i’m struggling with tolstoyright now. this struggle with anna karenina began in 2006 & each time somewhere in the 2-400 page zone i lose the will to finish.

for awhile i thought it was the translation of mine. tolstoy’s characters couldn’t be that inane and his imagination so limited that he would repeat himself with the same dull adjectives over and over. but i was wrong, apparently he is that repetitive.

Above all, Tolstoy is deliberately repetitive. Repetition is perhaps the most distinctive single feature of his style…He repeats words and phrases for rhythm and rhetorical effect, sometimes using the same word six or seven times in as many lines…

Equally characteristic is Tolstoy’s fondness for building large rhetorical structures through the classical device of repeated triads of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions.

(new york review)

so it isn’t pevear and volokhonsky’s fault at all, it’s been tolstoy all along!

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