Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why I Wasn't an English Major

Unfortunately I've been quite busy with work this week, so I've only read another sixty pages of "Anna Karenina" since my last entry.  I may be with this book for awhile.

So I just re-read the famous opening sentence of this book, and I finally got it:

"Happy families are all alike: every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

When I first read this, on page one, I thought Tolstoy was just talking about Stiva and Dolly, since the book starts off with the description of their marriage falling apart after Stiva had an affair with the family's governess.  Yet, upon re-reading this line, I realized that there are several families in this book, and all of them are unhappy, and yes, they are all unhappy in their own way.  Duh.  It only took me a week and a half with this book to think of that.

Things aren't looking good for Anna at this point in the book.  Not only is she pregnant, but she's told her husband of her affair, and he's ordered her to stop seeing Vronsky and just pretend like nothing's happened, which she finds intolerable.  Also Vronsky appears to be having money problems, and is perhaps not the ideal young man that Anna (and perhaps the reader) thought he was at first.  Uh oh.  And also, speaking of that first page of the book...it starts out with the words  (in italics) "Vengeance is mine: I shall repay".  Yikes...That can't be good.

Anyway, I'm off to read more, although it's late, and that's a problem.  I love reading before I go to bed, and I used to do that all the time as a kid, but now that I'm a middle-aged guy with one foot in the grave, I have a problem, which is that when I lie down on the couch at night and start to read, I find I'm falling asleep three minutes later.  Seriously, I get about 2 or 3 pages and I quickly fade.  I don't want to sleep, I want to read, but I lie down, hold the book up, read a page, and the next thing I know the book's hitting me in the face.  Maybe if I switched from rye whiskey to Irish coffee...?

1 comment:

Amateur Reader said...

"Vengeance is mine" - but whose? If you can figure that out at the end, let me know - it's a puzzle.

I could use an Irish coffee right now.