January 18, 2011: Anna Karenina

CURRENTLY READING: Netherland by Joseph O’Neill and Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

I’m taking the plunge and starting Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. This book is 817 pages long. Yikes. Expect daily page count to plummet.

Apparently when it comes to Tolstoy (and presumably all 19th century Russian authors?), it’s very important to read the right translation… more on this later. Also, this is another Oprah book club pick. Perhaps she and I have more in common than I previously thought. Hmmmm.

My friend Catherine is my motivator and reading partner (incidentally, she is reading the Constance Garnett translation at 923 pages). If not for Catherine’s urging, I would likely keep shuffling Anna to the bottom of the pile all year. Neither of us has ever read the Russians, a point of tremendous shame at dinner parties for both of us, so as the Russians might say, здесь не идет ничто.

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