Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Our July Discussions!

1886 Edition
Thanks to all for a terrific series of discussions last week.  Many of your comments were tweeted and have been compiled in the previous post, below.  A few other thoughts:

  • The painting section was great - Vronsky as a dabbling aristocrat.  Either you get art or you don't.
  • The question of how to manage people is still relevant.  
  • The English aristocracy is different from the Russian - the English occasionally pretend to care about their servants, the poor, etc.
  • "Women's education gets confused with emancipation." - a favorite quote
  • Levin's brother's death is a demonstration of the differing domains of Kitty and Levin - they each have their work that they will dive into.
  • In Tolstoy's initial creation, Anna was much more fully described; she was overweight, vulgar.  In her permanent incarnation much of the psychological detail has fallen away.  Why?
  • Tolstoy is a writer who can give with one hand and take away with the other.
  • Why did Anna refuse the divorce when it was offered?  Is she wishy-washy?
  • Anna is guilty of using magical thinking (like a child...)
  • And speaking of children, Anna likes the idea of her son more than the real thing.
  • Did Vronsky really attempt to kill himself?  Did he truly want to die?
  • Lidia Ivanovna is a frenemy.
  • Nicholas Levin's partner, Marya Nikolaevna, is pushed aside when Kitty arrives.  
  • And about those moths... they are a distraction, a game, they represent decay, a predatory insect, or perhaps, Tolstoy was writing by candlelight and had moths on his mind.

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