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ALBERUNI'S INDIAAround the World in Seventy-two days

Anna Karenina
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Anna Karenina

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Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy



Count Leo Tolstoy lived a life full of contradictions, conflicts and uncertainty. And this is clearly reflected in his writings. Baptized an Orthodox, into a life of privilege and wealth in Czarist Russia in 1828, his young adulthood is best summed up with his own words from his book Confession:
I cannot recall those years without horror, loathing, and heart-rending pain. I killed people in war, challenged men to duels with the purpose of killing them, and lost at cards; I squandered the fruits of the peasants' toil and then had them executed; I was a fornicator and a cheat. Lying, stealing, promiscuity of every kind, drunkenness, violence, murder – there was not a crime I did not commit … Thus I lived for ten years.
Tolstoy succeeded in making these contradictions within him and his life meet to form a captivating confluence in Anna Karenina. Written during a critical period when the Russian public life was split between orthodoxy and liberalism, between cultural nationalism and the modern values of rationalism and secularism, this is arguably Tolstoy's greatest work. This modern epic, inspired by a real life incident of a mistress committing suicide, deals with some important issues like politics, love, sexuality, marriage. Anna, whose main quality is her strength of emotion, which eventually serves as the basis for her cataclysmic downfall, is contrasted with another leading character, Levin, who ultimately finds happiness through himself. The novel traces the trajectory of a tale of love and adultery, addressing the grand debates in contemporary Russian society. The story is breathtakingly opaque and layered, due mainly to Tolstoy's ability to weave almost everything and everyone together into a tapestry.



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