Anna Karenina. February 17, 2020

So much has been written about Anna Karenina, I won’t even try to say something smart. I’ll just say that yes, it’s as good as everyone says. As with War and Peace, I was initially not very pleased with following a bunch of nobles around, but I quickly became fascinated with every character. (including Levin, who makes for some of the least exciting chapters. His whole thing with peasants is the only part I think would benefit from some more editing.) Tolstoy’s unique ability to imprint his many characters’ psyches directly into my brain continues to surprise and impress me.

Now I’m looking forward to reading the vast literature around this masterpiece. Apparently Tolstoy eventually came to hate writing it and only finished it for financial reasons. I can’t imagine what we’d have gotten had he put his mind fully into it…