ANNA KARENINA after Five Years...

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
Ilya Efimovich Repin's (1844 - 1930) painting: A Portrait of Tolstoy

I read Anna Karenina five years ago for a book report. I just wanted to read it again. Upon reading the first sentence: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", i remember the feeling of psychedelia, a flash of wave that broke me half: two souls, the life I am leading and the frivolous life that i am trying to put away. It reminds me that there are two kinds of writers. Such is a writer that grows from everything, and such is a writer that condemns growth and relieves himself that he, a vehicle of expression, is the measure of everything that he creates.

Reading Tolstoy is incredibly difficult for a fifteen year old that I was. With no advance lessons on syntagmatics and syntactics, or even a notion of translating a piece of literature from language to language, I scuttle over Anna Karenina like as if it was a literature of meditative trance, a long hum of bees continuously uncovering itself upon me day by day. Upon reaching page 365, i stopped and reflected on what i have achieved, half of Anna Karenina was in me, and i stopped there, and i would dare to open the book again after five years to completely take it in.

I choose to grow.

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My copy is from the old translation by Constance Garnett (above)

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