Anna Karenina Madame Bovary Comparison

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Wesleyan University WesScholar Division I Faculty Publications Arts and Humanities 1995 Anna Karenina: Tolstoy 's Polemic with Madame Bovary Priscilla Meyer Wesleyan University, pmeyer@wesleyan.edu Follow this and additional works at: http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/div1facpubs Part of the Arts and Humanities Commons This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Arts and Humanities at WesScholar. It has been accepted for inclusion in Division I Faculty Publications by an authorized administrator of WesScholar. For more information, please contact dschnaidt@wesleyan.edu, ljohnson@wesleyan.edu. Recommended Citation Priscilla Meyer. "Anna Karenina: Tolstoy's Polemic with Madame Bovary" Russian Review 54.2 (1995): 243-259. Anna Karenina: Tolstoy's Polemic with Madame Bovary PRISCILLA MEYER D id Tolstoy intend a dialogue with Flaubert's Madame Bovary when he wrote Anna Karenina? Boris Eikhenbaum agrees with the French critics who found traces of Tolstoy's study of French literature in Anna Karenina, though he emphasizes the complexity of Tolstoy's struggle with the tradition of the "love" novel.' George Steiner long ago concluded that "all that can be said is that Anna Karenina was written in some awareness of its predecessor."2 But the evidence of that awareness is so abundant and suggestive that it is worth examining the possibility of a more detailed dialectic than Eikhenbaum and Steiner suppose.3 Tolstoy arrived in Paris on 21 February 1857. Less than a month earlier, on 29 January, Flaubert and the editors of La Revue de Paris had been taken to court for "outrage to public and religious morals and to morality."4 The defendants were acquitted of all charges, which verdict was announced on 7 February.5 Tolstoy alludes to none of this in his diary, noting on the day of his arrival, "spent a lot of money, I would like to thank my wonderful…...

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Anna

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