PUSHKIN HOUSE RUSSIAN BOOK CLUB: ANNA KARENINA, WITH DR ROSAMUND BARTLETT AND DR RACHEL POLONSKY

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At its simplest, Anna Karenina is a love story. It is a portrait of a beautiful and intelligent woman whose passionate love for a handsome officer sweeps aside all other ties - to her marriage and to the network of relationships and moral values that bind the society around her. The love affair of Anna and Vronsky is played out alongside the developing romance of Kitty and Levin, and in the character of Levin, closely based on Tolstoy himself, the search for happiness takes on a deeper philosophical significance.

One of the greatest novels ever written, Anna Karenina combines penetrating psychological insight with an encyclopedic depiction of Russian life in the 1870s. It creates an intricate labyrinth of connections that is profoundly satisfying, and deeply moving.

Rosamund Bartlett's major new translation conveys Tolstoy's precision of meaning and emotional accuracy in an English version that is highly readable and stylistically faithful. Like her acclaimed biography of Tolstoy, it is vivid, nuanced, and compelling. Bartlett's introduction and notes are informed by her intimate knowledge of Tolstoy's life, the contexts in which he wrote, and insight into his literary artistry and achievements. She has previously won praise for her translations of Chekhov and her biography of Tolstoy (Profile, 2010), and for her sensitivity to the Russian language enhanced by her meticulous research into specialist terminology.

 

Rosamund  Bartlett

Rosamund Bartlett is an author, translator and scholar whose books include biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, and a study of Wagner’s influence on Russian thought. Her new translation of Anna Karenina for Oxford World's Classics is out now: as a translator she has previously published the first unexpurgated edition of Chekhov’s letters, and two anthologies of Chekhov’s short stories.   

 

 

 

 

Rachel Polonsky

Rachel Polonsky is an Affiliated Lecturer in Slavonic Studies at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Murray Edwards College. She writes on Russian literature, cultural history and politics for a wide range of journals, newspapers and periodicals including The TLS, The New York Review Of Books, Literary Review, Prospect and The Spectator.

Her most recent book is "Molotov's Magic Lantern" (Faber), which has been translated into several languages, won the Dolman Prize for Travel Writing (2011), and was a Finalist for the LA Times History Prize, the Warwick Prize and the Prix Medicis Essais.