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Tuesday, November 19, 2013LECTURE7: ANNAKARENINA.After Karenin has decided on a divorce, he runs into Stiva who invites him to come to theirhouse for dinner, and of course he doesn’t want to but Stiva’s persuasiveness and oilytemptation is something he can’t turn down. Stiva has invited him there in order so that Dollycan appeal to his Christian side (or at least, he hopes so). Meanwhile, at the same dinner, hehas deliberately invited both Kitty and Levin with the idea that they will get together, and weget the famous letterbox proposal. He writes down various letters and the first letters ofvarious words and she is able to guess them. We keep thinking that this happens through thetranscendental, mystical union of two souls that is romantic love.There are omens that we think certain signs are related to; we believe in the naturalistic causesof events and that certain mystical signs lead us to believe that they’re omens (andforeshadowing) but this is not actually the way things are.The words that she spoke to him have been seared in both of their memories: he, in the pain ofthe rejection, and she, in the guilt that she has hurt him (“It cannot be”). This is not mystical atall; they have gone over, privately, words that they have shared. It may look mystical but it isnot that way. It doesn’t mean that it’s not real love; it means that real love is the sort of thingthat’s not mystical but intimate, in the matter of sharing thoughts and feelings. Love is amatter of mutual knowledge and mutual understanding rather than a mystically transcendentunion.When Dolly approaches Karenin, she first is “firstly convinced of Anna’s innocence and thisman is ruining her friend” but by the end of the conversation, she has changed her mind. Hemight look like someone who’s not feeling but she sees how deeply he’s feeling when he says,“I am very miserable…” and “she did not have to be told that” and she says, (Pg. 449) “isn’t itpossible you’re mistaken”). A lot of the best moments happen when his feelings overwhelmhim in spite of himself.Pg. 449-450:Should she have forgiven her husband? Forgiveness happened on false pretences(‘it can never happen again’). She appeals to him as a Christian (Dolly to Karenin). Themoment that most sticks in Karenin’s mind from the evening is the way in which theconversation is constantly turned to something that will be hurtful for Karenin to hear. Thesweet silly man said “… he acted like a man, challenged him to a duel and shot him” and thisreally gets to Karenin because it suggests that he is not a man because (1) he doesn’t knowhow to use a gun, and (2) he is physically a coward. It causes him a great deal of pain that hethinks that he ought to fight physically. He sheds tears, he can’t bear the sight of otherpeople’s tears (he feels their tears so deeply that he can’t deal with the suffering himself).