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The "Real" Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina gets around. She's had a second career touring the world, dropping in on television studios and movie sets, portrayed by Greta Garbo, Sophie Marceau, Vivien Leigh, and Jacqueline Bisset, among others. Russian comic book artists even reinvented her in a graphic novel set in the New Russia, complete with "cell phones and cocaine, sushi bars and convertibles." And the latest screen version, with Keira Knightley as Anna, put us squarely in the realm of fan fiction, presenting the story reimagined as a theatrical production.

And, of course, the novel has been translated into English many times.

But what if none of those translations fully appreciated, let alone conveyed, the true glory of Tolstoy's characters and story lines and the perfect way they mesh because they failed to notice that Tolstoy made some of his most important points not explicitly but in the way he used language? That he did at least as much showing as telling?

What if Tolstoy was an innovative stylist as well as a masterful psychologist and storyteller?

What if indeed?

Read the rest of my HuffPost post about my new translation of Anna Karenina (Yale University Press)  here.