Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Anna Karenina

Book menu for Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

ISBN of edition I read: sorry the edition I read was published before ISBNs were issued.  I read the Doubleday edition published in 1944.  Translated by Constance Garnett; illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg. It has 736 pages.

This is the second time I've read Anna K. I first read it when I was twenty-five.  I was working with a Russian woman at the time and told her I was interested in reading some Tolstoy.  She advised me to start with Anna K rather than War and Peace.  I took her advice and wasn't sorry.  Now I'm forty-two and decided to reread this novel since there is a new film adaptation due out next week.  I am just as enthralled with this novel as I was seventeen years ago. Bring on Keira Knightley as Anna!


Food mentioned in Anna Karenina :
Pear, 4
Coffee, 7-10, 62, 97, 102, 210, 230, 366, 488
Boxed chocolate, 10
Champagne, 17, 33, 53, 324
Turbot, 32-3
Oysters, 32-4
Cabbage soup, 33, 296
Printaniere, 33
Roast beef, 33
Capons, 33
Poulard a l'estragon, 33
Macedoine de fruits, 33
Chablis, 33
Salt goose, 146
Chicken in white sauce, 146
Poached eggs, 155
Beef steak, 159, 272
Sherry, 160
Rhine wine, 160
Bread, butter, and cheese, 210
Plum soup, 210-11
Pea sausages, 211
Roast turkey, 227
Peaches 263-4
Truffles, 272
Burgundy wine, 272
Junket, 309
Raspberries, 304
Russian pancakes, 324
Fish and asparagus, 340-1
Caviar herrings, 349
Fruit preserves, 349-50
French bread, 349
Soupe Marie-Louise, 351
Sweet meats, 370
Meat pie, 540
Eel soup, 623

Books/Authors mentioned in Anna Karenina :
Charles Dickens , 39
Treatise on Heat / Tyndall, 86
William Shakespeare, 101
     King Lear , 619-620
Kauffman, 312
Jones, 312
Dubois, 312
Michelli, 312
Nikolai Gogol , 405
Hippolyte Taine, 602
Ivan Andreevich Krilov, 622
Emile Zola , 631
Alphonse Daudet ,  631
Plato, 711
Immanuel Kant, 711
Schelling, 711
Hegel, 711
Schopenhauer, 711
Homaiko, 711
Spencer, 724

Music mentioned in Anna Karenina :
"Il Mio Tesoro" / Mozart, 3
Beethoven, 101
Offenbach , 280
     "La Belle Helene", 300
Wagner , 620

Artists mentioned in Anna Karenina:
Raphael , 101, 430
Reubens, 430

Discussion questions for Anna Karenina:
What, if any, are the parallels between Frou-Frou's (horse) accidental death and Anna' death?

Anna Karenina is narrated with an omniscient point of view. Tolstoy even writes from Levin's dog's point of view (Part Six, Chapter 12).  What effect does this particular passage have on the reader?

There are several hunting scenes that are meticulously described. What significance, if any, do these scenes have in the story?

Discuss examples of irony in Anna Karenina.

Describe Tolstoy's writing style in this novel.

Describe the tone of Anna Karenina.
                                                               
                                                        

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Namesake

                                                                                                                                              

Book menu for The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

ISBN of edition I read: 0618485228

We read this for my book group.  I had looked forward to it since the movie adaptation looked good. I was disappointed with the writing: much of the story is written in the passive voice.  I am not sure this novel works in the present tense.  It had potential and I was interested in the connection to Russian authors. I happened to be reading Anna Karenina while trudging through The Namesake. I was all too glad to finish the chore of Lahiri's novel and devote myself entirely to Tolstoy!

