Monday, 26 January 2015

Page 56.

At our last book group meeting we discussed Tolstoy's 'The Kreutzer Sonata'. Although a small book, a novella, it caused a very lively debate. Our copy was one in the Penguin paperback series of 'Great Loves'.
In my opinion this story has nothing whatever to do with love! It certainly upset Tolstoy's wife, Sofya, because it, like his other novels, drew heavily on their own life and it did not paint a happy picture (to say the least!) The story was completed in 1888 when Tolstoy was sixty years old.
It's interesting to look at the Penguin list in the series. Quite a few I know, others not - it's a tempting collection.

Freda holds a Friday 56 when you are invited to take a book, turn to page fifty-six and find a sentence or paragraph to post and then link back to her.
Page 56 from 'The Kreutzer Sonata' gives you a good flavour of the whole book!

'The vilest thing of all about it,' he began, 'is that in theory love's supposed to be something ideal and noble, whereas in practise it's just a sordid matter that degrades us to the level of pigs, something it's vile and embarrassing to remember and talk about.'

It would be good to think that the concerns in this book were historical, relating only to the late 1800's. Sadly it's not the case. Our discussion was VERY lively.


  1. Replies
    1. But then it has ceased to be love and become something else. That's what I felt throughout Tolstoy's novella, what he described wasn't love but seal desire, obsession and jealousy.

    2. Spelling! Meant to write, sexual desire. 'seal desire' - is that Freudian?!!

  2. I love that cover, but would steer clear of the book myself. I read another by Tolstoy and felt I suffered though it. He is just not for me. :-)
    Hope you had a great weekend!