[PREV - NEVER_SAY_NEVERYON] [TOP]
November 20, 2000
Rev: February 11, 2005
About "War and Peace" by Tolstoy.
Gathering some bits and pieces:
Tolstoy managed to (November 20, 2000)
write a novel that Or at least, he
attacks the idea of argues for a view
heroism and yet it of history that
clearly has a hero. undercuts
the possibility of
Prince Andrew is a
character who is
nevertheless caught up (If I'm gonna spell
in the same madness as Tolstoy with a "y",
everyone else in the I might as well go
novel. all the way with
to the same
the rest of
And the novel still
works as a novel.
Some good bits:
July 31 2000
Pierre gets interested in some
liberal ideas, but is unable to do
much about them. But Prince
Andrew is influenced by Pierre to
actually take some steps toward
freeing the serfs under his control. (Andrew is the novel's
July 31 2000
The upper classes had so much
sympathy for France! Many of them
speak French much better than they
do Russian. For them, the war with
Napoleon was very much a war with
the country they regarded as the
seat of culture: this was
practically a civil war.
(August 17 2005)
Strange that they went
along with it without (January 28, 2006)
complaint. Perhaps: they
wanted to *play the Upon re-reading, I see
game*... they wanted to that Tolstoy shows different
fight as well as the factions at work among
French because they the upper class, where
wanted to be the French. one salon -- the most useless,
the most shallow, in this
account -- would have liked
Also notably, to sue for peace and
one faction become subjects of Napoleon.
peasants The Real Russians, however
has no experience an eruption of
problem patriotism, and are determined
with to fight to the death.
May 17, 2002
Rev: February 11, 2005
The "inside story" of the Freemasons,
the initiation ritual.
Pierre wanting to do something
idealistic with the Freemasons, but
instead he finds it used as a
vehicle for social networking.
People have joined his chapter just
so they can hob-nob with rich
people such as himself.
May 17 2002
It was pretty funny to read Tolstoy
ranting at length about how grossly
over-rated Napoleon's "genius" was.
This goes along well
with H.G. Wells' take BONY_DREAD
in his "Outline"...
point is that the will of He argues that the
the great are irrelevant correlation between great
compared to the will of men and great events
the people. doesn't imply causality,
and asserts that it goes
But all of his the other way: The will of
characters are the people creates and then
members of the destroys the great.
We see very little DIFFERENTIAL_OF_HISTORY
of "the people".
I'm very interested in Tolstoy's
notion of potency though a
respect for your own impotency, KUTUZOV
e.g. in the case of Kutúzov.
But it's not clear if it means
anything to Tolstoy but faith
in providence. SURFING_HISTORY
Pierre's epiphanies about
freedom == misery, and how
happiness is achieved
through poverty and AGAINST_FREEDOM
imprisonment are not
But there might be an
objection or two raised
to that, eh? Some
people might find it a
bit suspicious even: a
member of the upper
class preaching the
virtues of servitude.
In general, there seems to
be a pattern of unconvincing
religious material in ANNA_KARENINA
A corner that he contrast:
backs himself into? Nicholas and
If intelligence is useless,
reading a snare and a delusion,
history a lie, genius a myth,
freedom a guarantee of suffering,
and all human ambition and striving
That's a pretty grim world to
face without faith in providence
to fall back on.
Some random quotations follow.
And some not random ones.
These are from several different
sources, indicated by the codes:
"WC" = Wordsworth Classics edition.
"GP" = Gutenberg Press edition. The translator isn't
specified for either
"RE" = Penguin paperback edition, the WC or the GP (?!)
Rosemary Edmonds, trans. (1957)
The WC claims their
There are some
Russian has between
a reputation translations
as a logical but they seem
language, very slight.
gives the "command"
impression vs. "order"
of a man
trying to MOTIVATION
rather than I would guess
stylish or that there's
poetic. little controversy
about how to
"War and Peace".
[NEXT - HISTORYS_SLAVE]