THIS CLASS IS NOW SOLD OUT
Instructor: Judy Pittenger
Program One: Mondays, October 1, 8, 15, 29, November 5, 12, 26, December 3
Program Two: Thursdays, October 4, 11, 18, November 1, 8, 15, 29, December 6
Time: 4:30–6:00 PM
Leo Tolstoy’s great classic novel Anna Kareninais a contrapuntal narration of two contrasting stories: the story of Anna’s passionate adultery which leads to her isolation and eventual self-destruction, and the story of Constantine Levin’s spiritual journey which leads to his affirmation of life within the context of family and community. Levin is a thinly disguised portrait of the author himself. The novel’s two stories of interior life are set against the great historical background of late 19thcentury Imperial Russia. Tolstoy confronts issues related to the agrarian and political problems of post-emancipation Russia as well as the controversy about Russia’s historical destiny raging between Russia’s Westernizers and the Slavophils. In addition, the author confronts universal and timeless issues such as skepticism and the meaning of religious faith, social convention and hypocrisy, passion and reason, existential meaning and mortality. The novel closely mirrors Tolstoy’s own spiritual pilgrimage. We shall consider the novel in relationship to Tolstoy’s biography and his other works, especially War and Peace. We shall also consider his achievement as it relates to the writing of other Russian writers of the century, in particular Pushkin, Dostoevsky, and Turgenev, and as an artistic and cultural expression of Imperial Russia. Tolstoy’s luminous prose style is well reflected in a splendid translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, and we will consider elements of his literary style. In short, we will examine the novel in all its dimensions.
NOTE: Please purchase the Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky translation, Penguin Edition, ISBN-13: 978-0143035008
With degrees from Stanford University, Judy Pittenger has taught for Kaleidoscope since 2002. She lectures and teaches frequently in Maryland and Florida, and has also taught for Oxford University’s Continuing Education program. She has received numerous awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in 1991 was named by the NEH as the Teacher-Scholar of Maryland.