7

Notably this isn't the Count's first stroke. It is, in fact his sixth. Doctors have known for centuries that victims of stroke can become constipated and suffer from fecal impaction as a result of loss of muscular function in the colon. This can become highly painful and ultimately will lead to bowel infection. A small dose of a purgative such as Cream of ...


7

I think there is indeed symbolism in Vronsky's bald spot. One of Karenin's chief characteristics is his ears, which is often the first thing people notice of him. Ears are meant for hearing—hearing rumors, gossips, scandalous affairs. Whereas a bald spot is something that people often conceal. It could easily symbolize an adulterous relationship. Consider ...


5

It is indeed end of November in the actual Russian text and all my research so far shows that this is a genuine author's mistake. "Он исписал альбомы девочек стихами и нотами и, не простившись ни с кем из своих знакомых, отослав, наконец, все сорок три тысячи и получив расписку Долохова, уехал в конце ноября догонять полк, который уже был в Польше." At ...


5

It's metaphorical, and examining the context before the passage you cite can illuminate the meaning. I believe the light refers to Anna's outlook on the world, or her interpretation of external events. The book, then, is what she sees outside her--what's happening with & to the average people around her. (I'm working from the Pevear and Volokhonsky ...


4

I believe that there is no reliable answer to your question. He could make this up, or he could hear it from someone or read about it somewhere, we will never know. Tolstoy's wife Sofia Andreevna writes this in her memoirs (my translation from Russian): We have a neighbor, about 50, not rich and poorly educated - N. A. Bibikov. His dead wife's remote ...


4

My guess would be the scene, where Kitty and Levin open their hearts to each other. It fits the description (tr. Constance Garnett). “Ah! I’ve scribbled all over the table!” she said, and, laying down the chalk, she made a movement as though to get up. “What! shall I be left alone—without her?” he thought with horror, and he took the chalk. “Wait a minute,” ...


3

I'll give it a go. I'll start with providing an extended quote from Levin's dialogue with Oblonsky: 'Aristocratism, you say. But allow me to ask, what makes up this aristocratism of Vronsky or whoever else it may be - such aristocratism that I can be scorned? You consider Vronsky an aristocrat, but I don't. A man whose father crept out of nothing ...


3

Sex in Anna Karenina? Whoever put that rating must have had a wild imagination. I'd rather restrict it for drug use. To be serious, Anna Karenina is not suitable for a reader below 18 just because such reader wouldn't understand a thing of what is going on. This applies to most of Tolstoy's writings. Cossacks may be an exception. Just find a good ...


3

Vronsky has learned, earlier that day, that Anna is pregnant. It's obvious that the horse's death is tied to this revelation. The pregnancy, which forces her husband to acknowledge the affair, leads to the breakup of their marriage and further tragedy. Vronsky knows that he caused the horse's injury, and yet he will not admit the reason. His agitation must ...


3

War and Peace is classified as a Novel of Ideas, which are sometimes labeled as Philosophical Novels. Other examples are Voltaire's Candide, and all novels by Goethe and by J.-J. Rousseau. Of course, those three were all philosophers, while Tolstoy is primarily known as a novelist, but he did have his own philosophical perspective, particularly on the ...


2

One of the guilty pleasures of writing is that you create a world where you have absolute power. You place the scenery, you define the people, you make the rules, and you decide who lives and who dies. Whatever you intend for readers to take away from your work, you make specific statements with your plot. In a fairy tale, the hero overcomes obstacles with ...


2

TL;DR: It suited Tolstoy’s theory of history to portray the abandonment of Moscow as inevitable. Tolstoy’s theory of history Tolstoy portrays the decision-making after Borodino in the first four chapters of book 11 of War and Peace. This opens with an essay on the difficulty, or maybe even the impossibility, or determining cause and effect in history. He ...


1

This is quintessential Tolstoy the man, Tolstoy the philosopher. The point is not to judge or second-guess God's actions. He has His own ways, and we can only be sure that He knows everything. The argument is the same as one of those put forth today against death penalty: wrongful convictions do happen, even in the face of 'hard evidence', and when (if!) ...


1

Apraskin is an old Russian noble family. They are not the only real nobles portrayed in the novel, but I couldn't find exactly whom of the Apraskins Tolstoy had in mind. My guess would be Ekaterina Vladimirovna but I don't have anything reliable to back it up.


1

Oblonsky is presented as a person who is everybody's friend. He's not an especially good person, though. He cheats on his wife. He makes a poor deal selling his land. He's not particularly good at his job. The reason he survives is because everyone likes him, but he's not sharp enough (or ruthless enough) to use this likability to his advantage. You probably ...


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