Anna Karenina is a good book.

Hi all.

Not strictly Norse-related, but awhile back I was asked to contribute a brief book review on something I’d read recently for the school’s alumni magazine.  Here’s what I turned in:

AK might seem irrelevant to the contemporary reader, much like a slasher movie made obsolete by the advent of cell phones.  After all, the stigma of adultery has somewhat faded, nor are divorces hard to come by.  Yet what keeps the novel’s springs timelessly, tightly coiled is Tolstoy’s painstaking exploration of every character’s psychology, from golden-hearted playboy Stiva to enchanting, self-torturing Anna herself.

But it’s Levin who steals the book, and the reader’s heart, out from under Anna’s nose.  From his first meeting with Kitty to their wedding to his dark night of the soul, Tolstoy gets every moment spot-on, reaching across time to shake the reader’s shoulders and his hand.  If Levin isn’t already the Holden Caulfield of the twentysomething set, he should be.

In other news, I happened to find a used copy of War Music while in Santa Cruz for totally non-book-buying reasons.  A cursory flipthrough tells me that not only am I going to love it, it’s also going to really encourage me to take more risks in my translating.  I can’t wait.

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10 Comments

  1. Meggy said,

    March 15, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Sample responses:

    “Anna Karenina is a horrible book”
    “She’s such a lame-o”
    “Too much farming”
    “It’s so heavy”
    “Why all the names?”

  2. mordicai said,

    March 16, 2010 at 4:26 am

    You are just filled with happy coincidence of late!

    • March 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

      I am a dude of serendipity, no doubt. Have been from way back.

      • Ryan said,

        March 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm

        That’s a 25 point Advantage. What Disad did you take to counter-balance it?

  3. mordicai said,

    March 16, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Also your comment field is asking for my “URI”

  4. Hanna said,

    March 17, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    “Why can’t someone just be named John?”
    “Kitty is a prude.”
    “Get a better divorce attorney.”
    “Too many trains.”

  5. March 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    In response to Ryan, my disad (of which I am currently suffering the ill effects) is that if I order more than one item at a coffee shop, something will be forgotten. Not mistaken, just outright forgotten. Happens literally every time.

    • March 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm

      Dang! Literally 20 seconds after I posted that, my sandwich came! Looks like things are turning around for ol’ Fleitas!

      • Ryan said,

        March 19, 2010 at 6:53 pm

        I’m taking back those points and mandating that you now be a hunchback to make them up!


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