had been married to a wealthy man of high rank, a very good-natured, jovial, and extremely dissipated rake. Two months after marriage her husband abandoned her, and her impassioned protestations of affection he met with a sarcasm and even hostility that people knowing the count’s good heart, and seeing no defects in the ecstatic Lydia, were at a loss to explain. Though they were not divorced, they lived apart, and whenever the husband met the wife, he invariably behaved to her with the same venomous irony, the cause of which was incomprehensible.
“Ah, if you knew the happiness we know, feeling His presence ever in our hearts!” said Countess Lydia Ivanovna with a rapturous smile.
“But a man may feel himself unworthy sometimes to rise to that height,” said Stepan Arkadyevich, conscious of hypocrisy in admitting this religious height, but at the same time unable to bring himself to acknowledge his freethinking views before a person who, by a single word to Pomorsky, might procure him the coveted appointment.
aware of the beautiful, artless—or perhaps artful, he could not decide which—eyes of Landau fixed upon him, Stepan Arkadyevich [begins] to be conscious of a peculiar heaviness in his head.
The most incongruous ideas were running through his mind. “Marie Sanina is glad her child’s dead…How good a smoke would be now!… To be saved, one need only believe, and the monks don’t know how the thing’s to be done, but Countess Lydia Ivanovna does know…And why is my head so heavy? Is it the cognac, or all this being so strange? Anyway, I think I’ve done nothing objectionable so far. But, even so, it won’t do to ask her now. They say they make one say one’s prayers. I only hope they won’t make me! That’ll be too absurd. And what nonsense she’s reading! But she has a good accent….”
In the bracing Tolstoyan air, the critic, however addicted to analysis, cannot help doubting his own task, sensing that there is something presumptuous and even unnatural, which requires an almost artificial deliberateness of intention, in the attempt to dissect an art so wonderfully integrated…. Such is the astonishing immediacy with which he possesses his characters that he can dispense with manipulative techniques, as he dispenses with the belletristic devices of exaggeration, distortion, and dissimulation…. The conception of writing as of something calculated and constructed—…upon which literary culture has become more and more dependent—is entirely foreign to Tolstoy.
And saying these words, she glanced at her sister, and seeing that Dolly sat silent, her head mournfully bowed, Kitty, instead of running out of the room, as she had meant to do, sat down near the door and hid her face in her handkerchief.
The silence lasted for a minute or two. Dolly was thinking of herself. That humiliation of which she was always conscious came back to her with a peculiar bitterness when her sister reminded her of it. She had not expected such cruelty from her sister, and she was angry with her. But suddenly she heard the rustle of a skirt, and with it the sound of heart-rending, smothered sobbing, and felt arms about her neck. Kitty was on her knees before her.
“Dolinka, I am so, so wretched!” she whispered penitently. And the sweet face covered with tears hid itself in Darya Aleksandrovna’s skirt.
Alabin was giving a dinner at Darmstadt; no, not Darmstadt, but something American. Yes, but then, Darmstadt was in America. Yes, Alabin was giving a dinner on glass tables, and the tables sang Il mio tesoro—not Il mio tesoro, though, but something better, and there were some sort of little decanters on the table, and they were women, too.
Your opinion about Anna Karenina seems wrong to me. On the contrary, I take pride in the architectonics. The vaults are thrown up in such a way that one cannot notice where the link is. That is what I tried to do more than anything else. The unity in the structure is created not by action and not by relationships between the characters, but by an inner continuity.
whether they felt differently, did their loving and marrying differently, these Vronskys and Oblonskys…these fat-calved chamberlains…those juicy, vigorous, self-confident men who always and everywhere drew his inquisitive attention in spite of himself.