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Anna Karenina quotes are so vast in number that it would take a book just to list them all.

For the 2024 A to Z Challenge, I am sharing favorite quotes from favorite books. Enjoy!

A to Z Challenge 2024: Book Quotes

About Anna Karenina

“Anna Karenina” is a novel written by Leo Tolstoy, first published in serial installments from 1875 to 1877. The story is set in the high society of late 19th-century Russia and revolves around the lives of several interconnected characters, primarily focusing on the title character, Anna Karenina.

The novel explores themes of love, infidelity, family, society, and morality. At its core, “Anna Karenina” is a tragic love story that follows the passionate affair between Anna Karenina, a beautiful and aristocratic woman, and Count Alexei Vronsky, a dashing military officer. Anna is trapped in a loveless marriage to Karenin, a high-ranking government official, and her affair with Vronsky leads to scandal and ultimately tragic consequences.

Alongside Anna’s story, the novel also delves into the life of Konstantin Levin, a landowner who grapples with existential questions and searches for meaning in rural life. Levin’s storyline serves as a philosophical counterpart to Anna’s narrative, exploring themes of spirituality, work, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Anna Karenina” is renowned for its rich character development, intricate plot, and deep psychological insights. It offers a profound exploration of human nature, relationships, and the complexities of society, making it one of the most celebrated novels in world literature.

About Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was one of the most renowned Russian writers, born on September 9, 1828, in Yasnaya Polyana, Russia. He is best known for his epic novels “War and Peace” and “Anna Karenina,” which are considered masterpieces of world literature.

Tolstoy came from an aristocratic family and received a privileged education. He served in the Russian army during the Crimean War and later traveled extensively throughout Europe. These experiences greatly influenced his worldview and writing.

As a writer, Tolstoy was deeply concerned with moral and philosophical questions, exploring themes such as the nature of existence, the pursuit of truth, and the meaning of life. His works often reflect his own spiritual and moral struggles.

Tolstoy’s writing style is characterized by its realism, psychological depth, and intricate character development. He is celebrated for his ability to create vivid and lifelike portraits of Russian society and its people.

In addition to his literary pursuits, Tolstoy was also a social and political thinker. He advocated for nonviolent resistance and social justice, and his ideas had a significant impact on figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

Tolstoy passed away on November 20, 1910, at the age of 82, but his legacy as one of the greatest novelists in history endures to this day.

10 Anna Karenina Quotes

  1. “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
  2. “Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
  3. “All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”
  4. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”
  5. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.”
  6. “Spring is the time of plans and projects.”
  7. “I think… if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.”
  8. “I always loved you, and if one loves anyone, one loves the whole person, just as they are and not as one would like them to be.”
  9. “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
  10. “All the diversity, all the charm, and all the beauty of life are made up of light and shade.”

Buy Anna Karenina

Audiobook reading by Mary Ann Spiegel

Wordsworth Classics paperback version

Dover Thrift Editions Kindle version

Anna Karenina with Greta Garbo (1935)

Anna Karenina with Vivien Leigh (1948, DVD)

Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley (2012)

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10 Anna Karenina Quotes