Food mentioned in The Namesake : (highlights)
Lamb curry, 10, 72
Dal, 10, 39, 72, 162, 180, 276
Pistachio ice cream, 10
Broccoli quiche, 33
Samosas, 35, 50, 147-149
Goat and potato stew, 37
Halwa, 38
Biryani, 39, 164
Chicken curry and rice, 54
Tandoori, 64, 229
Sandeshes, 72
Bouillabaise, 137, 198
Osso buco, 137
Pink lassi, 147
Aloo dum, 155
Paella with clams and mussels, 156
Sancerre (wine), 198
Porcini ravioli, 203
Coq au vin, 209
Mishti, 216
Aloo gobi, 223
Pakoras, 229
Spaghetti allo vongole, 241
Falafel sandwich, 271
Blood oranges, 272
Mincemeat croquettes, 274
Lamb korma, 277
Sweet yogurt and pantuas, 277

Books/Authors mentioned in The Namesake:
Nikolai Gogol, 13, 17, 21, 28-9, 56, 66, 77, 88
     "The Overcoat " (short story), epigraph, 89, 245, 290
     The Stories of Nikolai Gogol, 74, 288
     "The Nose" (short story), 89
     The Government Inspector (play), 90
     Dead Souls (novel),90-91
Alfred Tennyson , 7, 29
William Wordsworth , 7, 29
     "The Daffodils" (poem), 9
Aristotle, 7
William Shakespeare , 7, 118
     Timon of Athens, 110
Charles Dickens, 12
Graham Greene, 12
     The Comedians , 173
Somerset Maugham, 12
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 78
      The Brothers Karamazov , 13
 Leo Tolstoy
      Anna Karenina, 13
     War and Peace, 13 
Ivan Turgenev, 91
      Fathers and Sons , 13
The Cat in the Hat / Dr. Seuss, 50
The Hardy Boys / Franklin W. Dixon, 78
Pride and Prejudice / Jane Austen, 73
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy / Douglas Adams, 75
The Hobbit (Movie Tie-In) / J.R.R. Tolkien, 75
Laura Ingalls Wilder, 83
The Great Gatsby / F. Scott Fitzgerald, 88
The Good Earth (Oprah's Book Club) / Pearl S. Buck, 88
The Red Badge of Courage / Stephen Crane, 88
Ethan Frome / Edith Wharton, 88
William Faulkner, 89
Ernest Hemingway, 89
"The Necklace and Other Tales (Modern Library Classics)" / Guy de Maupassant, 90
Alexandr Pushkin, 90
Divided Soul:The Life of Gogol / Henri Troyat, 92
Nietzche, 93
Moliere, 99
Oscar Wilde, 114
Virginia Woolf, 114
Journey to the East / Le Corbusier,, 116
Ben Johnson (poet), 121
Gustave Flaubert, 255
The Man without Qualities / Robert Musil, 259
The Red and the Black / Stendhal, 261
Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, 267
Marcel Proust, 267
The Swiss Family Robinson / Johann David Wyss, 288
On the Road / Jack Kerouac, 288
The Communist Manifesto / Karl Marx, 288

Magazines mentioned in The Namesake:
Desh, 16, 44
Time , 51, 55
National Geographic , 76
Reader's Digest , 98
The New Yorker , 109
Food & Wine , 270

Movies mentioned in The Namesake:
Gone with the Wind , 30
The Seven Year Itch , 30
Ritwik Ghatek, 38
Satyajit Ray, 38
The Big Chill , 87
The Rocky Horror Picture Show , 93
I, Claudius, 135
Alphaville, 259

Music mentioned in The Namesake:
Nazrul, 38
Tagore, 78
The Beatles, 116
     The White Album , 74
     Abbey Road , 269
Bob Dylan, 93, 99
Eric Clapton, 93
The Clash
     London Calling , 102
Talking Heads, 77, 102
Brian Eno , 105
Elvis Costello, 105
Charlie Parker , 105
Simon and Garfunkel, 117
Neil Young , 117
Cat Stevens, 117
Abba , 224
Bossa Nova, 228
Crosby, Stills & Nash, 257
Bartok , 266

Television programs mentioned in The Namesake:
The Price is Right, 54
Guiding Light, 54
$10,000 Pyramid, 54
Sesame Street, 54
Electric Company, 54
The Love Boat , 73, 211
Fantasy Island , 73, 211

Libraries mentioned in The Namesake:
pages 48-50, 56, 66, 71, 104, 107, 114, 120, 149, 160, 162-3, 168, 238, 257, 279