The Kreutzer Sonata (Tolstoy)

The Kreutzer Sonata and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions)Today in my class on Adultery in 19th century fiction, we spoke about the Kreutzer Sonata.  Are any of you familiar with this?  I was not.  It was agreed that this is either a novella or a short story.  If reading Anna Karenina or War and Peace just feels like too much, you can get an idea of Tolstoy through this work.  It was advised that we listen to the Kreutzer Sonata as a framework for the story  I recommend doing so.  There is a certain rhythm, a coming together, lyricisim, intensity and breaking apart that matches the ways in which the main characters relate.  In the sonata, neither the violin nor the piano dominates but each finds its place, not always easily.

Tolstoy asks the reader to think about marriage, mores, possible affairs, the roles of women and the actions of those in marriages.  It was pointed out that the reader becomes involved in the main character’s story and has empathy for much of what he says.  But…how do you feel about him, after you find out what he does?  Read this and see.  Next week it will be Jude the Obscure.  As a teaser, it was pointed out that this is the first book that we will have read that is named for a male character.

 

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