acts, situations.'" (James wooden, "The New Yorker")

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Sample text

The narrator’s personal attitudes often intrude on the objectivity of his discourse. Sometimes the intrusion is as slight as a single word, a sudden shift of tone, as, for instance, when he adds to the list of those enjoying themselves at the skating rink the ‘old people who skated for hygienic [gigienicheskiy] purposes’. It is the word ‘hygienic’ that Tolstoy scorns, as much as the practice – one of the ‘new’ terms made current by the popularization of medical science in the later nineteenth century.

And the worst of it is that she’s already… It all had to happen at once! Ay, ay, ay! ’ There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious. To become oblivious in dreams was impossible now, at least till night-time; it was impossible to return to that music sung by carafe-women; and so one had to become oblivious in the dream of life. ‘We’ll see later on,’ Stepan Arkadyich said to himself and, getting up, he put on his grey dressing gown with the light-blue silk lining, threw the tasselled cord into a knot, and, drawing a goodly amount of air into the broad box of his chest, went up to the window with the customary brisk step of his splayed feet, which so easily carried his full body, raised the blind and rang loudly.

Matvei put his hands in his jacket pockets, thrust one foot out and looked at his master silently, good-naturedly, with a slight smile. ’ He uttered an obviously prepared phrase. Stepan Arkadyich understood that Matvei wanted to joke and attract attention to himself. Tearing open the telegram, he read it, guessing at the right sense of the words, which were garbled as usual, and his face brightened. ‘Matvei, my sister Anna Arkadyevna is coming tomorrow,’ he said, stopping for a moment the glossy, plump little hand of the barber, who was clearing a pink path between his long, curly side-whiskers.

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