By Gary Saul Morson
In this invigorating new evaluation of Anna Karenina, Gary Saul Morson overturns conventional interpretations of the vintage novel and exhibits why readers have misunderstood Tolstoy’s characters and intentions. Morson argues that Tolstoy’s principles are way more radical than has been concept: his masterpiece demanding situations deeply held conceptions of romantic love, the method of social reform, modernization, and the character of excellent and evil. through investigating the moral, philosophical, and social concerns with which Tolstoy grappled, Morson reveals in Anna Karenina strong connections with the troubles of this present day. He proposes that Tolstoy’s attempt to determine the realm extra correctly can deeply tell our personal look for knowledge within the current day.
The ebook bargains excellent analyses of Anna, Karenin, Dolly, Levin, and different characters, with a very refined portrait of Anna’s extremism and self-deception. Morson probes Tolstoy’s very important insights (evil is frequently the results of negligence; goodness derives from small, daily deeds) and completes the quantity with an impossible to resist, unique record of 1 Hundred and Sixty-Three Tolstoyan Conclusions.
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Additional info for Anna Karenina in our time
We find moments of lyric ecstasy and tragic despair. The sensation of a young woman at her first ball, of a man lying in wait at a wolf hunt, or of guests at a wedding compete with descriptions of peasant life and the thrill of intellectual discussion. No one, except perhaps Dostoevsky, has ever made ideas so palpable. Still more remarkable, Tolstoy could make ordinary people and everyday life 9 10 Tolstoy and the Twenty-first Century interesting. Not just the heroic Prince Andrei, but also Nikolai Rostov, whom the author accurately describes as "mediocre," compels attention.
We may at last be ready to move beyond God and the world as each is described by the dominant theological tradition and its heirs. Some theologians have embraced a God who exists within time and reacts to events. We may now be ready to do away with substitutes for the traditional God as well. Either way, we would understand the world differently by admitting the contingency on which Tolstoys two great novels insist. Contingency and Presentness Anna Karenina continues and deepens the ideas of War and Peace.
In The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri paraphrases the physiologist Claude Bernard s view that all our so-called free choices are really the result of neurons with little tails. With a slight change of language, the same idea is often repeated today. Nothing happens by chance, there can be no freedom, and contingency simply marks the present limits of knowledge: as knowledge advances, we recognize how the apparently contingent is law-governed. "Science does not permit exceptions," as Bernard famously wrote (GT, 45).
Anna Karenina in our time by Gary Saul Morson