Yet More from Anna Karenina

“Peaceful with six children Darya Alexandrovna could not be. One would fall ill, another might easily become so, a third would be without something necessary, a fourth would show symptoms of a bad disposition, and so on. Rare indeed were the brief periods of peace. But these cares and anxieties were for Darya Alexandrovna the sole happiness possible. Had it not been for them, she would have been left alone to brood over her husband who did not love her.

“And besides, hard though it was for the mother to bear the dread of illness, the illnesses themselves, and the grief of seeing signs of evil propensities in her children — the children themselves were even now repaying her in small joys for her sufferings. Those joys were so small that they passed unnoticed, like gold in sand, and at bad moments she could see nothing but the pain, nothing but sand; but there were good moments too when she saw nothing but the joy, nothing but gold.”

I just… wow, you guys. Wow.

I’ve thought about doing a review of Anna Karenina as I go along, but it’s so beautiful and awful, so gutting, that most of my responses to it are purely emotional — and it’s tough to write groans and sighs and staring agape at the page and shifting restlessly in one’s seat and feeling the hairs stand up on the back of one’s neck, to say nothing of how it might be to read such a thing! So I think I’ll spare you my “reviews” and just let Tolstoy speak for himself, hey?

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