Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy: Anna Karenina

(1764 words)

Anna Karenina was regarded by Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy as his first genuine novel. Arriving midway between Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857) and Fontane's Effi Briest (1895), it stands as perhaps the most prominent nineteenth-century European novel of adultery; but it is, both in reality and in reputation, rather more than that. F.R. Leavis, for example, regarded Tolstoy as “an incomparably representative European” and Anna Karenina as “surely, the European novel”. Other prominent cultural commentators to have singled out this work for special attention include Matthew Arnold, Harold Bloom, D.H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov (who always insisted on anglicising the title slightly, to “…

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Cornwell, Neil. "Anna Karenina". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 June 2004
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6589, accessed 07 October 2015.]