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Why should you read Anna Karenina?

Soon Netflix will release new TV series on “Anna Karenina” novel by Tolstoy, so it is perfect time to read this magnificent masterpiece. Fortunately, it is not Keira Knightley who is going to star as Karenina this time. Oh, well… Here are a few other reasons to read this book now:

  1. Mastery of human psychology – Leo Tolstoy knows about heroes more than they know about themselves. His prose is psychological and deep.
  2. Ethics and morale of Tolstoy – the novel is written to express Tolstoy’s evolving views on ethics, morale and meaning of life.
  3. Exploration of existential questions. Tolstoy explores the questions of love, death and spirituality. He demonstrates a true love of Levin and Kitty and fake passionate love between Karenina and Vronsky. True love according to Tolstoy is based on sacrifice and spirituality.
  4. Historical precision and life in 19th century Russia. The novel portrays the vanity of noble class life in Russia.
  5. Autobiographical elements. Levin is in fact an alter ego of Tolstoy; thus, we can learn more about the legendary writer by reading the novel.
  6. Stream of consciousness. Tolstoy is the first writer to use the so-called stream of consciousness writing method to depict complex thoughts and feelings of heroes.
  7. Beautiful language of the novel. The author uses stunning metaphors, epithets and symbolism.
  8. A perfect novel. Nabokov in his book “Lessons on Russian Literature” calls Tolstoy the first and best Russian writer of all time.

2 thoughts on “Why should you read Anna Karenina?”

    1. Thanks, Emma! Yep, “Lectures on Russian Literature” is a great book, although I do not totally agree with how Nabokov criticises Dostoevsky there. Another good read about Tolstoy is “Leo Tolstoy: critical lives” by Andrei Zorin. It is a great biography of Tolstoy, with a few references to “Anna Karenina” and other novels.


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