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Anna Karenina (Barnes & Noble Classics) [Paperback]

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Item Specifications...

Pages   803
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 2" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Barnes & Noble Classics
ISBN  1593080271  
EAN  9781593080273  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
Vladimir Nabokov called Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina “one of the greatest love stories in world literature.” Matthew Arnold claimed it was not so much a work of art as “a piece of life.” Set in imperial Russia, Anna Karenina is a rich and complex meditation on passionate love and disastrous infidelity.

Married to a powerful government minister, Anna Karenina is a beautiful woman who falls deeply in love with a wealthy army officer, the elegant Count Vronsky. Desperate to find truth and meaning in her life, she rashly defies the conventions of Russian society and leaves her husband and son to live with her lover. Condemned and ostracized by her peers and prone to fits of jealousy that alienate Vronsky, Anna finds herself unable to escape an increasingly hopeless situation.

Set against this tragic affair is the story of Konstantin Levin, a melancholy landowner whom Tolstoy based largely on himself. While Anna looks for happiness through love, Levin embarks on his own search for spiritual fulfillment through marriage, family, and hard work. Surrounding these two central plot threads are dozens of characters whom Tolstoy seamlessly weaves together, creating a breathtaking tapestry of nineteenth-century Russian society.

From its famous opening sentence—“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”—to its stunningly tragic conclusion, this enduring tale of marriage and adultery plumbs the very depths of the human soul.
Amy Mandelker, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is the author of Framing Anna Karenina: Tolstoy, the Woman Question, and the Victorian Novel and coeditor of Approaches to Teaching Anna Karenina.

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More About Leo Tolstoy, Constance Black Garnett & Amy Mandelker

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy Lev Nikolaevich (Leo) Tolstoy (1828–1910). Russian novelist, reformer, and moral thinker

Tolstoy was born at Yasnaya Polyana, the Tolstoy family estate a hundred miles south of Moscow, on August 28. He died on November 20 at a nearby railroad station, having fled in the night from an increasingly contentious marriage and a set of familial relationships that had been hardened in large part by Tolstoy's attempts to apply his radical moral beliefs to his own life. In the intervening eighty-two years Tolstoy became perhaps the most prominent novelist in an age and place of great authors as well as a vociferous critic of science and modernization.

Tolstoy's international fame rests primarily on two novels, War and Peace (1865–1869) and Anna Karenina (1875–1877). His fictional works also include short masterpieces such as "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" (1886), "The Kreutzer Sonata" (1889), and "Master and Man" (1895). In addition he wrote autobiographical accounts of his childhood (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth[1852–1857]) and his experiences as a soldier in the Crimean War (Sevastopol Sketches [1855]). With regard to issues of science, technology, and ethics Tolstoy's most relevant writings include a variety of short, passionate non-fiction works, particularly "What I Believe" (1884), "What Then Must We Do?" (1887), "On the Significance of Science and Art" (1887), "What Is Art?" (1898), and "I Cannot Be Silent" (1908), all of which address a confluence of moral and intellectual errors he perceived in modern life and thought at the turn of the twentieth century.

Like his contemporary Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), whom he never met, Tolstoy was broadly concerned with the spiritual future of the human race. He attempted to confront the gradual movement away from traditional values with an almost Aristotelian emphasis on the permanent relationships of things, promoting the universality of natural and religious values of love and labor to which he believed the human heart responds. Although the West now knows him as the writer of large and perhaps infrequently read novels, his influence on writers and political dissidents such as Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (b. 1918) has been enormous, and his thought provides resources for ethical assessments of science and technology that have not yet been explored fully.

Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy was born in 1828 and died in 1910.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Good buy  Sep 16, 2008
This book was in excellent condition and the price was unbeatable given that the book was practically brand new.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy   Jun 10, 2008
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Oprah's Book Club: 'Anna Karenina' by Russian Victorian author Count Leo Tolsoty.
Sense of Self  Jul 25, 2007
Sense of Self

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"

- Leo Tolstoy from Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina is a beautifully written novel about three families: the Oblonskys, the Levins, and the Karenins. The first line hints at Tolstoy's own views about happy and unhappy marriages having these same three families also represent three very different societal and physical locations in Russia in addition to distinctly different views on love, loyalty, fidelity, happiness and marital bliss.

Tolstoy seems to stress that `trusting companionships" are more durable and filled with happiness versus "romantic passion" that bursts with flames and then slowly; leaves ashes rather than a firm, solid foundation to build upon.

It is like reading a soap opera with all of its twists and turns where the observer is allowed to enter into the homes, the minds and the spirits of its main characters. The moral compass in the book belongs to Levin whose life and courtship of Kitty mirrors much of Leo Tolstoy's own courtship of his wife Sophia. Levin's personality and spiritual quest is Tolstoy's veiled attempt at bringing to life his own spiritual peaks and valleys and the self doubts that plagued him his entire life despite his happy family life and the fact that he too found love in his life and a committed durable marriage. At the other end of the spectrum is Anna, who also because of her individual choices and circumstances, falls into despair.

