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A Voice Still HeardSelected Essays of Irving Howe$
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Irving Howe and Nina Howe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300203660

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300203660.001.0001

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Tolstoy: Did Anna Have to Die?{1994}

Tolstoy: Did Anna Have to Die?{1994}

(p.355) Tolstoy: Did Anna Have to Die?{1994}
A Voice Still Heard

Irving Howe

Yale University Press

This chapter presents Irving Howe's 1994 essay “Tolstoy: Did Anna Have to Die?,” in which he talks about the death of the main character in Leo Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina. Howe begins by focusing on the conversation between Isaiah Berlin and Russian poet Anna Akhmatova over whether it is necessary to kill Anna Karenina in the story. He then argues that the question to be asked is not why Anna must be killed, but the impossibility of the life she has chosen with her lover Vronsky—an impossibility that culminates in her suicide.

Keywords:   death, Irving Howe, Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, Isaiah Berlin, Anna Akhmatova, suicide

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