Thursday, March 21, 2013

Putting Anna Down . . .

... was hard to do.  I finally finished Anna Karenina - eventually I did get drawn into the story.  I have some notes up here. Tolstoy does make it hard not to pity/envy Anna a little like Dolly does at the point when she goes to visit Anna and Vronsky at their summer home. Even Levin almost falls in love with her. But also easy to mirror Dolly's final feelings of being sullied by the whole company. The movie captures that feeling a little. But does Tolstoy make their misery more inevitable than it would be in real life? Sad that the moral lesson isn't always so obvious; some adulterous liaisons seem to be happier and healthier than the original marriages.

Watched the movie, too, but wasn't sold on the scene changing device, and Levin's story gets slighted, I think.  I would not have picked that Aaron guy for Vronsky - hard to take him seriously.

What I was sold on was Anna's gowns - they make the ballgowns at our recent Seabee Ball seem so blah - only I don't think Anna would have paraded around with her sleeve slipping off her shoulder. We miss seeing her dignity that she sacrifices to follow Vronsky.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, shame.

As I remember, the relevant detail is that Anna's hair was coming out in little curls on the back of her neck. Perhaps, inadvisedly, the filmmakers thought deshabillee in dress would send that message of abandon. Bad decision. Undecided as to whether I'll do the movie, even supposing that I find my copy of AK and read it first.

I'm also afraid that, being old and sad and lacking hope these days, I might revise my youthful opinion that AK is the best novel, with the most open-eyed and nuanced view of relationships.

Thanks for posting, Emily - I need a kick in the pants to get reading again.