Daily Archives: February 22, 2016

47% done with War and Peace


To be honest these parts with Napoleon are not very interesting. The river scene is memorable in that it’s almost a parable, but the rest if dry and only serves to show how silly Napoleon (and a king) is. We are seeing Napoleon stripped of all his pomp and glory and are given only a petulant child who just so happens to have the authority to send hundreds of thousands to their death, or not.

47% done with War and Peace


I don’t know enough about Napoleon to say of he really did act the way Tolstoy shows him as acting towards Balashev … and I don’t really care, either because it’s not important how “true” Tolstoy was to Napoleon (though I have to admit to thoroughly disliking Napoleon and siding completely with Russia on the matter). Here he acts like a child who has too long been spoiled. He’s an emperor? Big baby, he is

46% done with War and Peace


“Napoleon received Balashev in the very house in Vilna from which Alexander had dispatched him on his mission.” This is Tolstoy being funny. One man lives in a house then another man, that’s all it is. They may be, in fact, emperors, but they are just men sitting about in houses this one or that ones claims to be theirs. Yet whose house was it really? That’s what war has done, taken away someone’s home.

46% done with War and Peace


I like how silly Murat is. If he was so in real life I can’t say, though his portrait sure makes him look like a pompous buffoon. And how arbitrary all this is, this declaration of war, the making of a King of Naples: it’s all silly and pointless.

And that’s the point: war is pointless, power is pointless, kings are pointless. Tolstoy would rather we keep our heads in the farm all day than this nonsense.

46% done with War and Peace


Boris has become quite important and wealthy. He’s “made it”, and he keeps getting better since he knows how to get information (even if it is just overhearing the Emperor on a veranda during a dance). And what good is him knowing the news first good for anyway? Will it matter to anyone that he knows things before anyone else? Of course not, it’s just gossip (reliable gossip, but gossip the same).