Thursday, August 12, 2010

First Lines Second Thoughts — Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

photo © Mark Butkus 2006
We're a happy family?

First Lines Second Thoughts is a whimsical look at the first lines of well known literary works. On second thought, do these opening sentences stand on their own as literary works of art? Today we look at Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina.

All happy families
are alike;
each unhappy family
is unhappy
in its own way.

— Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy's flawless masterpiece Anna Karenina was initially published in installments from 1873-1877. Published in book form in 1878, it was first translated into English in 1886.