TPAOL Question #17 ~ The importance of Anna

by James Meek

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TPAOL Question #17 ~ The importance of Anna

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:26 am

In an interview with David Ramos Fernandes Meek says, “The thing about Anna, is that she is the axis around which the book turns. She’s also a character that faces both ways.” How do you interpret Meek’s statement?
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Unread postby Anna » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:38 am

Well, having read this point of discussion, I think it's about time I'd read TPAOL. :grin:
One minute I’m mushing along with the huskies as usual, and all of a sudden it’s global warming.

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:14 am

Anna wrote:Well, having read this point of discussion, I think it's about time I'd read TPAOL. :grin:


You don't know why you are important? :lol:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:08 pm

Liz wrote:
Anna wrote:Well, having read this point of discussion, I think it's about time I'd read TPAOL. :grin:


You don't know why you are important? :lol:


Well, just wait to see what people have to say! :lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

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Unread postby Anna » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:13 pm

I've actually ordered the book now (too late, as usual :-/ ). It was only a matter of time before someone would devote a novel on the subject of my being the axis of everything. :lol:
Anna is a good literary name.
One minute I’m mushing along with the huskies as usual, and all of a sudden it’s global warming.

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Unread postby Charlene » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:23 pm

Anna...I quite agree...seeing as Anna is my first name!

Well, who can disagree with Meeks...Anna is the axis...everybody and his brother bumps....or was that humps...off of Anna. Oh, naughty....I digress

Faces both ways?.....OK, not going to get in the gutter on this one...now where was I...yeah, Anna's got quite the split personality going...one minute you are feeling sorry for her and the next minute you want to shake her sorry little hmmm.

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Unread postby Linda Lee » Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:38 pm

:biglaugh:
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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:23 pm

Well, :eyebrow: Anna means 'hole' in some languages. She faces both ways...could that mean inside and out? :lol:
A fine start to the day. We're not even off topic yet! :cool:
Last edited by Depputante on Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby Endora » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:27 pm

A character who looks both ways... witha palindromic name! Very clever!

Maybe the two ways are firstly home and family and secondly the wider world, what she can achieve and record with her photography.
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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:41 pm

Endora wrote:A character who looks both ways... witha palindromic name! Very clever!

Maybe the two ways are firstly home and family and secondly the wider world, what she can achieve and record with her photography.


OK, in all seriousness. You may be right Endora.
Another thought is that 'motivating' factor.
She wants to settle down, but wants to get out of town.
Could she be full of dichotomies?
“The scariest enemy is from within. Allowing yourself to be limited and conform to what you're expected to conform to.”~JD

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Unread postby Parlez » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:20 pm

Well, I agree: Anna is one hot little filly - and in NO mood for geldings!! (I'll never understand why she followed one to Yazyk) I like what you say, Endora and Depputante, about her wanting her life to be 'normal' - hearth and home - and at the same time wanting to be/do something more. The 'more', IMO, would've been to stay in the city and record what was happening there instead of wasting her time and talent by leaving, and dragging her child along with her. What for? To prove a point about how gilted she felt? To hold on to her romantic notions about love? She may represent contradictory, two-faced behavior to the author (and who can argue with the author) but I see her as basically confused. To me she seems lost in a sea of sexual emotions she can't get a grip on. (ahem) She seems conflicted about motherhood. She can't make up her mind about much of anything - until the end, when she at least recognizes the importance of her son's life (for the first time?). Even then she's ambivalent about going with Mutz and opts for going off with a stranger to a future that is unknown. Anna appears to me to be someone who wants to be self-reliant and independent and adventurous but doesn't really have the moxie to pull it off.
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:58 pm

You are all being very silly today. :jester:

Parlez, it is interesting that sometimes we disagree with the author about their characters. It’s almost as if they have become real people that take on a life of their own.

I think she is the axis in that it seems that the major characters’ (minus Matula) motivations or actions are determined by her or her actions. Mutz is in love with her and goes to see Balashov because of that, then asks her to come with him to the city at the end. Samarin makes love to her, using her child the next morning, but then risks it all to bring Alyosha back. Then he is motivated to castration because of her. Alyosha becomes a pawn and could have died because of her. Balashov castrates himself to avoid her and then saves her, his son and the town at the end.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: TPAOL Question #17 ~ The importance of Anna

Unread postby Linda Lee » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:33 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:In an interview with David Ramos Fernandes Meek says, “The thing about Anna, is that she is the axis around which the book turns. She’s also a character that faces both ways.” How do you interpret Meek’s statement?


Anna as axis:
She interacts and motivates all the major characters in some way.

As a character that faces both ways:
She is both the betrayed and the betrayer. Balashov betrays her, she follows him and flaunts her lovers in his face. She loves Balashov and seeks revenge on him after his betrayal, love and hate.
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Unread postby Depputante » Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:40 pm

Well, in 1919 , I suppose women weren't really...much without their man. :fear: .

That said, as a first angle, we've been saying we like Meek's acuracy of the era, but now we don't like that same accuracy, because she's 'passive' when compared to our modern day terms. I suppose, for 1919, she was way out there. She had her career, and kept getting up everytime a man put her down. She stuck by her morals, keeping Balashov priority #1, and waited on the side. In this way, I suppose she's a strong woman.

Then, the other angle, she appears wishy-washy, perhaps not knowing which is the better of the two. The Husband, or another man, and she keeps sort of comparing them, with the husband coming out on top each time.
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Unread postby lumineuse » Fri Feb 16, 2007 4:05 pm

Somehow I found Mutz more pivotal - perhaps that's only because he was the most sympathetic figure to me.
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