I finished reading part 1 of Anna Karenina this week. I’m enjoying it a lot thus far and yet at times I feel a bit discouraged by the length of the book, I’m trying to ignore it though. The reading is absolutely wonderful and a lot different from what I expected. I somehow associated Russian literature with lots of confusion about characters and a use of language that is hard to follow, but Tolstoy does a good job in introducing characters in a manner that make them stand out and thus easy to tell apart.
That being said, I do have a hard time feeling sympathetic for most of the characters. There seems to be an egoistic streak in most of them. I think the character I feel most for right now would be Levin. Somehow the storyline of his pursuit of Kitty and Vronsky’s role in it made me think that is this were a Jane Austen novel we’d be sure to know who would get the girl in the end, and who would end up as the “Mr. Wickham” of the plot. I have a feeling that this might be where this is headed, but as I know next to nothing about the plot, I’m not sure.
I do know that Anna Karenina is supposed to have an affair with someone (who I guess will be Vronsky) and that she ends up commiting suicide by throwing herself before a train. Currently, I have a hard time understanding what attracts Anna Karenina in Vronsky, but maybe his character will turn out to be more worthy throughout the novel? I can’t say I find it likely at the moment though. I’m also highly suspect of his supposed helping of the widow of the man who got killed by a trainaccident: it came across as staged.
As for the scenes that involve the marital life of Stiva and Dolly Oblonsky, I have no particular feelings on that. I do wonder why everyone is so sympathetic towards Stiva, and feels the need to rescue him.