• Michael Bunker posted an update in the Book Book logo of The Bunker Russian Lit ClubThe Bunker Russian Lit Club 1 month, 1 week ago

    The way this thing works. This is the only site for the Anna Karenina reading. There are two menus to your right. The far left menu is for Thirdscribe. The second left menu is for this site. The “Forum” is where you post comments, questions, thoughts, ideas, etc. as you read. If people do not post anything, there is really nothing I can do. I am a few days late posting my Part review of Part 1, but other than that I’ve posted almost every day. If you have read Part 1, why not start a thread in the forum with your thoughts or questions? Also, you should be reading Part 2!

    • Sheesh! I just wrote a fairly long comment and touched a wrong key and it all disappeared. I hate computers, but I’m trapped in the 21st century against my will. I’ll try to remember what I wrote. Thanks, Michael, for the clarification re the Lit site for comments. I have to state early on that I’m suspending moral judgements about the characters because they are from a different time and culture, and I am a committed Christian and am not impressed with their way of life. I mean, if I wouldn’t spend 5 minutes with these people in real life, why would I do so in a book I’m reading for pleasure? Unless . . . there is a lesson to be learnt within it. Except for Levin, who I could genuinely like, most of the other characters are various combinations of fatuous, self-absorbed, shallow, boring, with no real purpose other than pleasure seeking. As for Anna, I don’t find her the negative character some have said. She is an intelligent, thinking, elegant and cultured woman living in a society that doesn’t value or encourage that in a female. Women are generally preferred to be attractive, wealthy, very pliant, and forgiving of their husband’s ‘walks on the wild side.’ They exist to bear children and manage the household. And not have opinions outside of that. The problem with that is – after the novelty of sex wears off, most men are bored with a woman with whom they can’t have an intelligent conversation. So they seek out women like Anna, with whom they can have both! Sadly, both men and women are victims in this society for obvious reasons. And finally on Anna, she probably did not marry for love, but was married off with someone ‘appropriate’ to her station in life. Endless pregnancies – there was no birth control – within an unrewarding relationship. . . Does not make for marital fidelity or loyalty. And you can bet old Alexey Karenin wasn’t sitting at home nights playing solitaire. Levin seems to be the only one with character and purpose, a man struggling to fit in a society that doesn’t value the country life for a man in high society. I like him also because we live on 100 acres pretty far from a town and raise sheep and grow olives. I can relate to his feelings about cities. I can’t endure more than 2 days in Perth (the Big Smoke). I find myself becoming aggressive and impatient with too many people and too many cars crammed into close spaces. Overall, I am surprised that I am actually enjoying reading this book, though I am surprised that it is considered by some the best novel ever written. So far, I don’t see why. But it’s early days yet. My comments are based on Part One. Looking forward to seeing how the characters develop. BTW, I got an absolutely beautiful edition of Anna Karenina – from The Book Depository. And it is the Garnett translation you recommended, Michael. I will try to figure out how to get a picture of it posted somewhere on the site.