70% done with War and Peace

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This is an extreme version of the technique Tolstoy uses to paint a visual picture. He always starts very far away and then, with a few details between us and the action, narrows the image closer and closer like a wide-angle lens becoming a zoom-lens. Here we just get the glow of the fire, someone says “It’s windy and dry”, another “You can even see the crows flying”.

He ends with the old valet crying.