Daily Archives: March 14, 2016

41% done with The World of Yesterday

The world wanted practicality and fairness, not idleness and elitism. And now what is the world like, a world of technology and engineers, a world where everyone is the same, has an equal voice and everything is produced to satisfy the most people (with the least substance). There is no authority anymore, all opinions are valid and so no opinions are valid (if everything is on sale, nothing is on sale).

33% done with The World of Yesterday


this scene with the suitcase thief is telling about the different types of people in the world. There is, of course, the thief who instead of money had pictures of dancers and nude models in his wallet. The thief is a mouse of a man, too. Then there is Zweig who does not press charges and the officer who is glad not to do paperwork. Then the innkeeper who believes all these criminals should be tossed in jail

68% done with War and Peace


Considering that Rostopchin was leaving the poor of the city to fight the French how unreasonable is it for someone like Vereshchagin to want to make a peace with Napoleon. They can’t fight him, but they could easily be killed by him if they try. Isn’t the Russian Army’s job to protect the people, if they don’t then why not save yourself in an otherwise hopeless situation? The Mongols would’ve understood.

68% done with War and Peace


Tolstoy goes to great pains to talk about how no one man can really lead anything, especially an army in battle, so why is he so hard on Rostopchin? The wealthy were going to leave no matter what he said, and the poor, though he roused them to action, were not in any position to fight the Napoleon’s Army, no matter how wounded an animal it was. People were going to behave no matter what, so why blame?

68% done with War and Peace


A ukase, or ukaz in Imperial Russia, was a proclamation of the tsar, government, or a religious leader (patriarch) that had the force of law.

Martial law is in effect because the “lower classes” are going to turn to killing each other without law and order. “How can one do without government?”

Tolstoy is not very subtle or nuanced in how he writes the lower classes.