29% done with War and Peace


Russian literature has a reputation for being dull, dreary, and depressing. And in some ways that reputation is deserved: Dostoevsky and Tolstoy dealt with heavy themes, especially the former, but in all Russian literature there is an almost magic realism and fantastical element hidden just beneath. Here we get a paragraph from the point of view (as Andrei imagines it) of an ancient, bitter oak tree).