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.


  1. happiness and unhappiness are created by events occurring in the environment which surrounds us making them equal in every way. strength is the difference

  2. Women, Food, God
    Eat, Pray, Love

    "The debut of Women Food and God piggybacks on another Oprah favorite: Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. Put them together and you have the first two lines of a poem and the answer to compulsive overeating: Enjoy food, talk to God, and Love yourself." ~Maria Corkern, from a review of Women Food and God