Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

April 20-May 25, 2010

1 pm

Teefy Hall, Room 101

Tolstoy’s renowned masterpiece, Anna Karenina (1877), widely considered the greatest novel ever written, is in the same degree the novel of events as it is the novel of ideas. The author presents his reader with a most enchanting read, where he ponders issues to which all of us can relate: love and life, marriage and adultery, masculinity and femininity, search for selfhood and an ardent quest for the meaning of life. In this class we will ponder these issues as we will delve into the intricate world ofAnna Karenina. We will approach this novel through the close reading, which will go parallel to several background mini-lectures presenting the nineteenth-century Russia as well as Tolstoi the artist, religious thinker, and philosopher. 

Readings: Anna Karenina in Richard Peaver and Larissa Volokhonsky translation (Penguin Books, 2004, Oprah’s Book Club). 

For our first class please read Part 1, pages 1-117. 



Class 1, April 20, 2010

Introduction. Tolstoy the artist.

Anna Karenina, Part 1, pages 1-115.


Class 2, April 27, 2010

Anna Karenina, Part 2, pages 117-236.


Class 3, May 4

Anna Karenina, Part 3, pages 237-352 and Part 4, pages 353-436.

Discussion questions


Class 4, May 11

Anna Karenina and Part 5, pages 437-549 and Part 6, pages 551-669.

Discussion questions

Class 5, May 18

Anna Karenina, Part 6 (continued) and Part 7, pages 671-768.

 Discussion questions

Class 6, May 25

Anna Karenina, Part 8, pages 769-817.


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