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Anna Karenina is definitely one of the most impressive books I know.
I have read it several times and every time I seem to be able to discover something new again.
Of course this has everything to do with my life experience. The first time I read it I still was a teenager and was much impressed by the passionate love between Anna and Wronski. Of course I could completely understand why she left her husband to stay with the great love of her life.  The romantic parts of the novel impressed me most as a youngster and obviously the  more philosophical texts I could not fully grasp and to be honest they I didn’t try very hard either. Love is a so much more interesting subject at that age.

A couple of years later I read Anna again because while having an interesting conversation with some friends the books happened to be discussed and there were parts I just did not remember having read anymore. I re-read the book with a much different view. What interested me most now were Tolstoys political ideas that are integrated in the story. At that time I was in my twenties and very idealistic. I supported Tolstoys ideas about proletarism. The love story between Anna and Wronski was less interesting.

Only a short while ago I overheard an interview on the radio with a writer. The funny thing is that I do not remember who the writer was and the only thing I do remember is that he spoke so passionate about Anna Karenina and Tolstoy and in particular about the love of Anna and Wronski.  He said this story gave him so much inspiration that he had written a new book himself after having read Tolstoy. When the interview was finished I walked to my bookshelf to look for  the book, where was it? I was in desperately need for some inspiration myself and the way this writer was talking about the story startled me again.

This marvelous novel does inspire one and give you a desire to re read all the books by Tolstoy and the other great Russian writers…
This third time I read it I finally could deeply understand the true love story going on between Anna and Wronski and has empathy for Anna’s feelings and despair.  Every single time it was exciting to read again.
I think this is great and it shows the excellence of his writing, even after so many years the topic is still actual and it almost seems nothing really changes in live. Love is love and desire is desire, no matter in which age we live or under which circumstances…

“In our day marriage is only a violence and falsehood”
Leo Tolstoy

Monique Lucy Weberink

July 2011

Painting by Ivan Kramskoy

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