"Anna Karenina" in Our Time: Seeing More Wisely / Edition 1

by Gary Saul Morson
     
 

ISBN-10: 0300100701

ISBN-13: 9780300100709

Pub. Date: 12/05/2007

Publisher: Yale University Press

In this invigorating new assessment of Anna Karenina, Gary Saul Morson overturns traditional interpretations of the classic novel and shows why readers have misunderstood Tolstoy’s characters and intentions. Morson argues that Tolstoy’s ideas are far more radical than has been thought: his masterpiece challenges deeply held conceptions of

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Overview

In this invigorating new assessment of Anna Karenina, Gary Saul Morson overturns traditional interpretations of the classic novel and shows why readers have misunderstood Tolstoy’s characters and intentions. Morson argues that Tolstoy’s ideas are far more radical than has been thought: his masterpiece challenges deeply held conceptions of romantic love, the process of social reform, modernization, and the nature of good and evil. By investigating the ethical, philosophical, and social issues with which Tolstoy grappled, Morson finds in Anna Karenina powerful connections with the concerns of today. He proposes that Tolstoy’s effort to see the world more wisely can deeply inform our own search for wisdom in the present day.

The book offers brilliant analyses of Anna, Karenin, Dolly, Levin, and other characters, with a particularly subtle portrait of Anna’s extremism and self-deception. Morson probes Tolstoy’s important insights (evil is often the result of negligence; goodness derives from small, everyday deeds) and completes the volume with an irresistible, original list of One Hundred and Sixty-Three Tolstoyan Conclusions.

 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300100709
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
12/05/2007
Series:
Russian Literature and Thought Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
278
Sales rank:
761,575
Product dimensions:
7.03(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents
Acknowledgments....................xi
List of References and abbreviations....................xiii
Introduction....................1
Chapter One. Tolstoy and the Twenty-first Century....................7
Chapter Two. Dolly and Stiva: Prosaic Good and Evil....................33
Chapter Three. Anna....................55
Introduction to a Contrary Reading....................57
Part One. Anna and the Kinds of Love....................62
Part Two. Anna and the Drama of Looking....................79
Part Three. Anna's Suicide and the Totalism of Meaning....................118
Chapter Four. Levin....................141
Part One. Why Reforms Succeed or Fail....................143
Part Two: Levin's Idea, Its Corollaries and analogues: Self-improvement, Christian Love, Counterfeit art, and authentic Thinking....................168
Part Three. Meaning and Ethics....................197
One Hundred Sixty-Three Tolstoyan Conclusions....................223
Notes....................235
Index....................245

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