Practical Wisdom from Anna Karenina

I’ve been writing quite a bit about Anna Karenina lately, since I have been reading it over the last month and a half. Amidst the drama, turmoil, and politics, here are seven pieces of practical wisdom to be found from the pages of the great classic (roughly in order of the plot).

  1. Don’t talk with a stranger, acquaintance, or friend about her son. You might end up falling in love with him and ruining your life.
  2. If you are a middle-aged woman who wants to attract attention at a ball, wear black.
  3. If you are proud, sensitive, philosophical, and prone to depression, marry an understanding woman who loves you. Otherwise, your life may become downright morbid.
  4. Likewise, don’t go see any dying family members without company, preferably the aforementioned understanding woman. She will help you live through the experience.
  5. If you’re an amateur artist, don’t ask another painter to paint one of your subjects until you finish.
  6. If you have the chance to propose to the girl of your dreams, don’t talk about mushrooms and ruin the moment.
  7. If you want to be fascinating to men, wear lots of rings and talk with your hands, gracefully.
  8. If you start despising cheese and bread, beware. You might be suicidal.
  9. If you are at your mother’s, and a telegram comes from your lover, don’t stay with Mom. You might regret it forever.
  10. Don’t pay any attention to how other people commit suicide, or you might find yourself mimicking them one day.
Copyright 2015 Andrea Lundgren

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