Daily Archives: June 18, 2010

Reading Anna Karenina Part 2

I haven’t updated on my reading of Anna Karenina in a long time. Not because I’m too lazy to write about it, but because it took a long time to finish part 2 of the book. Mind you, I didn’t read slow because I don’t enjoy reading it. It seems that these last weeks in which I was ill and had a lot of course work to finish didn’t leave me with enough time to really sit down and read the book. Most of the time I read one chapter before turning off the light and trying to sleep. And I’ve found out that going through Anna Karenina one chapter at a time doesn’t work for me. I need to be more immersed in the story. So these last few days, despite still being incredibly busy, I reserved at least an hour to read Anna Karenina and it’s working very well. I made lots of progress and I’m enjoying the story more because I don’t need to try to remember what happened three chapters ago during my reading.

I really enjoy reading Anna Karenina thus far. There are certain parts that seem a bit long, especially the ones that discuss farming, but they always end before I can think ‘please move on to a different subject’. I wonder how I’ll deal with the paragraphs on this subject in other parts, but for now I don’t mind them. They’re not my favourite however. There are also paragraphs about religion, which might seem a bit long to others, but I find them very interesting. I have decided that I’m reading the book for the story just now, but I’d love to reread it some time and look at the passages on religion specifically. I’m not sure if there’s more on the subject in other parts of the story, however.

In other news I’ve found out that I am possibly reading the worst translation of Anna Karenina. There are lots of simple spelling or grammar mistakes and some of the sentences are constructed in a very weird manner or simply seem to end halfway. I hope I get to reread it in a different translation sometime, but I guess I had better finish this one first.

As for the characters, **this may contain spoilers for those who have never heard/read (about) Anna Karenina** I am still to fall in love with either Anna or Vronsky. I feel Anna is very selfish, although I admit that she probably finds herself in a marriage that doesn’t allow her much space or feel much love for anyone. Vronsky is the character I find the hardest to understand. I simply cannot see what Anna sees in him. Maybe that will change as I get a closer look at his character throughout the book. It does seem that there’s more attention to showing his side of things in part two. As in part one, I feel most partial to the storylines of Kitty and Levin. Kitty is definitely growing on me. I didn’t much like her in part one, but seeing her go through heartbreak and her trying to find herself in pietism made me grow more fond of her. As for Oblonsky, I’m still not sure what to feel towards him, he seems very stubborn. At this moment I’m mostly curious to find out what will happen with Kitty and Levin and how Karenin will react to Anna’s confession. Like Oblonsky, I’m not sure what to make of Karenin either. On the one hand I feel sympathy towards him, he does seem to care about his wife cheating on him. But then I’m not sure if that’s because he cares for her or for his reputation. If the latter is true, I think I could very well grow to dislike him more than I like him. He seems so eager about his work and reputation and that is getting on my nerves.