"more like Karenin"

Public DomainTolstoy

Repeat reference to the novel that Tereza carried when she followed Tomas to Prague (see Bookmark, page 8). Note that though the dog is a female, Tomas thinks the dog’s face looks too “funny” to be that of a woman, so he lobbies to name it after Anna Karenina’s husband in the novel, Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin, the odd man out in the love triangle.

For most of The Unbearable Lightness, the narrator will refer to the dog Karenin as “he.” Only occasionally, such as section 4 of Part Seven (page 296 in this edition), will the narrator remind us that Karenin "was after all a female."

This 1873 portrait of Tolstoy by Ivan Nikolaevich Kramskoy (1837-1887) is on display at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.