The Magic Novel

When we eat out my daughter usually orders noodles with butter. Even in Europe these plates of pasta are often huge. We started calling them magic plates because no matter how much she ate, the plate still looked full of pasta.

I have now encountered the magic novel courtesy of Leo Tolstoy–Anna Karenina

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No matter how much I read, and I read some every day, I still haven’t managed to finish this book. I am embarrassed to say I’ve been working on it since early December. According to my e-reader I have read 79%.

Nabokov and Faulkner consider it one the greatest novels every. I’m not saying it’s not great, just that it is damn long. I discovered that it was originally serialized and published in a periodical over a period of 4 years when it was released in the late 19th Century, which made me realize how opposite we are from people of that time. Today, everything is compressed and condensed to the essential, the bare minimum. Then, there was time to draw things out, to make them last as long as possible. Today we all seem to possess a wide breadth of knowledge, whereas our counterparts in the 19th Century possessed tremendous depth. But is to know a little bit about a lot of things to really know anything at all?

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