The Fatal Importance of Irrationality in Decision Making

Tolstoy ... posed the issue of human action in a manner radically new in the history of the novel; he discovered the fatal importance of rationally elusive causes in decision making. Why does Anna commit suicide? Tolstoy goes so far as to use an almost Joycean interior monologue to delineate the network of irrational motivations which drives his heroine to it.

- Milan Kundera in an essay in The New York Times, "An Introduction to a Variation"