Last week I shared that I was embarking on a fun reading adventure of the classic novel, Anna Karenina with my friend. As of now, I am on page 325, which puts me into part 3 of the book,(out of 7 parts). Let’s just say this week of readings was a mixture of surprise, disappointment and boredom.
First of all, let me say this: I. AM. SHOCKED!
Anna revealed to Vronsky (her lover) that she is pregnant with their child. Now let me explain why I was so astounded to read this in part 2 of the story. Earlier on when Tolstoy mentioned Anna (who is a married woman in high society Russia) and Vronsky were spending a lot of time together, I just assumed they continued to meet at private gatherings amid other society people, like the ones her friend Princess Betsy was hosting. I was a bit disappointed to read of the hand holding, exchanging of looks, igniting feelings of love, etc. I wanted some details – you know, the tearing off petticoats, sweaty bodies romping underneath lace eyelet sheets, ducking into closets so as not to be discovered, heavy panting and kissing sort of thing. But then I remembered: This book is more than over 150 years old. There were certain ways delicate topics had to be referred to. I’m wondering if a woman had written this book would there be more of this detail? As I have not read other classics written by women from that time period, I can’t say for sure. Just to let you know I wasn’t looking for Jackie Collins, but I needed more love affair details to suspect physical intimacy, which would of course lead me to wonder if the result of their infatuation could result in a pregnancy.
I was also surprised when Anna told her husband, Karenin, that she loved Vronsky so soon in the book. Now what? There are still a lot of pages left to read. What else is left?
Well, there are the characters of Kitty and Levin. I do hope the rest of the book does not continue in the slow, monotonous fashion of a day in the life of Levin. I nearly fell asleep from boredom while reading the chapters chronicling Levin’s attempt to both avoid his half-brother and work like a peasant for one day. There was way too much detail about mowing and tools and laying about in the tall grass. I would have much preferred details of Anna and Vronsky laying about in the tall grass if you know what I mean?
And then there is poor Kitty. So young and confused about life. But weren’t we all confused about life when we were 18 without the added stress of being a princess? She needs to toughen up like the Scherbotsky she is (again I’m thinking of Robin Scherbostsky from How I Met Your Mother.)
So dear readers who have swallowed this tome of Tolstoy already, were any of you surprised when you read Anna was pregnant? Were you hoping for sensational details of her affair with Vronsky? Were there moments when you felt bored and wished you could just skip a chapter?
Until next week.