Thoughts on ‘Anna Karenina’

I may not be fond of Leo Tolstoy’s definition of art, but I won’t deny that he was talented as a writer- especially not after having finished Anna Karenina, the novel widely regarded as his best work. This book was a long read, but one that I savored (for the most part) rather than slogged through, and though there were some flaws, it makes a beautiful telling of very painful subjects. Continue reading


Tolstoy’s Definition of Art- And Why It’s Wrong

Since this marks my 50th blog post, I decided that in honor of the occasion, I would join the time-honored blogging tradition of using this corner of web space as a soapbox. And to my mind there could be no better way to do this than to posit that Leo Tolstoy, author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina, manages to miss the entire point of art in his definition of the subject.

I should add that this definition, which I’m going to trash in this post of a few hundred or so words, took him nearly fifteen years to develop. Continue reading