Levin

I’m nearing the end of Anna Karenina – I’ve got less than 100 pages to go – and it saddens me so much to know that I must come to the end of this novel that has not only kept me company but comforted me and taught me various things over the last few months. I know I can always just re-read it, and I probably will one day, but there are so many other books I want to read that I’m sure it will be a very, very long time before I do.

The other day when I was reading (probably on the bus on the way to work), I paused for a moment, and looked at the book in my hands – I had the book open, but I was looking at the actual book, not the words on its pages. It brought a sad smile to my face to see how few pages remained in my right hand, while my left hand held all the chapters I’d already read. It was a bittersweet feeling.

I think I mentioned somewhere in a previous post that I wanted to write separate posts for each of the main characters (or, I suppose, for the ones I consider to be main characters) but I wasn’t sure if I would follow through with that idea. I’m still not sure if I will, but, at the very least, I wanted to write one for Levin – Konstantin Dmitrich Levin. [If you choose to read on, please note that there will be spoilers in this post.]  Continue reading

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meditations – the merits of others / be the bee

It’s been a while since I did a Meditations post. You could be forgiven for thinking that I’d forgotten or finished with them (you could also be forgiven for forgetting about them altogether). But, no, the book still sits prominently on my desk, and I still flip through it from time to time. Various passages also flit around my mind every so often, and I try to remind myself of the things that I learnt from these writings of Marcus Aurelius.

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two quotes

When I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night last year, I hadn’t expected that it would have such a long-lasting impact on me.

Since early last year some time (?) I’ve been keeping a book of quotes. It’s just a random notebook in which I record quotes from books and other places – quotes that made me pause, or that lingered in my mind long after I’d turned the page. Perhaps they are particularly well-worded or poetic, but the main reason I record them is because I can relate and can see the truth in them.

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BWF: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives

I’ve already sort of written about this panel discussion I went to during the Brisbane Writers Festival in September, but that wasn’t so much about the talk itself as it was about a particular author on the panel, and a particular book that I more or less fell in love with…

Anyway, the talk gave me quite a bit to think about, and it swelled my soul with so much inspiration, so, like anything that I do not want to forget, I’m writing about it.  Continue reading

BWF: Marks left by Masterful Minds

This was the first panel discussion I attended at this year’s Brisbane Writers Festival. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, or if you know me in real life, it’s probably obvious why I’d be drawn to this talk, given its title (I’m alluding, of course, to my love of classic novels). The panel was chaired by Julianne Schultz, with guest writers Dennis Glover, Catherine Lacey and Jeff Sparrow. They had each researched and written books about inspiring and noteworthy individuals: for Glover it was George Orwell, Sparrow followed Paul Robeson, and Lacey researched various individuals in an intricate web of relationships.  Continue reading

and so it begins

I just started reading Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. It’s been about two weeks, and I’ve just finished Part One. I honestly don’t know what the whole story’s about (that’s my preferred way to read classics – or any book, really – I never really extensively research about the storyline, themes, characters, etc beforehand) so I’m just talking about Part One here.  Continue reading