It is clear that Tolstoy wants the reader to come away with many messages about the sanctity of marriage, love and family life. He also wants us to be mindful of the choices that we make in life and the affect that these choices have upon ourselves, our station and path in life as well as the affect upon those that we profess to love. Tolstoy also wants us to examine what makes our lives happy or not; and what is at the root of either end result. Levin and Kitty are the happiest married couple; yet Levin faces his own double bind when struggling against domestic bliss and his need for independence on the other hand and how to achieve both (if that is possible) without relinquishing that which made him who he was born to be.

Anna Karenina and Konstantin Levin are the primary protagonists in the novel and both are rich and fine characters in their own right. Both of them focus on self; one however finds the self to be a nurturer which puts value into life very much as a farmer; while the other views self with despair and as a punisher or destroyer. Both views, diametrically opposed, force the characters on very different paths and lives for themselves. Then there is the dilemma of forgiveness versus vengeance. The very epigram for the novel from Romans states: "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." Yet vengeance upon oneself or others is not up to individuals but God; and yet the characters are haunted about what forgiveness is or isn't and by the hollowness of words versus heartfelt and soulfully reflective actions. The themes of social change in Russia, family life's blessings and virtues and farming (even if it is simply the goodness one puts into life and how one cultivates it and others) dominate the novel's landscape. Trains also play a symbolic importance in the novel and it is odd that Tolstoy himself years after writing Anna Karenina dies himself in a train station after setting off from his home in an emotional cloud.

Sometimes the names of the characters themselves can be confusing: so a hint to the reader might be to think of each Russian character's name as having three parts: the first name (examples here are for Levin and Kitty) like Konstantin or Ekaterina, a patronymic which is the father's first name accompanied by a suffix which means son of or daughter of like Dmitrich (son of Dmitri) or Alexandrovna (daughter of Alexander) and then the surname like Levin or Shcherbatskaya. Thus the explanations for the Ekaterina Alexandrovna Shcherbatskaya (nicknamed Kitty) and Konstantin Dmitrich Levin (Levin).

I loved the book and its details and the richness of the characterizations as well as the storytelling technique of the great Tolstoy and I have to agree with Tolstoy when he stated, "I am very proud of its architecture-its vaults are joined so that one cannot even notice where the keystone is. " The vaults: "Anna and Levin" are joined with the very first line of the novel and with their focus on themselves.

Rating: A


Anna Karenina (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) (Barnes & Noble Classics)
"I will punish him and escape from everyone and from myself.."  Jun 28, 2007
The classic of all classics.

I really like this translation - it was easy to understand, and the 40 pages of endnotes gave helpful and relevant historical information. I was most interested in Anna and Vronsky's relationship, although I didn't mind Levin's intense philosophical ideas too much. I felt sorry for Dolly and Karenin. I tried to hate Stiva but he's a likeable character in spite of his faults.

I used to regard Anna as more of a heroic individualist, a feminist. Daring to break society's strict rules so she could go after what she wanted. But she becomes more pathetic towards the end, and the reader probably feels sorry for her (as I did). Her insecurity irritated me sometimes, and she played immature games with Vronsky that he knew nothing about. For example, when she told a servant to tell him that she was in bed with a headache, she thought to herself, "If he comes in spite of what the maid says, it means that he loves me still. If not, it means that all is over..." I used to think in that way when I was younger, but it was such a waste.

Still, I regard Anna as one of my favorite literary characters. She is a miserably unhappy woman. She does not have her son, she doesn't love her daughter, she can't go out (while Vronsky can, of course), she has an overactive imagination about what Vronsky's doing. Vronsky says he cannot live without her, yet he is busy wandering about Moscow or Petersburg much of the time.

She feels humiliated that she can't live without him. She "lowered herself" to be with him. I know women do this today, and it only ends up hurting, even killing, them. I wish some of Anna's so-called friends in society would have accepted her, comforted her. Instead, she retreats inside her mind far too much, becoming very irrational and unstable. To depend on one person for your happiness is unwise and unfortunate. Her inevitable breakdown has been forever immortalized by the last scenes and her last thoughts:

"Where am I? What am I doing? What for?"

P.S. This massive story of unhappy families is adapted very well by Masterpiece Theater - Anna Karenina (2000).
An account of the "experience"  Nov 27, 2005
I was always a kid who liked to read classics. Something about their hefty size and worldwide acclaim made me feel secure that I was going to have the time of my life sitting in my room devouring them. So...when I was in the 7th grade, I decided to tackle "Anna Karenina", namely because I had little experience with Russian novels and the title was so much fun to say. However, in my copy (translated by David Magarshack, the Signet Classic edition) the very plain language put me off right from the start. For example: "Everything was in confusion in the Oblonsky household. The wife had found out that the husband had had an affair with their French governess and had told him that she could not go on living in the same house with him." (second paragraph, chapter 1) The novel, (my copy was 940 pages), soon became an ardous chore to read. I had weathered other lengthy volumes, but this one proved too much for me. It took me months to finish, and when I did, I decided that I would be a failure in life, because I could never boast having read "War and Peace" if I couldn't stand Tolstoy's style.

I am convinced that my reaction to "Anna Karenina" was not at all normal (after all, the back of my copy does label it "the greatest novel of the nineteenth century"), but I would like to provide my personal opinion nonetheless: this Tolstoy tome is not what I would term a "pleasure novel", and I would suggest that perservering through the entire thing if you find it rather boring in the beginning is unecessary.

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