Insights into Literature, across Nations and Languages
Byline: Joanne McNeil , SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
"A sensation gripped her like one she used to feel long ago when, off for a swim, she prepared to plunge into the water."
That breathtaking sentence comes from "Anna Karenina," but few can recognize it out of context. It occurs just before Anna leaps to her death. In that context, the sentence is nothing short of "miraculous," says Milan Kundera, in his latest book of thought-provoking essays, "The Curtain." "In a single second, the last one of her life, the extreme gravity calls up a pleasant, ordinary, lighthearted memory!"
Flaubert enthusiasts similarly may have overlooked a stunning line near the end of "Madame Bovary." The heroine, rejected by bankers and the man in her life, passes a beggar. She "flung him a five-franc coin over her shoulder. It was her whole fortune. She thought it quite fine, tossing the coin like that." Mr. Kundera points out that this line "reveals what Flaubert saw very well, but Emma was unaware …
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Publication information: Article title: Insights into Literature, across Nations and Languages. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: April 15, 2007. Page number: B08. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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