Monday, October 16, 2017

Ten life lessons from Russian literature

Viv Groskop is the author of The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons From Russian Literature. One of her top ten life lessons from Russian literature, as shared at the Guardian:
Don’t trust a woman who wears too much perfume

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The horrors of “vinaigre de toilette” crop up regularly in Anna Karenina. It’s the fragrance of choice of the salon “ladies” patronised by Anna’s champagne-swilling brother Stiva and a stench his best friend Levin – the stick-in-the-mud Tolstoy stand-in – simply can’t bear. A cologne-style blend of herbs and spices, vinaigre de toilette represents artifice, pretence and delusion: everything Levin – and all of us – must fight against.
Read about another entry on the list.

Anna Karenina also appears on Elizabeth Day's top ten list of parties in fiction, Grant Ginder's top ten list of the more loathsome people in literature, Louis De Berni√©res's six best books list, Martin Seay's ten best long books list, Jeffrey Lent's top ten list of books about justice and redemption, Bethan Roberts's top ten list of novels about childbirth, Hannah Jane Parkinson's list of the ten worst couples in literature, Hanna McGrath's top fifteen list of epigraphs, Amelia Schonbek's list of three classic novels that pass the Bechdel test, Rachel Thompson's top ten list of the greatest deaths in fiction, Melissa Albert's recommended reading list for eight villains, Alison MacLeod's top ten list of stories about infidelity, David Denby's six favorite books list, Howard Jacobson's list of his five favorite literary heroines, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, Chika Unigwe's six favorite books list, Elizabeth Kostova's list of favorite books, James Gray's list of best books, Marie Arana's list of the best books about love, Ha Jin's most important books list, Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books list, Claire Messud's list of her five most important books, Alexander McCall Smith's list of his five most important books, Mohsin Hamid's list of his ten favorite books, Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers, and among the top ten works of literature according to Peter Carey and Norman Mailer. John Mullan put it on his lists of ten of the best erotic dreams in literature, ten of the best coups de foudre in literature, ten of the best births in literature, ten of the best ice-skating episodes in literature, and ten of the best balls in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue