Pavel Basinski

Podlinnaya Anna Karenina The True Anna Karenina
Narrative non-fiction. AST. Moscow 2022. 384 pages

Why was the fate of Anna and Vronsky decided during a mazurka, what does parti- cipating in horse races tell us about Vronsky, what a dinner about Oblonsky? If Anna was a seasoned socialite, why could the daughter she had by Vronsky only be given the one surname - Karenina?

Anna Karenina is probably Tolstoy‘s most mysterious work. Why is it still controver- sial? There‘s a lot we don‘t know about the harsh laws and paradoxical mores of the golden 19th century. Basinsky explores the novel through the eyes of a curious and devoted reader. The facts laid out in the book surprise, discourage and explain many of the oddities of this tragic love story. In doing so, Basinski focuses on the darkest and most ambiguous turns of the novel‘s plot.

“I am aware that there is no true story of Anna Karenina. There are as many Anna Kareninas as there are readers of this novel. But I do hope that my book will help fanatics like myself, who are addicted to this novel, sort out their personal Annas more clearly. Admittedly without agreeing with me on everything.“ Pavel Basinski