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Anna Kareninaby Leo Tolstoy
Synopses & Reviews
This edition, the famous Constance Garnett translation, has been revised throughout by Leonard J. Kent and Nina Berberova.
"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." So begins Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy's great modern novel of an adulterous affair set against the backdrop of Moscow and St. Petersburg high society in the later half of the nineteenth century. A sophisticated woman who is respectably married to a government bureaucrat, Anna begins a passionate, all-consuming involvement with a rich army officer. Refusing to conduct a discreet affair, she scandalizes society by abandoning both her husband and her young son for Count Vronsky--with tragic consequences. Running parallel is the story of the courtship and marriage of Konstantin Levin (the melancholy nobleman who is Tolstoy's stand-in) and Princess Kitty Shcherbatsky.
Levin's spiritual searching and growth reflect the religious ideals that at the time Tolstoy was evolving for himself. Taken together, the two plots embroider a vast canvas that ultimately encompasses all levels of Russian society. "Now and then Tolstoy's novel writes its own self, is produced by its matter, but its subject," noted Vladimir Nabokov. "Anna Karenina is one of the greatest love stories in world literature." As Matthew Arnold wrote in his celebrated essay on Tolstoy: "We are not to take Anna Karenina as a work of art; we are to take it as a piece of life."
From the Hardcover edition.
A magnificent drama of vengeance, infidelity, and retribution, Anna Karenina portrays the moving story of people whose emotions conflict with the dominant social mores of their time.Sensual, rebellious Anna falls deeply and passionately in love with the handsome Count Vronsky.When she refuses to conduct the discreet affair that her cold, ambitious husband (and Russian high society) would condone, she is doomed.Set against the tragic love of Anna and Vronsky, the plight of the melancholy nobleman Konstantine Levin unfolds.In doubt about the meaning of life, haunted by thoughts of suicide, Levin's struggles echo Tolstoy's own spiritual crisis.But Anna's inner turmoil mirrors the own emotional imprisonment and mental disintegration of a woman who dares to transgress the strictures of a patriarchal world.In Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy brought to perfection the novel of social realism and created a masterpiece that bared the Russian soul.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It p
About the Author
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foundation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hardbound editions of important works of literature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torch-bearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inaugurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, a
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