At the concert in the afternoon two very interesting things were performed. One was a fantasia, King Lear; the other was a quartette dedicated to the memory of Bach. Both were new and in the new style, and Levin was eager to form an opinion of them. After escorting his sister-in-law to her stall, he stood against a column and tried to listen as attentively and conscientiously as possible. He tried not to let his attention be distracted, and not to spoil his impression by looking at the conductor in a white tie, waving his arms, which always disturbed his enjoyment of music so much, or the ladies in bonnets, with strings carefully tied over their ears, and all these people either thinking of nothing at all or thinking of all sorts of things except the music. He tried to avoid meeting musical connoisseurs or talkative acquaintances, and stood looking at the floor straight before him, listening.

-Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, Part 7, Chapter 5

Many thanks to Pam Hakl for drawing my attention to this! (And yes, I will admit having not read the book. Yet.)


  1. Wow.. I’m actually reading that book right now! If you get the time it’s worth the reading. 🙂

  2. Patricia Mitchell

    Yes … TIME is the issue … and the fact that the older I get the slower I read. Sigh.

    Are you reading it in Russian, Gwen?

  3. I’ve actually tried reading Anna Karenina several times before and never finished it. But now I’m taking a Russian Lit class this quarter and it is one of our required reads, so I have to make the time for it Thankfully in English as my Russian isn’t that good, or what might be even more difficult for me are the amounts of French and German also present in the original.