Further in ANNA KARENINA (Chapter Nineteen of the Modern Library Edition)

Vronsky orders a beefsteak:

On the day of the races at Krasnoe Selo, Vronsky had come earlier than usual to eat beefsteak in the officers’ mess of the regiment.  He had no need to be in strict training, as he had very quickly been brought down to the required weight of one hundred and sixty pounds, but he still had to avoid gaining weight, and he avoided starchy foods and desserts.  He sat with his coat unbuttoned over a white vest, resting both elbows on the table, and while waiting for the steak he had ordered he looked at a French novel that lay open on his plate.

Self forgets how tall Vronsky is supposed to be.  Because 160 lbs. on a six-foot man is a whole different story from 160 lbs. on a 5’8″ man . . .

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

2 Comments

  1. March 3, 2013 at 3:59 am

    Wow – weight conscious man – even then.

    • March 3, 2013 at 4:53 am

      I know. When I first read that passage, I had to do a double-take. But then, that passage is also just another aspect of Vronsky’s vanity, including that detail about how he left “his coat unbuttoned” over his white vest. The passage continues, it describes how he rests both elbows on the table — like he was posing? Great job, Tolstoy!


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