Finding Enjoyment in Classic Literature


The other day I found this video on YouTube that had Tom Hiddleston acting portions of Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina and bits of War and Peace. His voice was poshly British, and with just a few words, I was hooked.  It was that scene in War and Peace between Natasha and Pierre when he, ever so passionately, tries to convince Natasha Rostova not to waste her life, to keep going because she has a lot more in store for her. I have never seen any film about the book not even a BBC series. But I was curious. 

I went down to my basement library in search of my copy of War and Peace. Sadly, I realized I don't have a copy. I do, however, own Anna Karenina. Now, if you are somewhat familiar with this novel, you know that Anna cheated on her husband, left him for her lover. And you will also know that she didn't get her happy ending. In fact, her life ended tragically. But despite knowing that, I still want to read it. So I started it a couple of weeks ago. So far, it's living up to all expectations -- that is to say, it's everything I've come to expect from a Classic Literature: slow as molasses, long as fuck, and daunting. Interestingly enough, I don't have any inkling of stopping. I want to see it right through. This is 800-some-odd pages of translated work from Russian to English. The writing is bogged down, a bit archaic and drawn out. 

I don't know if you know this about me, but I've never met a challenge that I quit on. I usually see it through if it kills me -- physically, I'm a little headstrong. That's how I approach any fitness challenges. I guess you can say, that's how I want to approach this as well. Every month, I've always say I want to read a Classic Lit, and every month, I fail. Well, I'm finally doing it. 

Wish me luck and come with me as we trek through Tolstoy's literary world of wonder. 

Comments

  1. Good luck, and this sounds awesome! I too have struggled with classics- i think it's great you're plowing ahead!

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  2. I haven't read many classics. I read and loved Jane Eyre, but besides that no others have held my attention. Glad to hear you're having more success, Joy! :)

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  3. It's been a while since I haven't read a classic

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  4. I love this so much! I am a former English major / English teacher and I miss classic literature. I hate to admit it, but I have never read any Tolstoy! Maybe I should remedy that? I do have memories of my father reading War & Peace at the beach and falling asleep each afternoon with his book in his hand. haha.

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  5. Woah, I respect your determination and dedication. I give myself plenty of reading goals as well but tbh I've never been much of a classic reader. I read maybe 1 or 2/year, but I do enjoy reading books that have been published a bit ago and that's on no one's radar atm. I wish you good luck with your challenge!!

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  6. Good for you! I don't even attempt to read classics that are that long. I'm too lazy :)

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