Monday, July 28, 2008

Musings on Anna Karenina

When Mark Twain was asked what book taught him how to write, he replied "Anna Karenina, Anna Karenina,, Anna Karenina".

I add to the list Miss Havisham's wedding cake.

It seems that Tolstoy, as urban legend has it, was writing a book with Levin has his protagonist, since Levin was a mirror image of himself.

Then one day he and the missus were reading the morning paper over breakfast and found a small blurb about a married woman who threw herself under a train because of her lover.

This fascinated Tolstoy. as he discussed it with his wife, over toast and coffee. What would drive a woman to such despair she would throw herself under a train?

That woman was reborn as Anna.

I was train spotting long before Irvine Welsh wrote his book in 93. I never jumped, but I was fascinated by the trains.

Blame it on my father. When I was five he bought me a Lionel train set complete with a locomotive that blew smoke.


Again, I am not suicidal. Just fascinated. I haven't train spotted since my last relationship ended. I am afraid to, it's too close for comfort.

I just know I am tired, I am weary. I could sleep for 1000 years, with apologies to Lou Reed. I just want to go to sleep for 1000 years, and wake up iike Fry in futureama in a better place, even though since I read RUR, robots scare me.


jessi said...


hoping you will next soon think of trains as a means to transport you to, like, a nice holiday destination.
I don't mean to make light of the situation, because I know weary and worried. Do sleep. I hope you will take a nice walk afterwards. If I may say so...

You have been through very, very much. It just scares me to think of being in the position you were in, being unable to move or take care of yourself. It takes time to process experiences like that. A lot of time. Sleep may be a way to recover.

Love and hugs, jessi

susan said...

Jessie, I was in Amsterdam once, and it was beautiful. So was the train I took to the Hague and Deflt.

I spent my 41st birthday at the Van Gogh museum pouring over every painting, much to my husband's chagrin.

Beautiful place you live in. Someday I will be back. I need a holiday.

Marissa Miller said...

Boo! Did I now just read the end to Anna Karenina?

susan said...

Marissa, no, not reallly. The book is really Levin's, Anna is just number 2 in it.

It's long , not a beach read, but I learned a lot about writing style from it.

btw, I love your blog. I just found it this past weekend.

Marissa Miller said...

Ah, gotcha. Thanks!

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