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'Anna Karenina' by Leo Tolstoy

My Book of the Month for January is ‘Anna Karenina.’ This is my second time reading the magniloquent romance for it is quite a lot to take in (Tolstoy can spend four pages describing the craftsmanship and opulence of a chairs back support…) However, I absolutely love the way Tolstoy seemed to understand humans and our desire for immediate passion more than any writer does today; even in a day of immediate and certain gratitude. i.e. The Internet…

He almost places the rural way of living versus the urban. Is one better than the other, or does one lead us astray from who we know we are suppose to be? Does a simple way of life make us simple minded or exactly the opposite? The eight part tale also reveals the political landscape in Imperial Russia with Alexander II and his ‘liberal’ reforms. This insight greatly influences the imagery of Tolstoy’s prose and creates vivd pictures of the estates, clothing, and lifestyles of the almost 12 main characters.

There have been hundreds of thousands of high school book reports written about Anna Karenina and it’s influence certainly cannot be measured. I simply wanted to read it again because of the writer in me. My medium may be different, but love, life, insecurity, and infidelity all remain the same. The two unfolding love stories that take place between Anna, Vronsky, Levin, and Kitty twist and turn and ultimately reveal the truth about passion. It must come from a good place. It must start in the soul and in the heart instead of in the mind and the body.

Here's to the readers...

- Paul

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