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August1991

Madame Bovary vs Anna Karenina

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Flaubert first published his novel in 1856 - but in fact, it became a life work since he revised it, endlessly.

Tolstoi published his novel around 1875 - as a serial, we would refer nowadays to a Netflix Series.

I'll set aside the origin of the story, method of presentation, time-period, even the writer.

====

Both women are typical - we all know them.

Why has there been no similar description of such typical men?  

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7 hours ago, August1991 said:

 Why has there been no similar description of such typical men?  

You don't think Holden Caulfield, Gatsby, or Will Loman are archetypes ?  You haven't known them ?  


Comparative literature discussion has actually progressed to a point where they are asking, rightly, why do we continue to tell stories of the same type of men over and over ? 

 

We had Gilgamesh a thousand times, for example, retold as Moses, Homer, Robin Hood, and Bruce Willis' John McLean.   I don't apologize for these characters existing, as people if mostly men love them - but they exist arguably not typical but maybe as aspirations of our fantastic selves.

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:23 AM, Michael Hardner said:

You don't think Holden Caulfield, Gatsby, or Will Loman are archetypes ?  You haven't known them ?

Michael, in American literature, good point.

But Ulysses is also a male archetype.

I stand, uh, seriously corrected.

Edited by August1991

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On 2/28/2020 at 12:57 AM, SpankyMcFarland said:

Bovary and Karenina were struggling for freedom within the crushing constraints of their time. Like Greek tragic heroines and heroes, they were trapped by fate. 

Huh?

You are a 21st century person (young, I suspect) looking at 19th century life - indeed, life itself.

======

Among the various composers, there is a reason to ask why people still listen to Mozart.

And among various writers, there is a reason to ask why people - through translation, through time - even centuries - still read the story.

The story of Anna Karenina is universal. It is a story of a woman who cares more about her children than love (Vronsky), their father (her husband) or even her own life itself.

 

 

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11 hours ago, August1991 said:

Huh?

You are a 21st century person (young, I suspect) looking at 19th century life - indeed, life itself.

======

Among the various composers, there is a reason to ask why people still listen to Mozart.

And among various writers, there is a reason to ask why people - through translation, through time - even centuries - still read the story.

The story of Anna Karenina is universal. It is a story of a woman who cares more about her children than love (Vronsky), their father (her husband) or even her own life itself.

 

 

Not young.
 

The book is about a multitude of things and, like any great novel, allows for diverse interpretations. I happen to see a struggle for freedom and the price paid for it but that’s beside the point - an unremarkable plot is made immortal by the manner of its telling.  Others have commented on the way the novelist describes (or as Nabokov puts it, tolstoys) the passage of time. 

Edited by SpankyMcFarland

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On 3/4/2020 at 8:59 AM, SpankyMcFarland said:

Not young.
 

The book is about a multitude of things and, like any great novel, allows for diverse interpretations. I happen to see a struggle for freedom and the price paid for it but that’s beside the point - an unremarkable plot is made immortal by the manner of its telling.  Others have commented on the way the novelist describes (or as Nabokov puts it, tolstoys) the passage of time. 

I agree that the story/book is about a multitude of things.

But it's ultimately about a mother and her children. IOW, it's about life itself.

Edited by August1991

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On 2/19/2020 at 7:23 AM, Michael Hardner said:

You don't think Holden Caulfield, Gatsby, or Will Loman are archetypes ?  You haven't known them ?

True. Your post has bothered me.

Why do 1800s male Europeans write about women,  but 1900s male Americans write about men?

Heck, the only Chinese novel is about women.

Edited by August1991
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